Former England fast bowler Frank 'Typhoon' Tyson is no more

The nickname 'Typhoon' was apt for Frank Tyson, the England bowler who Sir Don Bradman felt was the swiftest he saw.

Tyson passed away at the age of 85 in Queensland, Australia on Sunday.

Frank Tyson
Frank Tyson

Bradman didn't face Tyson in a Test but the Australians who were at the receiving end of his thunderbolts in the 1954-55 Ashes will have no hesitation in agreeing with Bradman's assessment.

Tyson played just 17 Tests for England but in the wickets column, is an impressive 76 at 18.56.

He meant a lot to cricketers across generations. To some, he was a fine team man, to another set, a dangerous fast bowler and to many more, a guru. This bunch includes coaches and fast bowlers who benefited from his teachings.

In 1990, he spearheaded the BCA-Mafatlal Bowling Scheme which helped Mumbai regain the Ranji Trophy in 1993-94 after eight unrewarding seasons.

He created a pace revolution in Mumbai and did full justice to his appointment made by former India captain Nari Contractor, who then was employed by the sponsors. Makarand Waingankar, the chief co-ordinator of that scheme kept in touch with him regularly. On Sunday afternoon, Waingankar called in to inform of Tyson's passing.

The likes of Abey Kuruvilla and Paras Mhambrey owe their India representation to Tyson, who also helped spinners Sairaj Bahutule and Nilesh Kulkarni.

Tyson, according to Waingankar, supported the idea of Jeff Thomson coming to Mumbai and doing what he did in the early 1990s through a new fast bowling scheme.

Tyson, apart from his coaching activities, was a fine writer and commentator. He wrote for mid-day among other leading publications across the world. He edited souvenirs and wrote books with each page displaying his writing flair and great turn-of-phrase in good measure.

Frank 'Typhoon' Tyson was more than just a fast bowler but like a true one, he kept on running in and bowling as it were. He complained about his knees only in passing.

RIP Frank Tyson, you gave cricket everything you had.

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