Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Do you feel lucky?

Clint Eastwood is 81 today, 31 May.  Despite opening the batting in The Good The Bad and the Googly, Clint's cricket career has been kept under wraps.  More well known is that he is one of the most significant actor/producer/directors in the cinema.  He also writes the music for his movies so FB guesses that must make him a true all rounder.

Gun as icon - Eastwood as Dirty Harry
The trajectory of Eastwood's career is well known - from Rowdy Yates in the TV show Rawhide, through the seminal spaghetti Westerns of Sergio Leone and the tough cop action pictures of Don Siegel to his own varied canon as a director.  Fantasy Bob's favourite among his own work is Unforgiven - a revisionist Western made in 1992 for which he deservedly received 2 Oscars - Best Director and Best Actor.  Test Match Quality.

Clint Eastwood is not to be confused with Ken Eastwood.  If you are ever faced with the pub quiz question,"Which fellow Victorian replaced the sacked Bill Lawry in the Australian side for the 7th Test in 1971?", Eastwood is your answer.

The Snow incident - Sydney 1971
This was Ken Eastwood's one and only Test, he managed scores of only 5 & 0, but he did get a wicket with his part time gentle spin.  This match was one of great controversy.  It had been arranged to replace a washed out Test earlier in the series.  England went into it leading 1-0 and the Test was allocated 6 days to secure a result.  England under the captaincy of Ray Illingworth could only muster 184 in the first innings.  In the course of the Australian reply Terry Jenner was felled by a John Snow bouncer, there was an argument between Snow, Illingworth and the umpire Rowan about intimidating bowling.  After an inebriated fan had grabbed Snow over the boundary fence, and a wide range of bottles and other missiles had been thrown onto the field Illingworth led the English team from the field, only returning after more arguments between Illingworth and the management, when the umpires threatened to award the match to Australia.   England restricted the first innings deficit to 80 and their second innings 302 was enough to win the game and the series.  Hero/villain Snow broke a finger in a collision with a boundary fence and was unable to bowl in the second innings - but Illingworth and Underwood gave nothing away and the Ashes were England's.
JA Snow
49 Tests
202 wkts @ 26.66
While there might have been an Eastwood on the opposition in that Test, in John Snow England were showing a bit of the other Eastwood.   Snow took 31 wickets at 22.83 in that series, a performance second only to Larwood's during the bodyline series.  But the Jenner incident was only one of a series of controversial incidents that happened in Snow's career.

Snow may have been a son of the vicarage and a part time poet, but put the ball in his hand and an Aussie batter 22 yards away and he turned mean.  Proper Dirty Harry.  It is a little known piece of movie trivia that it was Snow who originated Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry's greatest line.  It came as he stood over Jenner at the end of his follow through:

"I know what you're thinking — 'Did he bowl six balls or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But, being as this is John Snow, the most powerful fast bowler in the world and could blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"

No comments:

Post a Comment