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Chuck Fleetwood-Smith

Australian cricketer

Died when: 62 years 351 days (755 months)
Star Sign: Aries


Chuck Fleetwood-Smith

Leslie O'Brien "Chuck" Fleetwood-Smith (30 March 1908 – 16 March 1971) was a cricketer who played for Victoria and Australia.Known universally as "Chuck", he was the "wayward genius" of Australian cricket during the 1930s.

A slow bowler who could spin the ball harder and further than his contemporaries, Fleetwood-Smith was regarded as a rare talent, but his cricket suffered from a lack of self-discipline that also characterised his personal life.

In addition, his career coincided with those of Bill O'Reilly and Clarrie Grimmett, two spinners named in the ten inaugural members of the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame; as a result he played only ten Test matches but left a lasting impression with one delivery in particular.

His dismissal of Wally Hammond in the fourth Test of the 1936–37 Ashes series has been compared to Shane Warne's ball of the century.

He has the unwanted record of conceding the most runs by a bowler in a Test match innings.Holding little regard for the other disciplines of the game, batting and fielding, he attracted a lot of attention with his rare style of bowling: left-arm wrist spin.

Few bowlers of this type have appeared in senior cricket; certainly, Fleetwood-Smith was the first such bowler to influence Australian cricket and play for the Test team.

Fleetwood-Smith was ambidextrous and could bowl with either arm during his youth.His choice of an unconventional bowling style reflected his reputation as an eccentric.

After his playing days finished, Fleetwood-Smith succumbed to alcoholism and spent many years homeless on the streets of Melbourne, sometimes sleeping rough a few hundred metres from the stadium where he played many of his best matches, the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

His arrest in 1969 brought attention to his plight and a number of influential people rallied to his cause.

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