Geoffrey Dymock: 9 facts about the man who was peeved with Don Bradman

Geoffrey Dymock, born July 21, 1945, is a former Australian left-arm medium pacer who appeared in 36 international games for his country between 1974 and 1980. Making his national debut at the age of 29, Dymock played the game for the love, but never got much back from it. Suvajit Mustafi looks at nine interesting facts about the bowler who turns 72 today.

1.  Cricket or teaching career? He was reaching the age of 30 and had to choose between a full-time teaching career and playing for Australia. He went with his heart and wore his Baggy Green against New Zealand in January 1974 at Adelaide Oval.

2.  A fifer on debut: Dymock picked two wickets in the first innings and got a fifer in the second innings. His figures of five for 58 helped Australia win by an innings and 57 runs.

3.  Not awarded World Series Cricket contract: One of the main reasons Kerry Packer came up with World Series Cricket (WSC) was the fact that players weren’t paid too well. Here was an opportunity for Dymock to secure his finances, but as he spent the Ashes 1977 in benches, he wasn’t awarded a WSC contract.

4.  Third bowler to dismiss all 11 opposition players in a Test: Very rarely has a bowler with a 12-wicket haul ended in a losing side. But that was Dymock’s fate. As a 34-year-old, he bowled his heart out in the Kanpur Test against India and shone in the most hostile conditions, also defying the age barrier. He claimed five for 99 in the first innings and seven for 67 in the second. He thus became the third bowler in Test cricket’s history to dismiss all 11 opposition batsmen after Jim Laker (vs England in 1956) and second being Srinivas Venkataraghavan (vs New Zealand in 1965). Despite Dymock’s heroics, Australia succumbed to a 153-run defeat.

5.  Strange ODI record: In a career spanning over six year, Dymock made 15 sporadic One-Day International (ODI) appearances. He wasn’t picked for the inaugural World Cup in 1975 but made it to the side in 1979. He never managed to pick more than two wickets in a match, and ended his career with 15 wickets from 15 matches. However, this came at an impressive bowling average of 27.46 and at an equally notable economy rate of 3.06.

6.  Not a superstar, but effective enough: Dymock made it to the side when Dennis Lillee was facing some career-threatening injuries. There was an opportunity for the aging Queensland pacer to make a mark. He didn’t make it to the side more often and never became the superstar that he would have liked but he ended his Test career with numbers that he would be happy about. In 28 Tests, he scalped 78 victims at average of 27.12 and on five occasions he picked up a five-wicket haul.

7.  All he earned is numbers, not money! Dymock was paid a pittance for his services to cricket. Adding to his woes, he didn’t make to WSC. His financial hardships were compounded by the fact that he had to give up his job as a Brisbane High School teacher to sport the Baggy Green. In an interview with The Courier-Mail in 2012, he said, “Playing cricket for me was a great experience, but financially it has cost me all my life. I am now still working because every time I stopped teaching to play cricket, which I earned basically nothing for, I lost out on superannuation.”

8.  Criticism of Don Bradman: Dymock criticised cricket legend Bradman and blamed him for heightening his financial instability. During his playing years, Bradman held several administrative posts with Australian Cricket Board and Dymock revealed that he was tight on money. In the same interview, Dymock said, “From my point of view at the time, it appeared that Bradman thought that players of my era should not be paid any better than when he played the game (1928-1948). It didn’t look to me like Bradman wanted the players to be financially successful. I remember after one Test win I got a $200 bonus. All that meant was that I was all square for the fortnight, because I had to take two weeks off my job as a schoolteacher. By the time I finished playing cricket, and earned virtually nothing for it, my chances of promotion as a schoolteacher were gone.”

9.  Continues to teach and impart cricket knowledge: Dymock continues to pursue his both passions — teaching and cricket. Dymock runs cricket clinics in different parts of Queensland. In February 2013, he and former Australian women’s soccer player Nicole Green visited the Charleville School of Distance Education to teach cricket to youngsters.

(Suvajit Mustafi consumes cricket for lunch, fiction for dinner and munches numerous other snacks throughout the day. Yes, a jack of several trades, all Suvajit dreamt of was being India’s World Cup winning skipper but ended up being a sports writer, author, screenwriter, director, copywriter, graphic designer, sportsmarketer , strategist, entrepreneur,  philosopher and traveller. Donning so many hats, it’s cricket which gives him the ultimate high and where he finds solace. He can be followed at @RibsGully and rivu7)