Born in New Zealand, Clarrie Grimmett was a fast bowler who changed both, his profession and country for greener pastures in cricket. When fast bowling did not do him too much justice, he took to leg-spin and played for Australia.
And what a leg spinner he was. Known to people as one of the finest leg spinners to embrace the game, Grimmett’s repertoire had almost everything, except the googly which wasn’t invented by then; including the “flipper” which is said to be bowled first by him. Surprisingly, he bowled a lot in tandem with Bill O’Reilly and yet, Australia could afford to play both the leg spinners together. They played 15 Tests together and Grimmett, whose overall average was 24.2, improved to a mesmerizing 20 when he played with O’Reilly. He played his first Test at the age of 34 and went on to pick up 216 wickets, the first bowler to do so after making his debut post the age of thirty. In no small measure, he also scalped 1400 plus first-class wickets, including a ten-wicket haul in an innings.
Grimmett took more than 40 wickets in his last series against South Africa, but was still dropped from the team – presumably because he was 45. Grimmett immediately retired. In 1996 though, he was posthumously included in the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame, one of the first ten to be included.
- Australia Vs England at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), Sydney - Feb 27, 1925
- Last played:
- Australia Vs South Africa at Kingsmead, Durban - Feb 28, 1936