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Thread: Keith Miller dies aged 81

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    Hall of Fame Member age_master's Avatar
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    Keith Miller dies aged 81

    Keith Miller, one of the game's greatest allrounders, died today at a nursing home on the Mornington Peninsula, south of Melbourne.

    Miller played 55 Tests for Australia, scoring 2,958 runs at an average of 36.97 and claiming 170 wickets at 22.97 after making his debut in 1945-46.

    A gifted allround sportsman, he played 50 VFL games for St Kilda and represented Victoria in 1946. He was also a World War II fighter pilot.

    After retiring, he spent 20 years as a cricket writer and was later awarded an MBE for his services to the sport.
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    God bless his soul !!!!!
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    R.I..P ........ Fardin Qayuumi
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    U19 12th Man
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    Definately one of the great allrounders the game has seen.

    His exploits off the cricket ground were also extremely impressive, both in other sports ( his affinity for horse racing amoung others ) and socially, where by the stories one hears, he was extremely welcome in all stata of society.

    A gentleman and a champion.

  4. #4
    Cricketer Of The Year JASON's Avatar
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    What a sad loss of a great cricketer, a true legend , and a great character and personality and (reading from various sources) a person who enjoyed life to the full.



    Here is the profile from Cricinfo and a tribute written by John Arlott.


    Profile:Named for two famous aviators and himself a wartime bomber pilot, Keith Ross Miller handled bat and ball with the same abandon as a barnstormer did a joystick. Len Hutton called him "the most unpredictable cricketer I have played against". A commanding batsman from the first, whose 185 for the Dominions against England at Lord's in August 1945 awoke observers to a special talent, he flowered into a fast bowler still capable, at 36, of taking ten wickets in a Test on the same ground. Lounging deceptively, he was also an outstanding slip fielder. No cricketer was so heedless of figures, few personalities so naturally engaging, although the Australian Board considered his mercurial temperament unsuited to the national captaincy. Neville Cardus thought him, nonetheless, "the Australian in excelsis".Gideon Haigh

    June 1987



    Miller the magnificant

    Arguably the greatest Australian allrounder © The Cricketer


    Keith Miller was arguably the greatest Australian allrounder; perhaps appreciated even more in England than in his own country. Here he became both a cricketing hero and a popular human being; for it is important to realise that, outstanding as he was at cricket, the game was for him only a part of living life as fully as a man might do. At home, though, he tended to find officialdom petty; and certainly it took its toll of him, above all by denying him the captaincy of Australia for which he was so well-qualified. There is, though, no great point in arguing a case for so well-loved a player; and indeed no-one ever needed it less.

    He still comes to England to go horseracing (he physically grew out of his childhood ambition to become a jockey), though that, too, is for him only part of the scene he had come to like well. His Christian names – Keith Ross – date his birth: he was named after the pilots, Sir Keith and Sir Ross Smith, on Nov 28, 1919 while they were making history with their 27-day flight from England to Australia.

    First sight of him – with no knowledge of his cricket – was as a young Australian air-force pilot at a hectic night party in Brighton during the war. His vitality then, as ever since, was immense. He has remained a man of character, humour and, as some may not always realise, strictness in human relations. It was, indeed, what he considered pettiness on the part of officialdom in Australia after his war service that drove him to his few – but fierce – protests. He played first for his native Victoria– 18 matches between 1937 and 1946–47: sheer economic necessity first drove him to New South Wales, for whom he played 50 matches between 1947–48 and 1955–56, captaining them during his later years. With his natural capacity for surprise, in 1959 he turned up at Trent Bridge to play for Nottinghamshire in a single match against Cambridge University, when he scored 62 and 102 not out, with 13 fours and two sixes in his century.

    He was a genuine allrounder: as a batsman he could command; but he could relax and lumber. All his life, he rose to a challenge: he scored a century – 181 – on his first class debut. If he was a spectacular driver – and indeed he was – he was also a most delicate cutter, even of legspin. As a bowler he was usually categorised as fast medium; but he could at moments bowl even faster than his comrade-in-arms, Ray Lindwall; and more than once in a Test match, off a full run, he sent down a perfect length googly. In a match against Yorkshire on a turning pitch during the 1948 tour, he proved extremely effective as an offspinner (6 for 42 and 3 for 49); after which he made top score in a struggling innings. He had a poised and not unnecessarily long run, yet from time to time he would bowl at his fastest off a half-length approach. He moved the ball sharply off the seam and could make it lift quite alarmingly from only fractionally short of a length. All this is the more amazing for the fact that he first established himself in Australian State cricket as a batsman. Then, simply enough, in a Services match, he was thrown the ball to come on as fifth change and emerged forthwith as a natural pace bowler. In the field he was utterly brilliant; amazingly fast and nimble at cover-point for one over 6ft tall; and probably the finest slip fielder of his time, again an amazingly swift and lithe mover for his size.



    He moved the ball sharply off the seam and could make it lift quite alarmingly from only fractionally short of a length © The Cricketer


    With that Service side, the English public discovered him, and he made a glorious 185, at faster than a run a minute, for a Dominions XI at Lord's. When he returned with Bradman's side of 1948, England relished him in almost everything he did. This was true post-war cricket and Keith Miller rose to the occasion. In only the second match of the tour – against Leicestershire– he struck a most splendid 202 not out. In the very next match, he bowled out Yorkshire with those offspinners; and then made top score. In the first Test, with Lindwall injured and unable to bowl, Miller picked off the best of the England batting. At Leeds when, in the face of England's first innings of 496, Morris, Hassett and Bradman were hustled out for 68, it was Miller who settled in with Harvey to revive their batting. At The Oval, when Hutton and Crapp threatened to build a stand, it was Miller who came on to break the partnership. Yet, against Essex at Southend, on that same tour, when the Australians were making the highest total ever scored in a six-hour day of cricket, Miller simply pulled his bat out of the course of a straight ball from Trevor Bailey and allowed himself to be bowled. That tour established him in English cricket imagination and he has never fallen out of it. He came to England again in 1953 and 1956; in fact he was an Australian regular for some 10 years.


    In his first Test against England– Brisbane 1946–47– he followed his 79 with a first innings 7 for 60; in the fourth made his first Test hundred – 141 not out. For that series he finished second in the batting to Don Bradman (384 runs at 76.80) and second to Ray Lindwall in the bowling with 16 wickets at 20.87. He rarely failed to make an impression on a match when the situation was tense and important; if it did not challenge him, he did not give a damn.

    In 1950–51 he bowled crucially and batted quite magnificently at Sydney. In 1953, he made a significant 109 at Lord's. In West Indies, 1955, he made three hundreds and finished with an average of 73.16, including 147 at Kingston, his highest Test score, and 137 at Bridgetown.

    He was the last man to care about figures but they must be adduced here to show his immense quality. Realise that, just after the start of his career, he lost five years to the Second World War and retired early – at 37 – after sustaining an injury in India. Yet when he left, after only (by modern standards) 55 Tests, he had the finest allround record in cricket history to that time. The second man, the monumental Wilfred Rhodes, no less, was 663 runs and 43 wickets behind him. In all cricket Keith Miller scored 14,183 runs at 48.90, with 41 centuries; took 497 wickets at 22.30, and held 136 catches. As a bowler in Tests, when he rose to the heights of his cricket, he took 170 wickets at 22.97 and made 2958 runs at 36.97, with seven centuries, plus 38 catches, many of them spectacularly prehensile.

    He has been a happy man as a journalist, never forgets his friends and never misses a good party. Let no-one think, however, that this is simply a light-hearted partygoer; Keith Miller is a loyal and loving – but still humorous – family man; compassionate, kind, for all his humour. Perhaps of all the great cricketers he suffers fools, if not most gladly, most easily of all. Above all, he has produced much of the most exciting firstclass cricket – batting to beat the bowler; bowling to defeat the best of batsmen on good wickets; and plucking unbelievable catches out of the air.


    © Wisden Cricket Monthly 1987
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    Last edited by JASON; 11-10-2004 at 03:55 AM.


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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Simon's Avatar
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    another one of those players you just wish you got to see play....

    Nice little post there Jason, i enjoyed it....

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    Cricketer Of The Year JASON's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broncoman
    another one of those players you just wish you got to see play....

    Nice little post there Jason, i enjoyed it....
    Thanks Mate.

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    SJS
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    Other than Sir Garfield, the greatest all rounder the world has ever seen.

    He could have played for any country in the world as a pure batsman OR as a pure bowler. There are not many for whom this has held true for their entire careers.

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    International Debutant Waughney's Avatar
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    A truly great all rounder, Australia's greatest ever by far.
    Member of MSC - Murali Supporters Club

    I'm not too dissimilar a batsman to Bradman.
    Both of us have batting averages below 100.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Mister Wright's Avatar
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    Sad loss for Australian and World cricket. A great player.

    R.I.P.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Wright
    Sad loss for Australian and World cricket. A great player.

    R.I.P.
    I last saw him on film during the Centenary test. I remember thinking how dashing he must have looked when younger. His bowling action, follow through, with his thick shock of hair flying had a dash of its own.

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    I heard he was once asked: Do you feel any pressure out in the middle.

    His reply: Pressure is a Messerschmitt 109 up your ****.
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    ^Always remember your elders in a good manner . The dead are supposed to be remembered in a good manner ....

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    International Debutant Waughney's Avatar
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    Anyone here his interview on ABC radio today in the lunch interval? Amazing bloke.

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    ^Yeah I really liked how they did the tribute to him - sensitive and very interesting...

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    I too was very sad to hear of his passing. It took me back to 1956, Laker's year, when the BBC used to do actual commentaries of tourist and county matches. Can't remember who were playing the Aussies, but they got KM out for a duck. I let out such ashout that my parents came rushing into the room wondering what the matter was. 'Keith Miller's out FOR A DUCK' I yelled triuimphantly. Hey, I was only 9 years old. I soon got to respect the man for his attitude to the game, and now I wish more modern-day cricketers had the same approach.

    God bless, you Keith

    Peter

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