Australian Test cricketer Alan “Froggy” Thomson has died aged 76.
The Victorian paceman, who played four Test matches during the 1970/71 Ashes series, passed away on Monday, his brother confirmed.
“It is with a heavy heart I announce the death of my only older brother and past Australian Test Cricketer Alan ‘Froggy’ Thomson,” he wrote.
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“Being in hospital after a fall just days ago he was being operated on for a hip replacement but it was just too much for his frail body and he passed away a bit over an hour ago.
“He leaves a son Chris and daughter Sally and a couple of grandkids from each. Further details will be posted as it‘s been handled by the coroner.
“I am proud to have been his brother and see his many achievements first hand. Plenty of memories. Love you mate.”
Famous for his unique bowling style, Thomson is remembered by many Australian cricket fans for his front-on windmill-like action.
He made his first-class debut for Victoria in January 1969, taking 11 wickets in a tour match against the West Indies later that summer.
In November 1969, Thomson bowled the opening delivery of the first List A cricket match on Australian soil.
“People who were mesmerised by his action instead of watching the ball had real problems. He had a very different action,” former Australian captain Ian Chappell told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“I made sure I watched the ball. He was lively but not really quick and because he was so front-on he brought the back in, which I didn’t find all that difficult to play, although he could take the odd leg-cutter away from you.”
Thomson made his Test debut against England in November 1970, bowling the first delivery of that summer’s Ashes series at the Gabba.
He finished with 12 expensive wickets at 54.50, sharing the new ball with Australian debutant Dennis Lillee in his last Test match at Adelaide Oval.
Thomson famously took the first wicket in men’s one-day international cricket, dismissing England opener Geoff Boycott for 8 at the MCG in January 1971.
It would be his only ODI wicket.
The right-armer claimed 133 wickets at 24.70 in 29 Sheffield Shield matches for Victoria, including career-best figures of 8/87 against New South Wales.
He won a Sheffield Shield title with Victoria in 1970.
Following his retirement, Thomson officiated six VFL matches between 1970 and 1972, later serving as a primary school teacher before becoming a courier.
“Froggy, as he was known to many, was an outstanding contributor to Australian and, particularly, Victorian cricket,” Cricket Australia chair Lachlan Henderson said in a statement.
“While Alan will be fondly remembered for his unorthodox bowling action, the skill he displayed in playing four Tests for Australia and as a member of Victoria’s Sheffield Shield-winning team of 1969/70 should not be forgotten.”
Story Credit: news.com.au