Davidson cherishes ICC Hall of Fame induction

Alan Davidson believes getting inducted in the ICC Hall of Fame is as big a honour as being selected for national team Getty Images

By CricketCountry Staff

London: Sep 13, 2011

ICC Hall of Fame inductee Alan Davidson is thrilled by the honour bestowed upon him by International Cricket Council (ICC). The former Australia bowler Alan Davidson believes it was the greates honour he received since his selection into the national team.

Davidson was quoted in ICC s official website, icc-cricket as saying “Since being selected for the first time for my country. This is an amazing recognition and I am proud of it. My whole dream since I was nine years old was to play for Australia. It was most extraordinary feeling. This is an acknowledgment of my career, so this is equally as great.”

Davidson recollected some fond memories of his playing days. He said,” I think the great thing was that I got to play the best in the world over my career. I was fortunate to tour England three times, India and Pakistan twice. West Indies, South Africa as well. I toured all nations of the world at the time, took on the best in the world. My performances were also an acknowledgment of the players that I played against.”

Davidson also added that he was honoured to play alongside some of the greatest cricketers of his generation.

“Sir Leonard Hutton was technically the best I ever saw in my life. I also had the opportunity to play against Garry Sobers or Sir Garfield Sobers when he was the record holder. I played the great West Indies team of the 1960s. I played for the Invincibles in 1948. That team had some great teammates Arthur Morris, Lindsay Hassett, Keith Miller, Ray Lindwall who I think was the best bowler I ever saw. Those experiences are something I dream about and which will never go away,” added Davidson.

The former Australian cricketer cherishes the friendships he made in career with international cricketers; including arch-rivals, England cricketers.

“One of my closest friends was Neil Harvey who played with me in the Invincibles and it is still there till today. It is amazing to think back that if I go back to England, I stay with the one of my great friend Raman Subba Row, who was England’s opening batsman.

Davidson criticized present generation cricketers for lack of mutual respect. He said, “The bond and respect we have for one another is something I treasure. I stay with him when I go so it is an absolute pleasure. I believe that is the difference between today’s and yesterday’s cricket. We respected one another, so much, but still played with vigour and passion. Today there is too much abuse of opposition, remarks passed between players. This animosity is not goof for the game of cricket.

“When asked about the first-ever Tied Test match between Australia and West Indies that Davidson was involved in, he said it was the greatest Test match ever played.

“Well that was the greatest Test match ever played because there were so many magnificent performances in the game. It was an incredible game of cricket with two great teams and great captains. The efforts put in by players on both the sides were just tremendous.

“Davidson was all praise for legendary Sir Garfield Sobers for his role in the tied Test match. “Garry Sobers played one of the greatest innings in my life. It was one of the top five Test hundreds I have ever seen. On the last day, Wes Hall was bowling express pace. He had worn new boots which caused massive blisters on his feet. He still went ahead and bowled with no socks. He played a huge part in the first tie in Test history,” he said.

Davidson also praised former Australian Neil Harvey and termed him a genius.”I played against Neil Harvey in domestic cricket in Australia and he was an absolute genius as well.

“England also had Peter May another magnificent player. But I would Leonard Hutton as the batsman with the best technique,” praised Davidson.

Davidson voted former Pakistan fast bowler Wasim Akram as the greatest bowler when asked about best left-arm fast bowler of all time. He said,”Wasim Akram from Pakistan was absolutely out of this world. He had the ability to move the ball and swing it. Today what amazes me is that the bowlers cannot swing the ball till it gets old. Wasim, Ray Lindwall, Garfield Sobers could bowl with the new ball and swing the ball it.”

” I believe the problem today is the fact that the coaching revolves everything around pace. Bowlers are not bowling at their natural speed and are at times trying to exceed their natural speed,” believed Davidson.

Adding further on the impressive bowlers he faced in his days, Davidson mentioned the likes of Brian Statham, Fred Trueman, Alec Bedser and Wes Hall in his favourite list.

Davidson was also at praise for Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar recollecting memories when he was introduced to the master blaster by Sunil Gavaskar.

“I remember Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri got Sachin Tendulkar to Singapore where I was travelling with a group of cricketers. Sunil told me he was going to be a very good player. Sachin is so modest, humble and he upholds all the traditions of cricket. I am very proud to have captained him at a game when he was all of 16,” said Davidson.

Davidson, currently chairman of an international company described some of the other activities he is involved in at present.”I am the chairman of an international company. I am on boards of a few other companies. In Australia thoroughbred racing is a big sport. I am on the Integrity Assurance Committee to overlook whatever happens in racing.

“Also I overlook the development of race courses in New South Wales. Additionally, we have what is called the Return Services League which looks after soldiers from various wars. I am part of the Australian Sports Hall of Fame selection panel and am also part of the NSW Sports Hall Of Fame. Even at 82, I am still active,” signed off Davidson.