In cricketing circles around the globe they argue over who the greatest batsman of all time is. Bradman on average, Tendulkar on sheer weight of runs and elegance, or Viv for intimidation. But when it comes to bowling the conversation is simple – who’s the fastest? Names such as Akram, Tait, Akhtar and Lee are thrown into the mix but one name continues to rise to the top – Thommo.
Jeff Thomson was the only bowler that Sir Vivian Richards ‘contemplated’ wearing a helmet for. Viv delights in telling the story of how Greg Chappell deliberately dropped Geoffrey Boycott at second slip to the bowling of Thommo. This occured in the first over of the 1976 match between QLD and a QLD Invitational XI when Viv was playing for QLD. Boycott had successfully avoided playing against Thommo up until then. So as Chappell collected the ball up off the hallowed Gabba surface and rolled it back to the bowler down the very green and bouncy wicket he yelled to Boycott ‘you’re not getting away that easy, mate!’
I wonder if that missed wicket is more memorable than the 200 he took in 51 Tests for our beloved nation?
Thommo clean bowled Geoffrey the next over. No ball?
Ambrose and Walsh hold the world record for the most successful opening bowling partnership but ask them who they think the best was and the answer they give is – DK and Thommo.
Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Jeffrey Robert Thomson.
Jeff ‘Thommo’ Thomson is one of the most frightening men to ever step out onto a cricket pitch. A fast bowler with an action like a catapult, he terrorized more batsmen than anyone before or since. In partnership with Dennis Lillee they were the greatest opening bowling combination to play test cricket. “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust…”
Jeff travels from Brisbane.