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As big a honour as being selected for national team: Davidson

Former Australia bowler Alan Davidson regards the induction into the ICC Hall Of Fame as the biggest honour since being selected for the national team

As big a honour as being selected for national team: Davidson - Cricket News
Alan Davidson
Former Australia bowler Alan Davidson regards the induction into the ICC Hall Of Fame as the biggest honour since being selected for the national team

"Since being selected for the first time for my country. This is an amazing recognition and I am proud of it. My whole dream since I was nine years old was to play for Australia. It was most extraordinary feeling. This is an acknowledgment of my career, so this is equally as great," said Davidson.

In a career full of many highs, Davidson has many fond memories.

"I think the great thing was that I got to play the best in the world over my career. I was fortunate to tour England three times, India and Pakistan twice. West Indies, South Africa as well. I toured all nations of the world at the time, took on the best in the world. My performances were also an acknowledgment of the players that I played against," recalled Davidson.

In his career, Davidson saw a number of great players. He played with an against many of them.

"Sir Leonard Hutton was technically the best I ever saw in my life. I also had the opportunity to play against Garry Sobers or Sir Garfield Sobers when he was the record holder. I played the great West Indies team of the 1960s. I played for the Invincibles in 1948. That team had some great teammates Arthur Morris, Lindsay Hassett, Keith Miller, Ray Lindwall who I think was the best bowler I ever saw. Those experiences are something I dream about and which will never go away," said Davidson.

The one thing that Davidson values till today is the friendships he made during his career.

"One of my closest friends was Neil Harvey who played with me in the Invincibles and it is still there till today. It is amazing to think back that if I go back to England, I stay with the one of my great friend Raman Subba Row, who was England's opening batsman. The bond and respect we have for one another is something I treasure. I stay with him when I go so it is an absolute pleasure. I believe that is the difference between today's and yesterday's cricket. We respected one another, so much, but still played with vigour and passion. Today there is too much abuse of opposition, remarks passed between players. This animosity is not goof for the game of cricket," reckoned Davidson.

Davidson still rates the first-ever tied Test match in 1960-61 at Brisbane between Australia and West Indies as the greatest match ever.

"Well that was the greatest Test match ever played because there were so many magnificent performances in the game. It was an incredible game of cricket with two great teams and great captains. The efforts put in by players on both the sides was just tremendous. Garry Sobers played one of the greatest innings in my life. It was one of the top five Test hundreds I have ever seen. On the last day, Wes Hall was bowling express pace. He had worn new boots which caused massive blisters on his feet. He still went ahead and bowled with no socks. He played a huge part in the first tie in Test history," recalled Davidson.

In terms of batsmen, Davidson picked Garfield Sobers, Hutton as the best he had ever played against.

"I played against Neil Harvey in domestic cricket in Australia and he was an absolute genius as well,. England also had Peter May another magnificent player. But I would Leonard Hutton as the batsman with the best technique," praised Davidson.

Asked to pick the best left-arm fast bowler after him, Davidson had no doubts in his mind.

"Wasim Akram from Pakistan was absolutely out of this world. He had the ability to move the ball and swing it. Today what amazes me is that the bowlers cannot swing the ball till it gets old. Wasim, Ray Lindwall, Garfield Sobers could bowl with the new ball and swing the ball it. I believe the problem today is the fact that the coaching revolves everything around pace. Bowlers are not bowling at their natural speed and are at times trying to exceed their natural speed," believed Davidson.

Among the other fast bowlers who impressed Davidson a lot were: Brian Statham, Fred Trueman, Alec Bedser and Wes Hall.

But a special praise was due from Davidson for one of the modern day great, Sachin Tendulkar.

"I remember Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri got Sachin Tendulkar to Singapore where I was travelling with a group of cricketers. Sunil told me he was going to be a very good player. Sachin is so modest, humble and he upholds all the traditions of cricket. I am very proud to have captained him at a game when he was all of 16," said Davidson.

Now 82, Davidson has donned several hats in both cricket and outside the sport. He is on the board of a few companies. He was involved as chairman of Cricket New South Wales as well.

"I am the chairman of an international company. I am on boards of a few other companies. In Australia thoroughbred racing is a big sport. I am on the Integrity Assurance Committee to overlook whatever happens in racing. Also I overlook the development of race courses in New South Wales. Additionally, we have what is called the Return Services League which looks after soldiers from various wars. I am part of the Australian Sports Hall of Fame selection panel and am also part of the NSW Sports Hall Of Fame. Even at 82, I am still active," signed off Davidson.

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