When Tom Emmett gained a place in the Yorkshire side it was as a left arm fast bowler. He was 25 at the time, and made a rapid progress to the top of his field, being considered one of the most dangerous bowlers of his type in England. Bowling very fast left arm over with a near round-arm action, he could break the ball back so that pitching on leg the ball would take off-stump - a ball that for reasons known only to himself he called his "sostenuter". As age took its toll, he lost the pace that made him so effective, and completely changed his method to bowl slow-medium, pitching on or outside off stump, and inviting the drive against the turning ball. He used flight, spin, change of pace and the bat found it hard to settle against this seemingly endless variety. He was an excellent bat, with a sound defence and strong straight bat drives, and an excellent field. He toured Australia three times, taking part in the first Test match in 1876, and playing seven Tests in all. Tom was known as a character, and few professionals were more popular with the crowd, or his fellow players- his constant enthusiasm for the game and good spirits were infectious. H.S.Altham said of him "Never was there a man of higher vitality, of more inexhaustible good humour than Tom Emmett".
(Article: Copyright © 2003 Dave Liverman)
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