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Close, D Brian
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Rawdon, Leeds
Test: 1949 - 1976
ODI: 1972 - 1972
England (Country)
Yorkshire Carnegie (Regional)
Somerset Sabres (Regional)

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Brian Close: Fearless batsman who didn't bruise easily

Close, D Brian

Brian Close was the youngest cricketer ever to play for England. He made his Test debut at the age of 18 against New Zealand in 1949.

Over a 27 year period, he only played 22 Tests. In 37 innings for England, he scored only four 50s. The 887 runs he scored were at a sub par average of 25.34. As a Test bowler he took 18 wickets at 29.55 apiece.

He hardened into a battle-scarred veteran who never flinched. In his last Test match against the West Indies at Old Trafford in 1976, Close endured the hostility of Andy Roberts, Michael Holding and Wayne Daniel for 80 minutes. Spectators winced as the ball thudded into him repeatedly, leaving him full of bruises.

In 1963, Close scored a heroic and defiant 70 against Hall and Griffith at their best. He distracted Hall by advancing down the wicket as the West Indian came in to bowl.

In 1966, he was appointed England captain for the final Test against the West Indies at the Oval. His leadership was positive and England won. He lost the captaincy in 1967 for time-wasting tactics in a championship match against Warwickshire. With typical stubbornness, he refused to apologise.

He lost the Yorkshire captaincy in 1970 and moved to Somerset, where he was captain between 1972 and 1977.

Close retired from regular first-class cricket in 1977 but played in the Scarborough Festival until 1986. In a total of 786 first-class matches, Close scored 33,994 runs (including 52 centuries) at an average of 33.29. He took 1,167 wickets at 26.39 each. He held 813 catches, placing him fourth on the all-time list, after Frank Woolley, W G Grace, Tony Lock and Walter Hammond.

In retirement, Close became an England selector in the late 1970s. He was awarded a CBE in 1975.

Close died on 14 September 2015.

Source: CricketCrowd Staff Reporter

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