Sir Alec Victor Bedser was a professional English cricketer, primarily a medium-fast bowler.
25 Facts About Alec Bedser
Alec Bedser is widely regarded as one of the best English cricketers of the 20th century.
Alec Bedser played Test cricket for England from 1946 to 1955, taking 236 wickets in 51 Test matches.
Alec Bedser passed Clarrie Grimmett's world record for Test wickets in 1953.
Alec Bedser held the record until his final tally was passed by Brian Statham in 1963.
Alec Bedser was knighted in the 1997 New Year Honours.
Alec Bedser was born in Reading, Berkshire, ten minutes after his identical twin brother Eric.
Alec Bedser's father was a bricklayer, but had been stationed in Reading with the Royal Air Force during the First World War.
In 1953 at 35, an age by which many fast bowlers have retired from first-class cricket, Alec Bedser demonstrated his longevity by helping England regain the Ashes.
Alec Bedser took 39 wickets at an average of 17.48 at home to Australia, including career-best match figures of 14 for 99 in the Nottingham Test.
Alec Bedser founded his success on accuracy of line and length, bowled at a medium pace from a short run-up, using his powerful shoulders and large hands to achieve sharp inswing and surprising batsmen with occasional leg cutters.
Alec Bedser was diagnosed as suffering from shingles and despite a recovery and a green wicket tailor-made for his bowling in the second Test he was dropped from the side, and watched as the younger Frank Tyson and Brian Statham bowled England to victory.
Alec Bedser was recalled for one Test against South Africa in 1955.
Alec Bedser had 14 new ball partners, and took five wickets in an innings 15 times and ten wickets in a match 5 times.
Alec Bedser took five or more wickets in an innings 96 times, and ten wickets or more in a match 16 times.
Alec Bedser retired from cricket in 1960, and his brother Eric retired in 1962.
Alec Bedser served as a national team selector from 1962 to 1985, and was chairman of selectors from 1968 to 1981.
Alec Bedser was on the board of selectors who controversially left Basil d'Oliveira out of the England team for 1968's tour of South Africa.
England won ten of the 18 series while Alec Bedser was chairman of selectors.
Alec Bedser was made president of Surrey in 1987 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the county's cricketing fortunes over the previous five decades.
In October 2004 Alec Bedser was selected in 'England's Greatest Post-War XI' by The Wisden Cricketer, an authoritative monthly cricket magazine.
Outside of cricket, Alec Bedser was a founding member of the right-wing pressure group, the Freedom Association during the 1970s, which advocated the maintenance of sporting relations with South Africa during the apartheid era.
Alec Bedser was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1964, advanced to Commander in 1982, and in 1997 he became the first England bowler to be knighted for services to cricket.
Sir Alec Bedser died in hospital in Woking on 4 April 2010 after a short illness.
Alec Bedser was one of the great thinkers about cricket and his wisdom was one of the great untapped resources of the modern game.