Clarrie Grimmett – The First Leg Spinner To Use The Flipper
Clarrie Grimmett was born on December 25, 1891, in Caversham, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. The leg break googly bowler is known for making a fine partnership with Bill O’Reilly as the first leg-spinner to use the flipper and dumbfound the batsmen. Clarrie Grimmett had a long desire to become a fast bowler but eventually switched to bowling leg-spinners after a period of time.
As soon as he arrived in Australia, Grimmett began playing club cricket in Sydney. His first game for Victoria in the Sheffield Shield was against New South Wales in 1919 after steadily rising through the ranks. In contrast, he became a world-class player only at the age of 34. In his first Test against England, he took 11 wickets, which made up for his lost time.
Every Test side he played against found him a thorn in their flesh. South Africa and the West Indies, however, did not do well against him. Neither team had very experienced batsmen, nor did both have trouble reading the flipper.
The flipper will forever be associated with Clarrie Grimmett. By bowling it with the hand up, he troubled every batsman nearby. One story has it that Grimmett was so adept at using the flipper that Don Bradman once said in a light-hearted manner that he had forgotten his leg-spinner while facing him.
With over 200 wickets in fewer than 40 Tests, Grimmett remains one of the few bowlers with such a record. When he took 200 wickets in his 36th Test, he held the record for the fastest Test bowler to accomplish this feat. Yasir Shah of Pakistan broke this record in December 2018 after holding the record for 82 years.
The last time he faced South Africa was in 1935. O’Reilly, and his spin partner, had once alleged that it was Bradman, who prematurely ended his career. Don Bradman has ruined so many careers that it doesn’t come as a shock to many cricket critics. Clarrie Grimmet became the first bowler to reach 200 wickets at age 34 when most of his peers are preparing for retirement. He learned how to peel off his pullover without taking off his cap when he began losing his hair. Thus, he did not want the selectors to notice his advancing years.
Each step at the bowling crease was measured to avoid delivering a ball. When an umpire called his delivery a no-ball, he was a bit stunned for a while. After regaining his composure, he thundered into the umpire’s face. Umpire, you have just set a world record by giving me no ball, so you do not have to worry about your record being surpassed.
On his debut against England in the 5th Test of Sydney in 1925, Grimmett took two five-wicket hauls. Among 35 Test bowlers who played in their first Test after the age of 30, he became the first to achieve 200 Test wickets. His four counterparts are Dilip Doshi, Saeed Ajmal, Ryan Harris, and Mohammed Rafique. Each game he takes an average of six wickets. He took many wickets with the help of fellow leg-spinner Bill O’Reilly in the last four years of his Test career.
Overall, he appeared in 37 Tests between 1924 and 1936, taking 216 wickets at an average of 24.21 including 21 times five wickets haul and 7 times ten wickets in a match. It was not until February 1932 that he bowled in the Melbourne Test against the South Africa team that he averaged exactly six wickets a Test (he didn’t bowl in the Melbourne Test against the South Africa team).
He claimed a wicket roughly every 67 balls and averaged only 2.16 runs per six-ball over. Clarrie Grimmett died on May 02, 1980, at Kensington Park, Adelaide, South Australia, at the age of 88 years and 129 days.