I've been working on something kind of inspired by this blog, that hopefully will at some point see the light of day via this blog. The opening part of it concerns the late Bob Woolmer, who did the first amazing thing I ever saw on a cricket field.
I'll save that, but in writing about it, I found this. It's Woolmer's own description of his dismissal by Michael Holding at the Oval in 1976. It came on the third morning of the match and the day after his amazing thing:
'Holding's feet barely touched the ground as he ran in. He moved in silkily, and his body swayed like a cobra's: it would have been magnificent if I'd been watching it from the outside. But here I was more intent on watching the ball, moving back and across as Colin Cowdrey had taught me.
'Holding was bowling with only one fielder in front of the wicket at cover point. He bowled, and I moved back and across. I saw that the ball was pitched up, so I moved forward, feet first and then into the shot.
'Before I knew it, the ball had smashed into my pad. Even though I was wearing state-of-the-art buckskin pads, the pain was so incredible I thought I'd been shot. A small explosion of whitening emanated from my pad and a loud appeal from the bowler and fielders. Dickie Bird was not known to give too many lbws. But this time he had no choice: the ball would have broken middle stump'.
Bob Woolmer wrote this 23 years after the Oval match. Some things stick in the memory. Facing Michael Holding in 1976 is evidently one of them.