Jeff Thomson bigraphy, stories - Australian cricketer

Jeff Thomson : biography

16 August 1950 -

Jeffrey Robert Thomson (born 16 August 1950 in Greenacre, New South Wales) is a former Australian cricketer. Known as "Thommo", he was one of the fastest bowlers ever to play Test cricket and was the opening partner of fellow fast bowler Dennis Lillee; their combination was one of the most fearsome in Test cricket history. Commenting of their bowling during the 1974–75 season, Wisden wrote: "... it was easy to believe they were the fastest pair ever to have coincided in a cricket team".. Retrieved 20 September 2007.

Competing in a 1978 fast bowling contest that included many of the leading bowlers in the world, Thomson came first with a delivery clocked at 147.9 km/h, ahead of Michael Holding (141.3 km/h) and Imran Khan (139.7 km/h). In 1975 during a Test match, he was timed using high-speed cameras with a release speed of 160.45 km/h; the following year he was timed at 160.58 km/h using conventional radar.. Retrieved 20 September 2007. Australian wicket-keeper Rod Marsh kept wicket to Thomson for most of his Test career and claimed that Thomson bowled upwards of 180 km/h. Former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd regards Thomson as the fastest bowler he has ever seen.. Retrieved 20 September 2007. Thomson himself noted that he had been timed at the batsman's end of the pitch (by which time the ball has slowed) and believes had he been timed out of the hand he would have been closer to 180 km/h.. Retrieved 14 January 2008. Frank Tyson wrote that "at a muzzle velocity of 99.6 m.p.h. Thompson is so fast and human reaction time is so slow that scientists have calculated that the batsman has to begin playing a stroke against him more than .062 of a second before 'Thommo' lets go of the ball".p30, Frank Tyson, The Cricketer Who Laughed, Stanley Paul, 1982

Incidents of Thomson's deliveries hitting the opposite sight-screen (behind the wicket-keeper), beating the wicket-keeper on the full, after the one bounce on the pitch were reported, when he was at his fastest between 1972 and 1976, long before boundary ropes were getting pulled in from around 1990. Thomson came to the fore in 1974–75 with 33 wickets in the Ashes series. Modern protective items for batsmen, specifically helmets, were not available at the time, and there was no restrictions on the use of the bouncer. The success of the Australian cricket team with fast bowling prompted an era when pace bowling dominated the game, at the expense of slow bowling.

Test career

Thomson enjoyed a rapid rise in the 1972–73 season, when he made his first-class debut for New South Wales (NSW), then his Test debut after five first-class games. Against Pakistan at the MCG, Thomson returned match figures of 0/110. Later, he was diagnosed as having played with a broken bone in his foot, the pain from which he kept concealed from selectors and teammates.. Retrieved 20 September 2007. Following this, he disappeared from first-class cricket until the final match of the 1973–74 season. A very fast spell for NSW against Queensland impressed the opposition captain Greg Chappell, who encouraged Thomson to move to Queensland for the following season.

1974-75: Test Stardom

When Thomson was selected for the first Test of the 1974–75 Ashes series, the English players had seen him in action only once, during a tour match against Queensland when Thomson bowled well within himself on the instruction of his captain Greg Chappell. He created controversy during a television interview before the Test when he said, "I enjoy hitting a batsman more than getting him out. I like to see blood on the pitch".. Retrieved 20 September 2007. In the second innings of the match, he bowled Australia to victory with a spell of 6/46. At Perth, he injured several batsmen and finished off the game with 5/93 in the second innings as Australia recorded another victory.. Retrieved 20 September 2007.

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