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 Ian Meckiff

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PostSubject: Ian Meckiff   Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:16 am

Ian Meckiff (born 6 January 1935 in Mentone, Victoria, Australia) is a former cricketer who represented Australia in 18 Tests between 1957 and 1963. A left-arm fast bowler, he is best known for two matters that were unrelated to his skill as a player: He was the batsman run out by Joe Solomon in 1960, causing the first Tied Test in cricket history; and in December 1963, his career was sensationally ended when he was called for throwing in the First Test against South Africa by Australian umpire Col Egar. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, there had been a media frenzy about the perceived prevalence of illegal bowling actions in world cricket. The controversy and speculation that dogged Meckiff in the years preceding his final match caused sections of the cricket community to believe that he had been made a scapegoat by the Australian cricket authorities to prove their intent to stamp out throwing.

With an unconventional front-on bowling action, Meckiff progressed through the district cricket ranks at South Melbourne Cricket Club, making his first-class debut for Victoria in 195657. After a productive first season, Meckiff was named in a new-look Australian team for the 195758 tour of South Africa. This was the result of a generational change in the Australian Test team after a decline in performances in the 1950s. The shift saw Meckiff open the bowling in his debut Test, where he performed strongly to take eight wickets. Generating his pace from an unusual bent-arm action which involved a flick of the wrist, Meckiff reached his peak in the Second Test of the 195859 season against England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. He took 6/38 in the second innings as England were dismissed for 87, setting up an Australian victory. His achievement was engulfed by controversy, as English media and former players accused him of throwing Australia to victory.

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