Sydney Barnes was a fast medium bowler from England who plied his trade in the early 20th century. In a Test career lasting 14 years, he played only 27 Test matches, but what he did in those 27 Test matches was enough to put him in the same bracket as one of the greats of the game. On matting wickets or otherwise, he bowled with a lot of seam movement, so much so that it almost spun rather than swung!
He picked up 189 Test wickets, at a meager average of 16.4, and once held the record for the best bowling analysis in Tests, that of 17/159. This was later broken by Jim Laker when he picked up 19 in a match. Almost all his contemporaries considered him to be the greatest bowler that ever played, while Richie Benaud picked him in the all time cricket XI.
There is a lot of mystery associated with Sydney Barnes, who was supposed to have his fair share of mood swings. So once when he was not given the new ball, he sulked, bowled well below what he could, and England lost the match. In the very next match, he was given the new ball, and he ran riot to claim five wickets for six runs. He played for his club till he was almost 60. He died in 1967 at a ripe old age of 94.
- England Vs Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), Sydney - Jan 01, 1970
- Last played:
- England Vs South Africa at Lord's, Durban - Feb 14, 1914