Bedser had Bradman's number

Bedser had Bradman's number

 A 1953 photo of Alec Bedser at a training session. APBedser dismissed Bradman six times, more than any other player and was the last man alive to claim the wicket of the formidable Australian, who ended his career with a remarkable average of 99.94.

"He was an incredibly accurate medium pace bowler with great control and I know he was extremely proud of the great Sir Don Bradman saying he was the finest bowler of his type that he played against," former Surrey team-mate and England batsman Mickey Stewart said on the county cricket club's website (www.britoval.com).

Bedser, who made his England debut in 1946 against India, made an instant impression in international cricket, taking 11 wickets in each of his first two Tests.
He excelled in the Ashes making his highest Test score of 79 in the 1948 series and recorded his best bowling figures of 7/44 against Australia five years later.

A bowler of consistently accurate medium-fast deliveries, Bedser became the first Englishman to reach 200 Test wickets. His career tally of 236 leaves him seventh on England's all-time list of Test wicket takers, topped by Ian Botham with 383.

Bedser, who was knighted in 1997, had a no-nonsense approach to the game and was known to be unimpressed by many aspects of modern cricket. "Alec was the typical traditional English professional cricketer and never quite understood all the fuss that goes on about the game today - both on and off the field," Stewart said.


“When he took his 11 wickets against India in 1946, the press rang at home to speak to his mother for her reaction. Her reply was: 'Well, isn't that what he's supposed to do as a bowler?””

He went on to become a pivotal figure off the field as an England selector for a record 23 years following his retirement as a player, presiding as chairman between 1969 and 1981.

He was chairman when Botham's brief tenure as England captain came to an end in 1981 following a disappointing start to the Ashes series that year. The talismanic all-rounder, freed from the shackles of leadership, helped England to victory in a series that became known as "Botham's Ashes".

Bedser was inseparable from his twin Eric, who died in 2006 and represented Surrey alongside his brother for two decades.

They spent their lives together both on and off the pitch, living for more than 50 years in a house built with their father and winning seven consecutive County Championship titles at Surrey between 1952 and 1958.

"Our absolute and complete affinity is hard to explain," Alec once said. "But it is true and very real to us - so much so that as long as I can remember we have never been happy apart."

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