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Thread: How quick was Harold Larwood?

  1. #16
    International Regular kyear2's Avatar
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    Should have read not as effective.

    My apologies.
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  2. #17
    Cricketer Of The Year Agent Nationaux's Avatar
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    In the last 2 years Anderson has averaged 26 in Asia, whereas at home he averaged 28. This does not reflect your claim.

    And since when did Flem say anything about you not having an opinion?
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  3. #18
    International Regular Monk's Avatar
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    He looks really quick in the footage I've seen.

    There's a DVD called "The Cricket Archives" that has some footage of him. He looks as quick as anyone from the modern era

  4. #19
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    I seem to remember seeing a short TV clip years ago about how they did an early form of speed test on him. It was fairly complicated. From memory it involved a side-on camera and him bowling against a wall with markings on it. The testers estimated his fastest ball during the test was 98 mph. No references I am afraid, just a faulty memory. But perhaps you can find the clip on YouTube?

    PS, Just checked and Wikipedia references the speed tests on their page for Larwood, but doesn't provide much detail.


  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Binkley View Post
    I seem to remember seeing a short TV clip years ago about how they did an early form of speed test on him. It was fairly complicated. From memory it involved a side-on camera and him bowling against a wall with markings on it. The testers estimated his fastest ball during the test was 98 mph. No references I am afraid, just a faulty memory. But perhaps you can find the clip on YouTube?

    PS, Just checked and Wikipedia references the speed tests on their page for Larwood, but doesn't provide much detail.
    If that's right, it's ****ing quick!

    Hard to imagine facing it without a helmet

  6. #21
    State Regular GuyFromLancs's Avatar
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    Based on my keen eye for guessing speed based on grainy footage, and numerous interviews conducted with myself, i'm of the honestly held opinion that he was in the upper 80s, climbing up to the 92 mark. Meaning I'd put his range in the 88-92 mark. Very quick in the days when it was commonly assumed a moustache was more important than head protection.

    Although, I also believe that in being in this "genuinely quick, even by today's standards" zone; he was an exception. And about 10mph quicker than your average fast bowler of the era.
    Last edited by GuyFromLancs; 04-11-2013 at 03:18 AM.
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  7. #22
    International Debutant Viscount Tom's Avatar
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    This wasn't Larwood at his fastest iirc from his biography I read a few month back he'd been injured and lost a bit of pace.

    I think with Larwood people forget hew wasn't just quick he was an excellent bowler to boot.

  8. #23
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    There is some film of Larwood bowling in 1930 (when he wasn't at his best) as well as 32/33 (when he was) - Lol himself, as well as everyone else in a position to judge, agreed he bowled faster in 32/33 than at any other time
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  9. #24
    International Vice-Captain watson's Avatar
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    I think that Larwood would be classified as really fast in any era. But does anyone know whether he was able to swing the ball at pace? Lindwall had an identical action to Larwood and was well known for his late out-swinger and in-swinging Yorker. Was Larwood able to do the same?

    The reason I ask is that Bradman reckoned that Farnes was a better bowler than Larwood "because he moved the ball off the wicket better." Is the observation that Larwood really didn't 'do much' with the ball, accurate?
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  10. #25
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    He had a renowned breakback, but that apart was a bit too quick to swing it much

  11. #26
    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Larwood used to bowl outswing in England at pace. He struggled to do the same in Aus. Of course Bodyline was designed because Bradman was 'yellow' but it was equally because the shine went off the new ball so quickly in Australia.

    I have no issue with believing Larwood bowled 90 mph. He was in a different category of pace compared to anything before and until Tyson blew on to the scene.

    I also have no issue with anyone doubting him. He was doubted throughout his early career as being too small and too weak. If his contemporaries doubted him then it is natural for people to doubt him 80 years later. However, he happened to be an exceptional athlete, tough and blessed with an action that developed massive amounts of torque.
    Last edited by Goughy; 05-11-2013 at 04:09 PM.
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  12. #27
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    WA Universitity

    From what I remember as part WA university investigation into fast bowling in
    the 70's, they looked at the speeds of past fast bowlers (Larwood, Lindwall, Tyson etc)
    using film. The peak speeds calculated for all three was in the 92 - 95 (Larwood got the 95).
    It is quite likely all three bowled faster on other days that where not filmed. Basically there bowling speeds where
    very similar to a lot of modern Fast bowlers (Steyn, Lillee, Marshal etc).

    The University identified several factors related to speed including:

    • The distance the bowler carried the ball through is hugely important the longer the better. Tall bowlers have an advantage here. Also Jeff Thomsons action carries the ball through a longer arc than the normal conventional bowling action.
    • Storing energy in the body.
      • Jeff Thompson almost threw his arm back which would store energy in the body.
      • Aktar had a lot of flex in his elbows which may have helped him.

    • Keeping the front knee straight or braced during bowling. Keeping the front knee straight will stop the bodies forward motion and allow you to bring the arm over faster. This also has a big issue with it - have you ever jumped in the air and landed with you legs straight - it tends to hurt.

      But keeping the knee straight/braced puts a huge strain on the body, the heavier the bowler is the bigger the strain.

      Bowlers who rely on pure pace all the time tend to have very short careers (e.g. Tyson, Jack Gregory).

      McGrath on the hand runs through the crease ==>> a lot of give at the knees. McGrath was not that quick but had very few injuries (except when he stepped on the cricket ball).

      I suspect the difference between Steyn bowling at 140kmph and 150kmph is the bracing
      of the knee.




    For raw pace using a convetial action, tall wiry bowlers (e.g. Brett Lee or Micheal Holding) have an advantage.

    But shorter guys can have a slightly heavier build which would help compensate.

    I would think that Thomson / Holding / Lee / Aktar where probably slightly faster
    than Larwood, but it would be at most 5mph.

  13. #28
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    The sole qualified resident of the McGraridor definitely had fewer injuries over his career than most but, when he had them, they were major; missed an entire season twice with side strains.
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  14. #29
    International Vice-Captain watson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinB View Post
    From what I remember as part WA university investigation into fast bowling in
    the 70's, they looked at the speeds of past fast bowlers (Larwood, Lindwall, Tyson etc)
    using film. The peak speeds calculated for all three was in the 92 - 95 (Larwood got the 95).
    It is quite likely all three bowled faster on other days that where not filmed. Basically there bowling speeds where
    very similar to a lot of modern Fast bowlers (Steyn, Lillee, Marshal etc).

    The University identified several factors related to speed including:

    • The distance the bowler carried the ball through is hugely important the longer the better. Tall bowlers have an advantage here. Also Jeff Thomsons action carries the ball through a longer arc than the normal conventional bowling action.
    • Storing energy in the body.
      • Jeff Thompson almost threw his arm back which would store energy in the body.
      • Aktar had a lot of flex in his elbows which may have helped him.

    • Keeping the front knee straight or braced during bowling. Keeping the front knee straight will stop the bodies forward motion and allow you to bring the arm over faster. This also has a big issue with it - have you ever jumped in the air and landed with you legs straight - it tends to hurt.

      But keeping the knee straight/braced puts a huge strain on the body, the heavier the bowler is the bigger the strain.

      Bowlers who rely on pure pace all the time tend to have very short careers (e.g. Tyson, Jack Gregory).

      McGrath on the hand runs through the crease ==>> a lot of give at the knees. McGrath was not that quick but had very few injuries (except when he stepped on the cricket ball).

      I suspect the difference between Steyn bowling at 140kmph and 150kmph is the bracing
      of the knee.


    For raw pace using a convetial action, tall wiry bowlers (e.g. Brett Lee or Micheal Holding) have an advantage.

    But shorter guys can have a slightly heavier build which would help compensate.

    I would think that Thomson / Holding / Lee / Aktar where probably slightly faster
    than Larwood, but it would be at most 5mph.
    Do you have a source for that WA Uni study MartinB?

  15. #30
    International Regular kyear2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinB View Post
    From what I remember as part WA university investigation into fast bowling in
    the 70's, they looked at the speeds of past fast bowlers (Larwood, Lindwall, Tyson etc)
    using film. The peak speeds calculated for all three was in the 92 - 95 (Larwood got the 95).
    It is quite likely all three bowled faster on other days that where not filmed. Basically there bowling speeds where
    very similar to a lot of modern Fast bowlers (Steyn, Lillee, Marshal etc).

    The University identified several factors related to speed including:

    • The distance the bowler carried the ball through is hugely important the longer the better. Tall bowlers have an advantage here. Also Jeff Thomsons action carries the ball through a longer arc than the normal conventional bowling action.
    • Storing energy in the body.
      • Jeff Thompson almost threw his arm back which would store energy in the body.
      • Aktar had a lot of flex in his elbows which may have helped him.

    • Keeping the front knee straight or braced during bowling. Keeping the front knee straight will stop the bodies forward motion and allow you to bring the arm over faster. This also has a big issue with it - have you ever jumped in the air and landed with you legs straight - it tends to hurt.

      But keeping the knee straight/braced puts a huge strain on the body, the heavier the bowler is the bigger the strain.

      Bowlers who rely on pure pace all the time tend to have very short careers (e.g. Tyson, Jack Gregory).

      McGrath on the hand runs through the crease ==>> a lot of give at the knees. McGrath was not that quick but had very few injuries (except when he stepped on the cricket ball).

      I suspect the difference between Steyn bowling at 140kmph and 150kmph is the bracing
      of the knee.




    For raw pace using a convetial action, tall wiry bowlers (e.g. Brett Lee or Micheal Holding) have an advantage.

    But shorter guys can have a slightly heavier build which would help compensate.

    I would think that Thomson / Holding / Lee / Aktar where probably slightly faster
    than Larwood, but it would be at most 5mph.
    Always wondered why science couldn't be used to calculate speed from film.
    Guess they can.

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