One of the grand masters, the game of cricket has ever produced; England's James Charles Laker was one of the most coveted off-spinners in the history of the game. Known for his unparalleled record of claiming nineteen wickets in a Test match against Australia in 1956, Jim Laker showcased paramount supremacy on a spinner friendly pitch. In what go on to be coined as the 'Laker's match', Jim became the first bowler to have claimed 10 wickets in one innings. This record stood the test of time for well over four decades, when India's Anil Kumble struck gold in 1999 claiming 10 wickets in an innings against Pakistan.
Spin bowling at its pre-eminent was witnessed with Jim Laker on the field. His ability to bowl at varying pace and provide illusory flight to the ball caught many a great batsmen of the yesteryears puffed for breath. Laker will also be remembered for being one of those tail-enders who may not have scored many runs but had the resistance to 'hang in there'.
However, Jim Laker's ghost written autobiography in 1960, which highlighted criticisms to the then England skipper Peter May, brought huge flak in Laker's careers. He lost the coveted membership of the MCC and Surrey. Though the master was called back to resume his services, the self-respected cricketer never played for either his national side or county cricket. But his romance with the game continued, as he joined the BBC as one of their most successful cricket commentator. Remembered for his classic English cocky accent the world lost this gifted cricketer in 1986.
- England Vs West Indies at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown - Barbados - Jan 21, 1948
- Last played:
- England Vs Australia at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Melbourne - Victoria - Feb 13, 1959