One of the greatest cricketers to play for Australia and New South Wales, Alan Davidson AM MBE, celebrates his 90th birthday on Friday.
During a First Class career that spanned 193 matches, including 44 Tests and 72 for New South Wales, the prolific left-arm fast bowler took a remarkable 672 wickets at an average of 20.9.
Between 1949 and 1963, Davidson claimed 186 Test wickets at 20.53 and 273 scalps for NSW at a fraction over 21.
At Sheffield Shield level, he claimed 246 wickets at almost the same average. Davidson is No. 11 on the list of all-time leading wicket takers for NSW in First Class cricket.
However, the man affectionately known as ‘Davo’ was an allrounder in every sense of the word. He is one of only seven players to achieve the double of 2,000 First Class runs and 200 wickets for NSW.
His total First Class tally was 6,804 runs at 32.86.
From Lisarow on the NSW Central Coast, Davidson attained what is referred to as the perfect combination, averaging better than 30 with the bat and a fraction more than 20 with ball in hand at the First Class level.
He was named Wisden's Cricketer of the Year in 1962.
Davidson was the NSW Cricket Association President for 30 years and when that position was terminated in 2003 due to incorporation, he became and remains, a Patron of Cricket NSW.
He was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame in 2004 and ICC Cricket Hall of Fame during 2011.
In 1964, Davidson was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), and during 1987, Member of the Order of Australia (AM). Both were received in recognition of his immense contribution to cricket.
Davidson was also pivotal to three of the 11 First Grade premierships won by Western Suburbs District Cricket Club and one for Northern District in 1948/49.
He claimed five wickets in two of the three finals that secured those premierships for Wests, including 8-35 against St George in 1963/64.
His best ever First Grade figures of 8-14 came in 1961/62. That season he took 32 wickets at the incredible average of 5.25.
In total, he collected five wickets in an innings 28 times across his 120 First Grade matches for Northern District and Western Suburbs. Davidson returned 348 wickets at 13.69.
Davidson moved to Western Suburbs for the 1952/53 season. He captained Wests in 1963/64 and 1964/65 winning the premiership during his first season in charge.
During that campaign he amassed 542 runs at 41.69 and claimed 38 wickets at 11.6.
Perhaps the greatest moment of his career came in the famous Tied Test against the West Indies at the Gabba, in 1960/61.
Davidson was the first player to score 100 runs and take 10 wickets in the one Test. The feat has been repeated only three times since.
He returned 10 wickets for only the second time in his Test and First Class career claiming 5-135 in the first innings and 6-87 in the second.
After he made 44 in the first, Davidson rescued Australia during their run chase. He made 80 in 194 minutes and shared a pivotal 134-run partnership for the seventh wicket with another Australian great, leg-spinning allrounder the late Richie Benaud (52).
The pair moved the score from 6/92 to 7/226 with Australia needing 233 to win. The hosts then lost 4/6 to tie a Test match for the first time in history.