Ian Healy Biography
The Baggy Green perched on his head, the crouch behind the wicket, the characteristic ‘Bowling Shaaain’ picked up on the stump microphone: Ian Healy, the archetypal Queenslander, was an ever present busybody in the great Australian side of the 1990s and the early 2000s.
Impeccable, neat and efficient behind the stumps to both pace and spin, Healy came from the line of specialist wicketkeepers, and is often considered the greatest Australian stumper of the 20th century, beating men such as Hanson Carter, Don Tallon, Wally Grout and Rodney Marsh. Especially brilliant was his glovework to the genius of Shane Warne.
His hand slid into the glove early enough in the course of cricket-evolution to give far more credence to the art of keeping than his feats in front of the wicket, but the scrapper in him was handy with the bat as well. He was considered good enough against spin to be sent ahead of some of the middle-order men, and his four Test centuries and over 4,300 Test runs underline his immense value with the bat. The fact that all his First-Class hundreds came in Tests bears testimony to the fact that he gave in that extra bit when he turned up for his country.
Unlucky to leave the stage to a man of Adam Gilchrist’s versatile talent, thereby sinking into oblivion far too quickly for a man of his abilities, Healy was nevertheless thought of as better in terms of pure keeping. His end came swiftly: he was not even allowed 400 Test dismissals (he fell five short) or a farewell at his homeground: Gilchrist made his debut at The Gabba.
Additionally, his constant involvement in the game made him an invaluable advisor to men such as Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh. Indeed, he led the Australian team in eight ODIs.