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Jeff Thomson - The combination of fear and destruction

Jeff Thomson, The first-ever fastest bowler to breach the barrier of 100 Mph in the cricket. Jeff Thomson was a bowler who hardly believed in swinging the ball but completely relied on his extreme pace.

Last updated: 28.12.2020
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Jeff Thomson – The first-ever fastest bowler to breach the barrier of 100 Mph in the cricket was “Jeff Thomson”. Nickname Thommo, another element in cricket history who had defined the term called “fast bowling” in an era which was completely different from modern-day cricket. Without helmets and proper batting equipment facing a bowler over the speed of 96 mph in the 70s or 80s was not the cup of tea of batsman of that era. A complete fast bowler who had not only picked up the wickets but terrorized the batsman and opposition teams with his bowling and presence on the field or if we say the coaching manual of genuine fast bowling to Jeff Thomson it would not be wrong in any way. If history ever looks back into the past the name of Jeff Thomson will be there in the top three genuine fast bowlers of all-time. In terms of impact and abilities, Jeff Thomson had it's difficult to imagine a bowler of his calibre to be a witness again in cricket. Jeff Thomson was a bowler who hardly believed in swinging the ball but completely relied on his extreme pace to either destroy the attitude of a batsman or injured them very badly.

Also Read | Top 10 Greatest fast bowlers of all time



Born in New South Wales, Sydney Jeff Thomson played 5 first-class games before he was received the call from the National team to made his international debut against Pakistan in 1972-73 season but he had returned without taking a wicket in a match which was further analyzed and diagnosed that Jeff Thomson was playing with broken bone without the knowledge of team members and selectors. For the next one year Jeff Thomson was away from the cricket field but he returned to play the final game against Queensland in 1973 for New South Wales. The captain of Queensland Greg Chappell was quite impressed by the bowling of Jeff Thomson that time and advised him to move to Queensland to get featured in Brisbane Competition while playing for Toombul District Cricket Club. Not a long time after Jeff Thomson was included in the Australian line-up for 1974-75 Ashes series which was the famous series that world cricket had witnessed with one of greatest fast bowling pairs Jeff Thomson alongside Dennis Lillie to have ever played cricket. Australia won the ashes series by 4-1 and Jeff Thomson ended up picking up 33 wickets in 4 tests while he missed the final test due to shoulder injury before the match. During the Ashes series, Sydney Newspaper The Sunday Telegraph puts up interesting tagline of Jeff Thomson and Dennis Lillie –


“Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, if Thomson doesn't get ya, Lillie must”.


51 tests, 200 wickets, 28.0 average and 50 ODIs, 55 wickets, 35.31 average again numbers are enough to know the calibre of Jeff Thomson. While in 187 first-class games, Jeff Thomson had taken 676 wickets at an average of 26.46 in his career. Moreover, test cricket was the only form of cricket that was played in the early 70s to mid 80s and as a fast bowler Jeff Thomson career was the part of injuries which have affected his bowling speed when he returned to cricket after Injury he was never the same. Jeff Thomson was part of two world cup campaigns (1975-1979) for Australia. An excellent fielder in the out-field and good lower order batsman to score runs in a quick fashion. Many great batsmen of his era include Sunil Gavaskar, Sir Viv Richards and Clive Lloyd termed Jeff Thomson as the fastest bowler of his times and the most difficult bowler they have faced in their career. Martin Crowe, another great batsman of New Zealand in the early 80s to 90s rated Jeff Thomson as  "Thomson was just a freak – a very unique action. You never really saw it." Richie  Benaud described Jeff Thomson as the most complete genuine fast bowler he had witnessed after Frank Tyson (the former England fast bowler). The wicket keeper of Australia Rod Marsh has said that in his prime Jeff Thomson had bowled the spells of 180 kmph which was not calculated due to the ineffective tracking system. About this judgment of Rod Marsh the other team mates Ian Chappell and Ashley Mallett believed was right.


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