Hampshire Cricket History

More ‘Shack’
July 11, 2017, 7:30 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

With the forecast as it is, probably not much to report today, so back to the piece about ‘Shack’. In response, I received a delightful email from Alan Rayment. He asked for a pre-delivery photo, sadly I can’t oblige, but there is this ‘follow through’ from the Lord’s Test of 1963, when he took three wickets in four balls on the Friday morning:


Shackleton for Eng v WI.jpg

And here’s Alan, who played with ‘Shack’ for a decade in almost 200 matches:

“GOOSEBUMPS! …..when I opened your blog this morning. Dear ‘ONE EYED SHACK!’

You made an insightful comment about  the angle of Shack’s wrist…. I agree that that early wrist position was probably  from ten or more years ‘conditioning’ bowling leg breaks – say from age 14 to 24.

The anatomy and sinuous strength of his right arm-wrist-long fingers, combined with that conditioning mentioned above – plus superb timing and a shooter’s one eyed aim – plus immaculate patterned discipline to repeat repeat the ‘process’ without undisciplined experiment, combined with his thoughtful, temperate, disciplined nature created ….in my humble opinion… … a truly unique, intelligent and creative medium paced swing and seam bowler.

Derek was a medium paced bowler, neither medium fast nor medium slow: highly disciplined but never mechanical: the greatest County Championship bowler? Yes for Hampshire but doubtful when considering so many seriously great bowlers in the history of the County Championship. But you are the historian and the statistician, Dave, and I would be interested in your considered personal choice for The Greatest.

One last thought: do you have any photos of Shack at the point of delivery – sideways on? I would love to see the position of that wrist. If my memory is to be trusted, my occasional glimpse from cover-point (my eyes and attention were 99% on the batsman) records that wrist being ‘cocked-back’ further than any other seam bowler I encountered in ‘my time.'”


7 Comments so far
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There’s a superb pre-delivery picture on the cover of “On the Spot”,


Worth a penny of anyone’s money!

Comment by Jeremy

Thank you Dave for the magnificent photo of Shack’s follow-through action in today’s blog; also for posting my personal thoughts and observations regarding the previous photo of Derek’s ‘leg spinner wrist position’ prior to delivery. I am sure that ALL cricketers would praise that perfect image of Shack’s follow-through. As for me, the Punchy One – onetime player, analytical coach and dance teacher – that photo has so captivated me that next time we meet I may bore you, at length, with my analysis of the athletic and aesthetic perfection of Derek’s post-delivery action.

Comment by Punchy

You can do many things ‘Punchy’ but I suspect you could never bore me!

Comment by pompeypop

I thought these old clips might be of interest. The last include Shacks three wickets in four balls:

Comment by James

LOVELY! But what about those hysterical celebrations? Three wickets in four balls in a Lord’s Test and leaping about like a lunatic!! (Cheers James). Incidentally does anyone recall when we met Dorset at Bournemouth (an away match) in the Nat West Trophy in the late 1990s? Robin Smith rescued us from a very dodgy start, but when Julian Shackleton bowled for Dorset (in his forties) it was like watching a ghost – a very wonderful ghost too.

Comment by pompeypop

Remember it well.
Marketing manager Mike Taylor was panicking as he had booked huge sponsorships for the next round.
Great memories brought back by the clips of Shack and Dean Park, now both sadly no longer with us.
Incidentally I see Rod is quoted on Teletext that he would “have no qualms about signing more Kolpac players”.

Comment by John white

Shack, Roy Marshall and Richards just after breakfast. What a start to my day! Thanks Dave.

Comment by Alan Edwards

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