Bob Simpson (cricketer)


Bob Simpson (cricketer)

Infobox cricketer biography
playername = Bob Simpson


country = Australia
fullname = Robert Baddeley Simpson
nickname = Simmo
living = true
dayofbirth = 3
monthofbirth = 2
yearofbirth = 1936
placeofbirth = Marrickville, New South Wales
countryofbirth = Australia
dayofdeath =
monthofdeath =
yearofdeath =
placeofdeath =
countryofdeath =
heightft =
heightinch =
heightm = 1.79
batting = Right-hand
bowling = Right-arm leg spin
role = All-rounder
international =
testdebutdate = 23 December
testdebutyear = 1957
testdebutagainst = South Africa
testc

lasttestdate = 3 May
lasttestyear = 1978
lasttestagainst = West Indies
odidebutdate = 22 February
odidebutyear = 1978
odidebutagainst = West Indies
odic

lastodidate = 12 April
lastodiyear = 1978
lastodiagainst = West Indies
odishirt =
club1 = New South Wales
year1 = 1953–1956;
clubnumber1 =
club2 = Western Australia
year2 = 1956–1961
clubnumber2 =
club3 = New South Wales
year3 = 1961–1968; 1977–1978
clubnumber3 =
club4 =
year4 =
clubnumber4 =
deliveries =
columns = 4
column1 = Tests
matches1 = 62
runs1 = 4869
bat avg1 = 46.81
100s/50s1 = 10/27
top score1 = 311
deliveries1 = 6881
wickets1 = 71
bowl avg1 = 42.26
fivefor1 = 2
tenfor1 = 0
best bowling1 = 5/57
catches/stumpings1 = 110/0
column2 = FC
matches2 = 257
runs2 = 21,029
bat avg2 = 56.22
100s/50s2 = 60/100
top score2 = 359
deliveries2 = 27,998
wickets2 = 349
bowl avg2 = 38.07
fivefor2 = 6
tenfor2 = 0
best bowling2 = 5/33
catches/stumpings2 = 383/0
column3 = ODI
matches3 = 2
runs3 = 36
bat avg3 = 18.00
100s/50s3 = 0/0
top score3 = 23
deliveries3 = 102
wickets3 = 2
bowl avg3 = 47.50
fivefor3 = 0
tenfor3 = 0
best bowling3 = 2/30
catches/stumpings3 = 4/0
column4 = List A
matches4 = 6
runs4 = 165
bat avg4 = 33.00
100s/50s4 = 0/0
top score4 = 37
deliveries4 = 166
wickets4 = 4
bowl avg4 = 33.50
fivefor4 = 0
tenfor4 = 0
best bowling4 = 2/30
catches/stumpings4 = 6/0
date = 14 April
year = 2008
source = [http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/Players/1/1060/1060.html]

Robert Baddeley Simpson AO (born 3 February 1936) is a former cricketer who played for New South Wales, Western Australia and Australia, captaining the national team from 1963–64 until 1967–68, and again in 1977–78. He later had a highly successful term as the coach of the Australian team. He is also known as "Bobbie" or "Simmo".

Simpson played as a right handed batsman and semi-regular leg spin bowler. After ten years in retirement, he returned to the spotlight at age 41 to captain Australia during the era of World Series Cricket.

In 1986 he was appointed coach of the Australian team, a position he held until being replaced by Geoff Marsh in July 1996. Under Simpson's tutelage, the team went from a struggling team, losing a succession of Test series, to the strongest team in world cricket. Some of the team's greatest achievements in his time as coach were winning the 1987 World Cup, regaining The Ashes in England in 1989, and overcoming the previously dominant West Indies on their home grounds in 1995. He also coached county cricket in England, with Leicestershire and Lancashire.

He was Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1965. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2007.

Style

In his prime Simpson was known for his technical correctness. At slightly below average height, his noted ability to bat for long periods were attributed to his high fitness and concentration levels. He had a wide array of shots, in particular off the back foot. Along with Bill Lawry, he formed an opening partnership that was regarded as one of the finest in Test history. Simpson was fast between the wickets, and the pair were especially well known for their understanding, as exemplified by their fluency in rotating the strike with quick singles. Simpson's stance was easy and his style attractive, the result of a change of technique in the late 1950s when he turned from playing too square-on to side-on. Simpson found that it made all the difference to him in dealing effectively with the in-dipper and going-away balls. Standing 179 cm and 13 stone, Simpson was most effective as an attacking batsman. Simpson was best known for his straight-drive and powerfully hit square-cut, as well as an on-drive taken from his toes. He rarely played the hook shot, regarding it as risky, and used the pull shot in moderation. Early in his career, Simpson had a square-on stance but converted to a more side on position, finding it easier to deal with swing bowling.

As a bowler, Simpson had a heavy dependence on the leg-break, noting that his overuse of the googly often lead to erratic performance. He was regularly used at Test level as an occasional leg spin bowler, averaging more than one wicket per Test, and twice taking five wickets in an innings. He totalled 349 wickets at 38.07 in 247 first-class matches, including six five wicket hauls. A fine slips fielder, he was regarded as the best of his era,Perry, p. 243.] and was fast enough to catch flies with his hands. He took 110 catches, a world record in Tests, at nearby two catches per Test, a rate higher than any other non-wicketkeeper. As Australia's Test captain, Simpson was described by Gideon Haigh as having "flint in his fibre" and a "drill sergeant among skippers". Simpson had a strong belief in discipline, work ethic and the subordination of the individual to the needs of the team. When he later returned as coach of the Australian team when it was going through a barren run in the mid 1980s, he gained a reputation for being a disciplinarian coach who raised fitness and fielding standards to a higher level. His methods sometimes caused conflict with players, but by his retirement in 1996, Australia had regained its position as the world's leading Test nation.cite book | last = Cashman, Franks, Maxwell, Sainsbury, Stoddart, Weaver, Webster | year = 1997 | title = The A-Z of Australian cricketers|pages =pp. 277–278 |isbn=0-19-550604-9|publisher= Oxford University Press|location=Melbourne]

Early years

Born to Scottish immigrant, Simpson grew up in the western Sydney suburb of Marrickville. His father was a printer and professional soccer player with Stenhousemuir in the Scottish League, his and mother originated from Falkirk, Stirlingshire. Simpson was encouraged as a schoolboy by his two elder brothers who played in first division Sydney Grade Cricket for many years. He began his own career as a fast bowler and batsman who played in any position. He showed early leadership skills, captaining his primary school, and representing Sydney Schoolboys'. At twelve, he was selected for New South Wales in the Under-14 Competition. He switched to leg spin at the age of thirteen and a week after turning 15 was playing for Petersham in Sydney Grade Cricket's First XI. [http://content-www.cricinfo.com/australia/content/story/154551.html Cricinfo ] ]

Simpson had his first taste of first-class cricket as a slips fieldsman, having previously fielded on the boundary. Coming on as 12th man, Keith Miller casually pointed him to the slips, which in that era was against convention, as substitutes were expected to not field in close catching positions. He took two diving catches to establish his position in the cordon.

He was still ten days shy of his seventeenth birthday when he was selected to make his Sheffield Shield debut as a middle order batsman for New South Wales against Victoria in the 1952–53 season. He scored 44 and 8, without being dismissed in either innings, before scoring 69 in the next match against South Australia. Over the following two season, he played regularly in the New South Wales middle order, and scored 98 against the touring English cricket team in 1954–55. When Simpson was on 98, light drizzle began to fall and English captain Len Hutton decided to engage in mind games by ordering his men to leave the ground even though the umpires had not adjourned the match. When the visitors returned to the field, Simpson feared another rain delay would stop him reaching his century, so he charged English spinner Johnny Wardle and was stumped.

At the time, New South Wales were the dominant force in Australia, winning nine consecutive Shield titles.Fact|date=June 2008 Simpson was under pressure to hold his place in the team, so he moved to Western Australia at the end of the 1955–56 season. He changed professions from accounting to journalism, having been given a newspaper editorial post with the "Daily News".Perry, p. 236.]

Early international career

After a consistent debut season for his adopted state, Simpson was selected in an Australian side which toured New Zealand under Ian Craig in 1956–57. Australia's tour of England in 1956 was the third consecutive Ashes series loss and both captain and vice captain Ian Johnson and Keith Miller had retired. Australia was in a rebuilding phase and Test selection was at stake.Fact|date=June 2008

In the following season, Simpson was selected for the Test tour of South Africa in 1957–58. He scored 671 runs at 47.92 but his form subsided during the Tests. He made his debut against South Africa in the First Test at Johannesburg. He compiled 60 in the first innings before being trapped leg before wicket by Hugh Tayfield. He took three catches and scored 23 not out in the second innings. He struggled in the remaining four Tests, with only 53 more runs to end with 136 runs at 22.67 in the Tests. His catching form was exceptional, yielding 13 catches in the five Tests and playing a factor in his retention in the team. Unsatisfied with these performances, he sought the advice of vice-captain Neil Harvey, who advised him that he was playing too square on while defending on the back foot.

Simpson was overlooked for selection for the First Test at Brisbane against England during their 1958–59 tour to Australia. Norm O'Neill, who had scored 1,003 runs at 83.75 in the previous season, [Cashman, p. 229.] while Simpson was in South Africa.Perry, p. 237.] Peter Burge failed in the First Test, resulting in Simpson's recall for the Second Test at Melbourne. Simpson made a duck in his only innings and was subsequently omitted for the remainder of the series. At the time, Australia had three all rounders who were capable with the bat:Ken Mackay, Richie Benaud and Alan Davidson. This meant that Australia needed only five specialist batsmen and in the Fifth Test of the series, only four were used in order to accommodate an extra bowler. Simpson was facing heavy competition for a Test position.

In 1959, Simpson played a season in the Lancashire League as Accrington's professional player, receiving a 950-pound contract. He scored 1444 runs at 103.14, returning a better statistical analysis than Gary Sobers. Despite this, Simpson was not selected for the squad for the series against India and Pakistan on the 1959–60 tour of the Indian subcontinent.

Simpson returned to Australia, he had a productive period in the Sheffield Shield for Western Australia. On the advice of Harvey, he reinvented himself as an opening batsman in an attempt to exploit the opportunity opened by the retirement of Test opener Jimmy Burke. During the 1959–60 season, he scored 98 against Victoria, 236 not out (and 5/45 with his leg breaks) against New South Wales, 230 not out against Queensland, 79 against South Australia and 98 and 161 not out against Victoria. This yielded a total of 902 runs at 300.66. He was selected for a non-Test New Zealand. Playing as an opener, he scored 418 runs at 69.66 in four representative matches.

Consolidation

As a result of his strong domestic form, Simpson was recalled to the Test team for the 1960–61 home series against the West Indies, although he now played as an opener partnering Colin McDonald. He had a consistent series, scoring 449 runs at 49.44. Simpson figured prominently in the First Test at Brisbane, which was the first Tied Test in history. He scored his highest score to date, 92 in the first innings and took match figures of 3/43, in his first bowling display at Test level. He followed this with 49 and 27* as Australia took the series lead in the Second Test in Melbourne. After failing to pass 20 as the series was levelled in the Third Test, Simpson contributed 85 in a Fourth Test draw in Adelaide. Simpson saved his best performance for the deciding Test in Melbourne, scoring 75 in the first innings to complement match figures of 3/106.

Australia was set 258 for victory with the series posed at 1–1. Simpson's captain Richie Benaud instructed him to immediately attack West Indian spearhead Wes Hall at the start of run chase. Hall bowled at extreme pace and Simpson was aiming to seize the initiative. He struck four consecutive boundaries and took 18 runs from the first over, hooking and driving. Simpson reached 27 in 14 balls and Hall was withdrawn from the attack, resulting in an ovation from the crowd. Simpson's start enabled Australia to reach 1/57 at stumps before completing a two wicket victory, completing a 2–1 series win. Simpson scored 92, the top score for the match, and finished with 445 runs at 49.44 for the series. [http://statserver.cricket.org/guru?sdb=player;playerid=1060;class=testplayer;filter=basic;team=0;opposition=0;notopposition=0;season=0;homeaway=0;continent=0;country=0;notcountry=0;groundid=0;startdefault=1957-12-23;start=1957-12-23;enddefault=1978-05-03;end=1978-05-03;tourneyid=0;finals=0;daynight=0;toss=0;scheduledovers=0;scheduleddays=0;innings=0;result=0;followon=0;seriesresult=0;captain=0;keeper=0;dnp=0;recent=;viewtype=aro_list;runslow=;runshigh=;batposition=0;dismissal=0;bowposition=0;ballslow=;ballshigh=;bpof=0;overslow=;overshigh=;conclow=;conchigh=;wicketslow=;wicketshigh=;dismissalslow=;dismissalshigh=;caughtlow=;caughthigh=;caughttype=0;stumpedlow=;stumpedhigh=;csearch=;submit=1;.cgifields=viewtype Cricinfo - Statsguru - RB Simpson - Tests - Innings by innings list ] ]

He returned to his native state of New South Wales in 1960–61, after four seasons for Western Australia, in which he produced 2470 runs at 79.67.

During the 1961 tour to England, he began his celebrated opening partnership with Bill Lawry, when the Victorian broke into the Australian team. Initially, Simpson was moved into the middle-order so that Lawry could open with McDonald.Perry, p. 238.] Simpson started well on his return to the middle-order scoring 75 in Australia's only innings of the drawn First Test at Edgbaston. Simpson was unable to pass 20 in the next two Tests, which were shared. He was prominent in the Fourth Test when he started his pairing with Lawry at the top of the order at Old Trafford. An Australian victory would result in a 2–1 lead and the retention of the Ashes. After taking 4/23 in the English first innings, Perry, p. 239.] he scored 51 in the second innings in a century stand with Lawry—the first by either team in the seriesPollard, pp. 64–65.] —which allowed Australia to set a winning target on the last day. His Test series was otherwise unproductive, with 191 runs at 23.88 and seven wickets at 32.71.

Simpson started the 1962–63 season solidly, scoring twin half centuries in the drawn First Test in Brisbane. After Australia went 1–0 down in Melbourne, Simpson produced a match-winning all round performance in the Third Test in Sydney to level the series. On a dry surface where almost the entire square was devoid of grass, Simpson took his Test best innings haul of 5/57 before scoring 91 when Australia batted to help accumulate a first-innings lead. England were then dismissed in their second innings for?, leaving a victory target of just 65. Simpson made an aggressive unbeaten 34, with English captain Ted Dexter plundered for 27 runs in his three overs. A storm hit the ground and stayed for two days just after Australia reached the target, which would have washed out the match and saved England. [Benaud, p. 204.] Since the last two Tests were drawn, this was the difference between Australia retaining and losing the Ashes. He scored 71 in the Fourth Test and ended the series with 401 runs at 44.56 and eight wickets at 46.13.

Captaincy

New South Welshmen Neil Harvey and Alan Davidson retired at the end of the 1962–63 season,Cashman, pp. 73, 119.] with Simpson's being elevalated to the vice-captaincy of both NSW and Australia (under Richie Benaud) at the start of the 1963–64 season.Fact|date=May 2008 Playing for an Australian XI against the touring South Africans at Perth, Simpson and Benaud combined for a 237-run partnership in the second innings, with Simpson making 246.Fact|date=May 2008 The First Test against South Africa at Brisbane was drawn and is remembered for the no-balling of Ian Meckiff, which ended his career as Benaud refused to bowl him again. [Cashman, p. 211.] After the game, Benaud injured himself in a grade match so Simpson captained NSW for the first time and scored 135 against Victoria.Fact|date=June 2008

A few days later in the Second Test at Melbourne, with Benaud still absent, Simpson led Australia for the first time. He scored a duck and 55 not out, being at the crease as Australia scored the winning runs to take a 1–0 lead in the series. Benaud then informed the Board of Control that he would be retiring at season's end, so it was arranged for Benaud to return to the team and play under Simpson to give the latter experience for the forthcoming tour of England. Australia lost the Fourth Test, and the series finished 1–1. [Benaud pp. 208–211] Simpson scored half-centuries in both the Third and Fourth Tests and ended the series with 361 runs at 40.11 average. His combination with Lawry consistently propelled Australia to solid starts, posting at least 50 in each of their opening stands. AS a captain, Simpson was less willing to bowl, taking only two wickets for the series. During the season, he made his highest first-class score of 359, against Queensland. In just four innings for NSW, he hit 800 runs, including an undefeated 247 against Western Australia.

Despite his heavy scoring at first-class level, Simpson was yet to hit a Test century when he arrived with his team in England in 1964. He made 50 in the First Test at Trent Bridge, but did not pass 30 in the next two Tests. Australia led 1–0 after winning the Third Test at Leeds.

Arriving for the Fourth Test at Old Trafford, Australia required only to draw to retain the Ashes, because a win for England in the final Fifth Test would yield a 1–1 series draw.Perry, p. 233.] On a flat, batsman-friendly pitch, Simpson won the toss and elected to bat. Having scored more than 40 first-class centuries, he was still looking for his first Test ton. Simpson's plan was to bat as long as possible to ensure that defeat would be avoided and the Ashes retained. Simpson and Lawry gave Australia an ideal start with a solid opening partnership, which yielded 201 runs, before Lawry was run out for 106. Simpson then slowly progressed through the 90s before reaching his first Test century. Speaking of his relief at reaching the milestone, Simpson recalled "I don't know of any player who was on the international scene as long as I without scoring a century. I was feeling a bit silly about it by this stage."Perry, p. 234.] Simpson continued on his quest of batting England out of the game. Following the dismissal of Ian Redpath (19), Norm O'Neill (47) and Peter Burge (34), Brian Booth went about building the sixth-wicket partnership on the second day. Simpson combined in another double century stand, 219, before Booth was out for 98. Simpson was 265 at the close of play, and resumed Australia's innings. This time, he was in an aggressive mood, scoring a further 46 runs in 40 minutes before being dismissed for 311. Australia declared at 8/656. Simpson's 13-hour innings was the longest by an Australian at first-class level. He joined Don Bradman as the second Australian to have made a Test triple century in England.

Simpson's safety-first approach was severely criticised. The "Daily Mail" called it the "murder of Test cricket": at one stage, six journalists in the press box were seen to be sleeping while he was batting. Simpson defended his tactics, asserting that with a series lead, batting England out of the match was the best way to retain the Ashes. [ [http://content-aus.cricinfo.com/australia/content/story/233309.html Cricinfo - Eleven featherbed fixtures ] ]

The tactic paid off as the match ended in a high-scoring draws and the Ashes were retained.Perry, p. 235.] Another draw in the Fifth Test at The Oval ensured that Australia won the series 1–0. Despite a persistent thumb injury, Simpson scored 458 runs at 76.33 in the five Tests, and 1,714 runs (including five centuries) for the tour. Apart from their double century effort at Old Trafford, Simpson and Lawry passed 50 for the opening wicket on only one occasion.

Australia then made a brief tour of the subcontinent during their return voyage, playing three Tests against India and one against Pakistan. Simpson continued his consistent performances, scoring 292 runs at 48.67 with three half-centuries in a 1–1 drawn series against India. His best performance was at drawn Third Test at Eden Gardens in Calcutta where he scored 67 and 71 and took 4/45. On the spinning tracks of India, Simpson bowled himself more often, ending with six wickets at 25.17 as well as taking eight catches. At Karachi, Simpson struck 153 and 115 against Pakistan in a drawn Test to become the third captain to hit two centuries in the same Test. He ended the calendar year of 1964 with 1,381 runs, setting a world record.

In 1964–65, Simpson led Australia on a tour of the Caribbean, which was marred by controversies over umpiring standards and the legality of West Indian Charlie Griffith's bowling action. To make life more difficult, some of the grounds had no sightscreens, making it even harder to see the ball. Griffith also dragged his foot, bringing him around a metre closer to the batsman before releasing his balls at extreme pace. Simpson initially struggled against Griffith, failing to pass 30 in the first three Tests as Australia conceded a 0–2 lead. He scored only 87 in five innings, but had success with the ball, capturing 4/83 in the second innings of the Second Test at Trinidad. Adjusting his technique, Simpson scored 201 in the Fourth Test at Barbados, where he set an Australian record opening stand of 382 with Lawry. The match was drawn, but Australia managed a consolation win in the Fifth Test, to which Simpson contributed 72 and 34 not out. His average for 399 runs was 49.88 and he took 11 catches.

International twilight

Simpson's appearances during the 1965–66 Ashes series were intermittant. He missed the First Test due to a broken wrist,Perry, p. 240.] which ended in a draw under the leadership of Booth. He returned for the Second Test at Melbourne, scoring a half-century in both innings of a drawn match. Chickenpox forced him to miss the Third Test, which Australia lost by an innings.Perry, p. 245.] It was the first time that Australia had lost by an innings since 1956,Fact|date=June 2008 and the selectors responded by dropping four player including Booth. On his return for the Fourth Test at Adelaide, Simpson's 225 helped Australia claim a decisive innings victory to level the series. A draw in the Fifth Test allowed Australia to retain the Ashes. Simpson's figures were 355 runs at 88.75 average.

In 1966–67, Simpson's captaincy was widely criticised when Australia were soundly defeated 1–3 during the tour of South Africa. The series started well for Simpson as he scored 65, 48, 153 and 18 and took eight wickets in the first two Tests at Johannesburg and Cape Town. The series was level after the two matches. However, Australia's performances fell away thereafter, and Simpson 's 94 in the Third Test at Durban was his only other contribution above 40. For the second time, Simpson was ardent in his criticism of the local umpiring during a major tour.

During the 1967–68 series against India, Simpson's all-round performances were exceptional. He scored 55 and 103 in the First Test at Adelaide, then scored 109 and took 4/49 in the Second Test at Melbourne. Australia won both Tests, the second by an innings. After deciding that he would retired at the end of the season, Simpson was omitted for the Third Test so that other players could have international experience before the 1968 tour of England. Simpson returned to the team for the Fourth Test at Sydney in front of his home crowd. In his international farewell, he played under the captaincy of Lawry. Simpson recorded his best Test match figures of 3/39 and 5/99, and claimed five catches in another Australian victory. His final series yielded 294 runs (at 58.80 average), 13 wickets at 16.38 and seven catches.

Retirement and comeback

Retired from Test cricket, Simpson toured England in 1968 as a member of the press gallery and later worked in public relations. He looked after promotion and marketing earnings for cricketers in an era where they struggled to survive financially.Perry, p. 241.] He wrote a book titled "Captain's Story", in which he expressed his anger against bowlers that he believed to have bowled with an illegal action. His former team-mate Meckiff took issue with the contents and sued for libel. After five years of litigation, Simpson settled out of court and apologised to Meckiff.

When Test cricket was decimated by the breakaway World Series Cricket in 1977, Simpson made a comeback after a decade in retirement to captain New South Wales and Australia at the age of 41. All of Australia's first-choice players had defected apart from Jeff Thomson. Simpson had been playing for Western Suburbs in Sydney Grade Cricket but had not been playing at first-class level for a decade.

His first assignment was a five Test series against India, and Simpson began where he left off a decade earlier. He top-scored with 89 in the second innings of the First Test in Brisbane, before scoring 176 and 39 as Australia won in Perth. Simpson failed to pass double figures in the Third Test in Melbourne, and made 30s in both innings in Sydney, as the Indians won two consecutive Tests to level the series. Simpson responded with 100 and 51 in the deciding Fifth Test in Adelaide as Australia scraped to a 3–2 series victory. Simpson totalled 539 runs at 53.90 and took four wickets.

He then led Australia on a tour of the West Indies, then the strongest team in the world. He made only one half century, 67 in the Third Test in Georgetown, Guyana. It was the only Test that Australia won in a 3–1 series loss. He had a disappointing series scoring 199 runs at 22.11 and taking seven wickets at 52.28. Simpson wanted to continue playing Tests as Australia hosted Mike Brearley's Englishmen in 1978–79. His players wanted him to continue, but the Australian Cricket Board voted him out and installed Graham Yallop as the skipper. During his comeback, he had accumulated his 60th first-class century against Barbados during the Caribbean tour and become the oldest Australian to score a Test century on home soil.Perry, p. 242.]

Simpson retired after the tour at the age of 42. He had scored 5,317 runs for New South Wales at 53.17. In Sydney Grade Cricket, he scored 10,111 runs at 61.65 and took 186 wickets at 23.62.

Coaching career

In 1986, Simpson took over as coach of an Australian team which was young, demoralised and regarded as soft.Perry, p. 320.] A considerable turnover of players due to constant failure in the past eighteen months had seen the likes of Steve Waugh, David Boon, Dean Jones, Craig McDermott and Geoff Marsh all make their debuts under captain Allan Border. Prior to his first series, the tour of New Zealand, Australia had not won a series for two years. In that period they managed three wins, 11 losses and eight draws. His appointment bore little initial fruit. They won none of their eleven Tests in 1986, and lost three. By the end of the 1986–87 Australian season, Australia had only won two of their last 22 Tests, and none of their last 14. They had gone three years without winning a Test series.

The 1987 Cricket World Cup heralded the start of more prosperous times for Australian cricket. Rank outsiders, Australia defeated hosts India by one run in the opening match, and the New Zealand twice by three and 17 runs respectively. They capitalised on these hard fought wins to take five victories from their six round robin matches. They then defeated Pakistan by 18 runs after inducing a late collapse in the semifinal, and then claimed the title by seven runs with a similar late surge over England in the final. The success spilled into the Test arena, with the 1987–88 home season yielding saw Australia's first Test series victory for four years, with a 1–0 series victory over New Zealand. The season was completed with one-off Tests against England and Sri Lanka respectively, which ended in a draw and win respectively.

The 1988–89 season began with a tour of Pakistan. Australia were unable to end the 29 year streak without a win on Pakistani soil, 1–0. Simpson and Border were criticised for their outspoken criticism of the umpiring and doctored pitches.Perry, p. 323.] It was typical of the hard nosed approach they had brought to the team, with border being given the epithet "Captain Grumpy". [Cashman, p. 323.]

Simpson was unable to guide his team past the dominant West Indies, who won the toured Australia in 1988–89 and took a 3–1 Test series victory, but he was able to regain the Ashes with a 4–0 result on the 1989 tour, which also saw the Test debut of opener Mark Taylor, later to become captain under Simpson.Cashman, pp. 30, 291.]

The 1989–90 Australian season saw further growth, as the Australia played one, two and three Tests against New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Pakistan respectively. Simpson's men won a Test each against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, while the others were drawn. It was the first Australian season in six years where they were undefeated. The 1990–91 season saw another comfortable Ashes series win, 3–0. Early 1991 saw a five Test tour of the West Indies, the first since the heavy 3–0 defeat in 1983. Australia had improved, managing a 2–1 loss. [Christison, p. 35.] The 1991–92 Australian season saw a heavy 4–0 win in a five Test series over India, [Christison, p. 36.] but was marred by Australia's ignominious 1992 Cricket World Cup campaign on home soil.Fact|date=May 2008 The pre-tournament favourites, they were eliminated in the group stages, coming fifth. The 1992–93 saw another tour to Australia by the West Indies, the only team against which Simpson was yet to record a series victory as coach. After taking a 1–0 series lead into the Fourth Test, Simpson's team lost by one run, failing to seal the Frank Worrell Trophy. This left the series to be decided in the Fifth Test at the WACA Ground in Perth, the bounciest surface in world cricket. Australia was unable to regroup and succumbed to the pace of the West Indies. They collapsed from 1/58 in the first innings to be dismissed for 119, with Curtly Ambrose taking a spell of 7/1. Australia were crushed by an innings within three days, and victory over the Caribbeans again eluded them. 1993 saw a return to England for another Ashes tour. Australia won the series 4–1, and returned home to claim the Trans Tasman Trophy with a comfortable 2–0 victory over New Zealand at home in late 1993. This was followed by two drawn series, home and away against South Africa, the first competition between the teams post-apartheid. At the end of the 1993–94 Border retired. The four previous seasons had seen the team strengthen introduction of Mark Waugh, Shane Warne, Michael Slater and Glenn McGrath in each of the respective seasons. The Waugh brothers, along with Taylor, Slater and Boon were to be the core of Australia's batting lineup which was to re-establish the nation at the top of international cricket in the following years. Warne revived leg spin, believed to be the dying art, and was to become the leading wicket-taker in Test history, while McGrath was became the leading wicket-taking fast bowler in Test history.

With Taylor taking over as captain, Australia headed to Pakistan in late 1994. Despite having the ascendancy for most of the First Test, they lost by one wicket, and after two high scoring draws in which they held the initiative, Australia suffered a 1–0 series loss, still unable to win a match in Pakistan since 1959.Piesse, pp. 25–29.] Australia then took a 3–1 home Ashes series victory in 1994–95,Piesse, pp. 41–55.] and then a finally reclaimed the Frank Worrell Trophy with a 2–1 series win in the Caribbean in mid 1995, thereby establishing itself as the leading Test team in the world.Piesse, pp. 64–75.] After the match, Taylor took the winning cricket ball to Simpson, who at the time was recovering from a blood clot in his leg.

After 2–1 and 3–0 series win over Pakistan and Sri Lanka at home in 1995–96, [Piesse, pp. 225–226.] Simpson made his coaching swansong at the 1996 Cricket World Cup on the Indian subcontinent, [Piesse, pp. 96–98.] where Australia overcame a forfeit to Sri Lanka in the group phase due to a Tamil Tiger bombing. After narrow wins over New Zealand and the West Indies in the quarter and semifinals, they lost in the final to Sri Lanka.Piesse, pp. 95–96.]

Coaching legacy

Simpson inherited an Australian cricket team which had not won a series for three years, and had gone fourteen Tests without a victory. It was a team plagued by a lack of direction with unsettled personnel. His appointment saw Australia win the World Cup within one year, and steady improvement in Test results. Instilling a strong sense of discipline, higher fitness and levels of professionalism, Simpson along with Border had transformed it into one of the strongest teams in international cricket by the 1990s, and with the defeat of the West Indies in 1995, was regarded as the leading Test team in the world. The core group of players cultivated by Simpson went on to make strengthen Australia into the overwhelmingly dominant cricketing nation in the decade after his retirement. Under Taylor, Australia consolidated its position with a home series victory against the West Indies in 1996–97 and home and away wins over South Africa in 1997–98 before breaking a 39 year drought with victory in Pakistan. In 1999, Steve Waugh became captain on Taylor's retirement and in his five years as captain set a world record of 41 Test victories, including a world record of 16 consecutively. In 2004, Ricky Ponting, who made his international debut in Simpsons's last season, became captain and whitewashed Sri Lanka in an away series 3–0 and defeated India 2–1 on the subcontinent. It sealed Australia's first series win in India for 35 years, described as the "Final Frontier", and meant that Australia had defeated every other nation in each of their most recent home and away series against them. Since the 1999 Cricket World Cup, Australia has had an unbeaten streak of 28 World Cup matches and an unprecedented winning percentage of greater than 75% in Tests. With the retirement in 2007 of Warne and McGrath, the driving force between Australia's domination of the current era with more than 1,200 Test wickets between them, the generation of players established under Simpson's watch came to an end.

Later coaching career

He coached Lancashire for two years, ending in September 2001. [ [http://content-aus.cricinfo.com/australia/content/story/95950.html Cricinfo - Bobby Simpson to leave Lancashire ] ] Earlier, he had coached Leicestershire. His insistence on hard work was less successful in England, and was often speculated to be due to a difference in psychology in the two countries. [http://content-aus.cricinfo.com/australia/content/story/213804.html Cricinfo - Battles lost upstairs ] ]

In late 2004, Simpson accepted a three year contract to act as a cricket advisor to Rajasthan in the Ranji Trophy. He had served as a consultant to the Indian cricket team in the late 1990s. [ [http://content-aus.cricinfo.com/australia/content/story/218760.html Cricinfo - Simpson to work as cricket advisor with Rajasthan ] ]

In the early 2000s, Simpson was part of the International Cricket Council's committee for dealing with throwing. In 2004, he condemned the ICC, claiming that it was soft on illegal bowling actions and that the number of illegitimate bowlers was at an all time high. He asserted that officials were reluctant to crack down on high profile bowlers with dubious actions, saying that it was encouraging young players to mimic their actions. [ [http://content-aus.cricinfo.com/australia/content/story/136818.html Cricinfo - Simpson slams proliferation of chuckers ] ]

Simpson was a traditionalist coach, tending to emphasise the fundamentals of batting, bowling and fielding. He has criticised the 21 st century style of coaching, which has increasingly used computer technology, biomechanics and science to recommend playing techniques, stating that it had verged into "computers for computers' sake". [http://content-aus.cricinfo.com/australia/content/story/216914.html Cricinfo - The fundamentalist ] ] He also coached the Dutch cricket team, overseeing a successful ICC Trophy campaign which saw them qualify for the 2007 Cricket World Cup. Simpson called for Holland to be incorporated into the English domestic league so that they could gain more experience.

Notes

References

*cite book| title=Allan Border:The Man| first=Darren |last=Christison |year=1994 |publisher=Five Mile Press | isbn=0-86788-873-3
*cite book| title=Allan Border:The Records| first=Darren |last=Christison |year=1994 |publisher=Five Mile Press | isbn=0-86788-874-1
*cite book|first=Richie |last=Benaud |authorlink=Richie Benaud| year=1998| title=Anything But |publisher=Hodder & Stoughton |isbn=0-340-69641-6
*cite book|first=Ken| last=Piesse|authorlink=Ken Piesse |year=1999| title=The Taylor Years: Australian cricket 1994–99 |isbn=0-670-88829-X|publisher=Penguin Books Australia

External links

* [http://ind.cricinfo.com/db/PLAYERS/AUS/S/SIMPSON_RB_02001060/ Cricinfo Player Profile: Bob Simpson]

Persondata
NAME=Simpson, Robert Baddeley
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=Bob
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Cricketer
DATE OF BIRTH=3 February 1936
PLACE OF BIRTH=Sydney, Australia
DATE OF DEATH=
PLACE OF DEATH=


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