Alan Davidson and Ashley Mallett: Australian cricket mourns deaths of former players

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Alan Davidson was an Australian Test player who played 44 matches. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest left-arm fast bowlers of his era.

Australian cricket mourns the loss of Test greats Ashley Mallet and Alan Davidson.

All-rounder Davidson, 92, died Saturday.

Mallett, an off-spinner, was later a journalist and author, and he died on Friday from cancer at the age of 76.

Cricket Australia described Davidson as a left-arm fast-bower and lower-order batsman.

Davidson made his Test debut in 1953 on the 1953 Ashes tour. He went on to play 44 tests, taking 186 wickets and was widely regarded as one of the best left-arm fast bowlers of his time.

He also ran 1,328 runs, an average of 24.59 and five half-centuries.

After retiring, he served as the president of Cricket New South Wales for 33 years and as a trustee for 20 years at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Richard Freudenstein, Cricket Australia chairman, said that Alan was a "colossal figure" in the game. He was not only one of the best players to represent Australia but also for his positive influence as an administrator, mentor, and benefactor across the game.

Mallett played 38 Tests from 1968 to 1980 and took 132 wickets. He is second only to Nathan Lyon (399), and Hugh Trumble (1141) on Australia’s list of Test off-spinners who have had the most success.

He was nicknamed "Rowdy" and still holds the record for Australia's best off-spinner with 8-59 against Pakistan in 1972. But, his greatest achievements were in India during the 1969-70 tour where he took 28 wickets.

After his retirement from cricket, Mallett established the Spin Australia program and the Spin Academy Sri Lanka. He also wrote many books, including the biography Victor Trumper, an Australian great.

Freudenstein said: "Ashley Mallett, an admirable journalist and highly acclaimed author, was a marvelous player."

"He was a key player in Australian cricket, but he also had a great story telling ability that preserved the memories from some of the greatest moments in the game's history."