"Gubby" Allen's life revolved around cricket, as player and later as selector and administrator. Australian born, with an uncle who played for Australia (R.C.Allen), he was a prominent figure in the infamous Bodyline tour of 1932/33. He jeopardised his place in the England team by refusing to bowl the short-pitched leg theory espoused by his captain, Jardine, and took 21 wickets bowling conventionally. He captained England in three series, notably in the first post-bodyline tour in 1936/37. He was a superb fast-medium bowler, with a classic side-on action, and batsmen often found the ball hurrying on to them off the pitch. He was a magnificent close fielder, and a not inconsiderable bat, as shown by his Test century against New Zealand in 1931. Living a stone's throw from Lord's, Allen was deeply involved in the administration of English cricket in the post war years, as chairman of the selectors from 1955 to 1963, and with the MCC as President in 1963-64, and Treasurer from 1964 to 1976.
(Article: Copyright © 1998 Dave Liverman)
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