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Australian cricket in mourning after deaths of Ashley Mallett and Alan Davidson

The Australian cricket community is in mourning after the deaths of greats Alan Davidson and Ashley Mallett.

Davidson, an allrounder renowned for his potent ability to swing the ball both ways, died peacefully at age 92 on Saturday morning.

Mallett, a superb offspinner and prolific author, died on Friday at age 76 after a long battle with cancer.

Davidson, who played 44 Tests in 1953-63, was widely regarded as the world’s best left-arm fast bowler until the emergence of Pakistan icon Wasim Akram.

Davidson snared 186 Test wickets at 20.53, and scored 1328 Test runs at 24.59.

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Camera IconAlan Davidson tears in during an Ashes Test against England. Credit: News Corp Australia

Nicknamed ‘Claw’ by fellow allrounder Keith Miller after an impressive slips catch, Davidson routinely impressed teammates and fans with his batting, bowling and fielding.

The tied Test at the Gabba in 1960 between Australia and the West Indies, which Davidson played with a broken finger, proved the remarkable highlight of an unforgettable career.

Davidson finished with match figures of 11-222 and a combined tally of 124 runs, with a final-innings knock of 80 setting the stage for the most dramatic of finishes as the hosts rallied from 5-57 to finish all out for 232.

It marked the first time a player completed the double of 10 wickets and 100 runs in a Test.

Davidson grew up on the NSW Central Coast, learning his craft on a homemade wicket on the family property, before shifting to Sydney and making his first-class debut in 1949-50.

Alan Davidson
Camera IconAustralian cricket legend Alan Davidson has died at the age of 92. Credit: AP

West Indies captain Garry Sobers’ autobiography described the allrounder as “perhaps the best (new-ball bowler) in the world for a period of about five years” and “a magnificent hitter”.

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