"Like many a Yorkshireman Jack Birkenshaw left his native county to find opportunity elsewhere, in his case Leicestershire. He played 420 first-class matches for his adopted County, as well as five Tests for England.
He bowled off-spin with a high action, deceptive flight and variation, and considerable accuracy but was not a big spinner of the ball. A neat and useful left-hand bat, with four first-class centuries, he had a good defence and a strong drive.
He played 30 games over two seasons in Yorkshire without winning a cap, before moving to Leicestershire. He played all his Tests abroad, where he was picked several times as a second off-spinner, but in general his Test career was blocked by the presence of that other Yorkshire expatriate, Ray Illingworth.. He made 64 on his Test debut as well as picking up wickets, and was well worth his place in his brief opportunities.
He played 10 matches for Worcestershire in 1981, his final first-class season before joining the first-class umpires list, where he served with distinction, officiating in Tests and one-day internationals. He recently returned to Leicestershire as coach."
(Article: Copyright © 2003 Dave Liverman)
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