This is how Jeff Thomson, the fastest bowler of all times, explains his technique. Thommo was feared by batsmen all around the world. Sri Lankan Sunil Wettimuny recalls facing one of Thommo’s balls: ‘Never before or since that day did I know fear on the cricket field.’
Mike Brearley, the Middlesex captain who led England during the World Series Cricket incursion, said of Thommo: ‘Broken marriages, conflicts of loyalty, the problems of everyday life fall away as one faces up to Thomson.’
Greg Chappell, Thommo’s former captain, put it this way, ‘I don’t care if Thommo hasn’t a clue where they are going, he’ll frighten these blokes out. They’ll be so desperate to get to the other end they’ll run themselves out.’
This is Jeff Thomson’s story, from the cricket fields of his Sydney schoolboy days to the international matches and beyond, as told to Ashley Mallet by Thommo, his former team mates and his opponents.
Thommo’s legendary partnership with Dennis Lillee, a combination known as Lillian Thomson, was one of the most lethal in the history of cricket. As the caption to Paul Rigby’s famous cartoon said:
‘Ashes to ashes, dust to dust – if Thommo don’t get ya, Lillee must . . .’