Keith Miller was one of the first, very good all rounders to have ever played international cricket. And that by itself was an understatement. If his batting and bowling statistics were worthy of looking at – almost 3000 Test runs and 170 Test wickets – it was the other aspects like his looks and carefree attitude that brought him close to the public.
Cricket to him was nothing more than a game, for him the real war was the war that he had been involved in, the World War II. As a maverick, he had his run-ins with the then captain and then administrative head, the usually reticent, Don Bradman, and this eventually cost Miller a shot at captaincy. Not that Miller complained too much. His captaincy style in the first-class cricket was refreshingly non textbook; he would usually ask his fielders to ‘scatter’ and once when there were twelve fielders on the ground he very famously said, “Well, one of you had better bugger off”. His friendship with English great, Dennis Compton is well chronicled – which prompted the Man-of-the-series for any Ashes series to be given the Compton-Miller medal – and so were the rumours of his affairs with Princess Margaret.
But all this did not bother him, nor did the prospects of death. Asked about death at the age of 75, he said “Never think about it. No regrets. I've had a hell of a good life. Been damned lucky”. He later died in 2004, aged 84. One of the biggest legends had left.
- Australia Vs New Zealand at Basin Reserve, Wellington - Mar 29, 1946
- Last played:
- Australia Vs Pakistan at National Stadium, Karachi - Oct 11, 1956