Obituary: David Allen
by Arshad Chughtai

Player:DA Allen

DateLine: 28th June 2014


David Arthur Allen, former Gloucestershire and England off-spinner died at the age of 78 on 24th May 2014.


Such was his class that even in presence of great spinning wizards like Tony Lock, Jim Laker and Fred Titmus, David Allen was selected to represent England in 1959. He went on to appear in 39 Tests until 1966 and captured 122 wickets (average 30.96), claiming five wickets in an innings four times. He also scored 918 runs (average 25.50) with the help of five 50’s. His best bowling figures in an innings were 5 for 30 against Pakistan at Dacca (1961-62) and his highest score of 88 was against New Zealand at Christchurch (1964-65). He also held 10 catches.


Born in Bristol on 29th October 1935, Allen played for his native county Gloucestershire from 1953 to 1972 taking more than 1200 wickets and scoring over 9000 runs in first-class cricket. He received his cap in 1959.


In a Test career spanning six years, Allen’s break up of wickets was: 28 against Australia, 24 against Pakistan, 21 against South Africa, 21 against India, 15 against West Indies and 13 against New Zealand.


His five wicket hauls in an innings included 5 for 30 against Pakistan at Dacca (1961-62), 5 for 67 against India at Calcutta (1961-62), 5 for 41 against South Africa at Durban (1964-65) and 5 for 123 against New Zealand at Dunedin (1964-65).


His five fifties were: 55 versus West Indies at Georgetown (1959-60), 79 not out versus Pakistan at Edgbaston (1962), 62 versus Pakistan at Headingly (1962), 50 not out versus Australia at Sydney (1965-66) and 88 versus New Zealand at Christchurch (1965-66).


He was particularly instrumental in bringing England innings victories against South Africa at Durban (1964-65) and against Australia at Sydney (1965-66), the first brought a series win to England and the second helped them draw a close series.


David Allen’s performances in seven Tests he played against Pakistan were quite significant. During the tour to Pakistan in 1961-62 he took 13 wickets and scored a useful 40 in the first innings at Lahore. Also on the same tour he had an amazing bowling performance against Governor’s XI at Lyallpur (Faisalabad) with figures of 7 for 67 from 28 overs in the second innings of the match which the visitors won. That match is also remembered for Afaq Hussain’s 6 for 89 and Antao D’Souza’s 7 for 33 for the home team in the first and second innings respectively.


Later in the following series at home he scored two fifties and also captured 11 wickets. His notable bowling feat against Pakistan was to dismiss Little Master Hanif Mohammad in both innings of a Test: Dacca (1961-62) and Edgbaston (1965-66) which was a rare feat.


In 1972 his county Gloucestershire awarded him a benefit


Alas! Such a fine cricketer has passed away.


(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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