'Great man': Aussie cricket rocked by tragic death of Test legend

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·Sports Reporter
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Ashley Mallett, former Test bowler for Australia, has died aged 76.
Former Australian Test bowler Ashley Mallett is being mourned by the cricket world after his death on Friday, aged 76. (Photo by Alan Gilbert Purcell/Fairfax Media via Getty Images).

The Australian cricket world has reacted with sadness after the death of spin bowling great Ashley Mallett, aged 76.

Mallett passed away on Friday in Adelaide after a long battle with cancer, having played 38 Tests for Australia after making his debut in 1968.

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Only Nathan Lyon (399 wickets) and Hugh Trumble (141) stand above Mallett as off-spinners, with a haul of 8/59 against Pakistan in 1972 perhaps his finest outing.

Nicknamed 'Rowdy' due to his quietly-spoken nature, Mallett rocketed to fame during his second overseas tour for Australia as Bill Lawry's team secured a 3-1 series victory over India.

A 10-wicket haul in the fifth and final Test helped him to a total of 28 for the series, at an average just under 20.

There was an outpouring of grief on social media for Mallett, who went on to have a widely respected career in journalism after retiring from first class cricket in 1980.

Ashley Mallett fondly remembered in cricket world

Mallett started his career in WA, but with spinners Tony Lock and Tony Mann ahead of him in the pecking order, he made the switch to South Australia.

The move proved to be a masterstroke, with Mallett flourishing in a first-class career that would eventually span 183 matches.

Mallett scored a legion of fans after his playing career finished through his writing.

He was active in that sense up until recently, co-authoring Neil Harvey's biography The Last Invincible, which was released in June.

With AAP

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