Australian cricket mourns loss of 'colossal figure' Alan Davidson

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·Sports Reporter
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Former Test all-rounder Alan Davidson passed away aged 92 on Saturday.
Former Test all-rounder Alan Davidson has been remembered as a great of Australian cricket, after passing away aged 92 on Saturday. (Photo by S&G/PA Images via Getty Images)

Australian cricket is mourning the death of legendary all-rounder Alan Davidson, just days after the passing of former Test great Ashley Mallett.

A prodigious bowler well-known for his ability to swing the ball, Davidson passed away peacefully, aged 92, on Saturday morning.

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Davidson played 44 Tests in a career spanning from 1953 to 1963, becoming one of just four players in Test history to score more than 100 runs and take 10 or more wickets in a match.

The New South Welshman accomplished the feat despite nursing a broken finger in the match against the West Indies at the Gabba in 1960.

Renowned for a time to be one of the world's most feared pace bowlers until the emergence of Pakistan great Wasim Akram, Davidson will be remembered as a true gentleman of the sport.

Tributes have poured in for the late all-rounder, with the likes of Steve Waugh and Usman Khawaja acknowledging the impact Davidson had on their respective careers.

Waugh noted Davidson was "one of the best" to don the baggy green and "an even better person".

"He was a regular in the change rooms during the tough times in the mid 80s, unfailing in his support of the team whilst many had given up," Waugh posted on Instagram.

Davidson's on-field skill was paired with a congeniality spirit and love of cricket that touched countless players; his connection to the sport continued long beyond retirement.

He served as president of the NSW Cricket Association from 1970 to 2003, was a national selector for five years, Trustee of the SCG for 20 years, and generous mentor and benefactor to many.

"He probably gave me some of the best advice of my life," Usman Khawaja said.

"He said 'the most important thing about cricket is belief, just believe in yourself and don't worry about the rest'.

"It's something I'll always remember.

"It's very sad ... he was such a gentleman."

Cricket world mourns loss of gentleman cricketer Alan Davidson

NSW and Victoria donned black armbands after learning of Davidson's death during their Sheffield Shield match, while Australia will do the same in their Twenty20 World Cup clash with England.

Davidson grew up on the NSW Central Coast, learning his craft on a homemade pitch on the family property, before shifting to Sydney and making his first-class debut in 1949-50.

The bank teller famously took just 15 paces in a fluent run up, yet routinely troubled the world's best while capturing 186 Test wickets at 20.53.

West Indies captain Garry Sobers once described Davidson as "perhaps the best (new-ball bowler) in the world for a period of about five years", while Miller regarded Davidson's bowling as "deadly and devastating".

Alan Davidson was highly regarded for his ongoing passion for the game after his retirement, with part of the SCG named in his honour. (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)
Alan Davidson was highly regarded for his ongoing passion for the game after his retirement, with part of the SCG named in his honour. (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

Davidson's name adorns the SCG members' gates, while his list of accolades include Hall of Fame membership at Sport Australia and the International Cricket Council.

"Alan was a colossal figure in our game," Cricket Australia chair Richard Freudenstein said.

"The tremendous skill and the boundless spirit with which Alan embraced cricket and life embodied everything that is great about the game.

"On behalf of Cricket Australia, and all those who benefited from Alan's vast contribution across Australian cricket, I offer my deepest condolences to the Davidson family as well Alan's many close friends, colleagues and former teammates."

With AAP

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