Bruce Reid

Cricket | Inducted: 2005

Born Osborne Park WA
14 March 1963

Bruce Reid, spindly, gangly and mild-mannered, was never the archetypal fast bowler. Yet he proved to be one of Western Australia's greatest new-ball bowlers and, statistically, the third best left-arm fast bowler in Australian Test cricket history befind Alan Davidson and Bill Johnston.

The slender 6ft 8in, skyscraper, with skinny arms and an apparent lackadaisical nature, showed tremendous promise as a teenager with the Bassendean-Bayswater first-grade team before making his first-class debut against Sri-Lanka at the age of 21. The following summer he was a key member of the Western Australian attack, and after only ten first-class appearances he was pitchforked into the Australian Test side to meet India at the Adelaide Oval in December 1985. Reid took four wickets for 113 off 53 overs as India amassed a total of 520 on a placid pitch. At the end of the three-match series, Reid was Australia's leading wicket-taker with 11 at 29.54.

The following summer Reid was again Australia's most successful bowler, with 20 wickets against Mike Gatting's Englishmen in an unsuccessful Ashes series. He broke down with a back strain in a Test against New Zealand in Adelaide in December 1987 before returning to international action in Karachi nine months later. With 14 wickets Reid was Australia's most successful bowler in the three-Test series against Pakistan but he again broke down with back problems in the final Test in Lahore.

Seven months later Reid underwent a complex operation to repair his damaged spine. A stainless steel, rectangular bar and about 50cm of twisted wire were attached to the base of his spine to hold two vertebrae together. Several months of rehabilitation followed and he returned after a 25-month, 18-Test gap, with a new-look, chest-on action, for the 1990-91 Ashes series in Australia. He took 27 wickets in four Tests, including his magnificent effort of 13 wickets in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.

Reid broke down in the Caribbean in April 1991 but returned in spectacular style in the Boxing Day Test against India at the MCG in December 1991 when he took six wickets in each innings. Sadly his back and various other injuries took their toll. After taking seven wickets in the first Test against the West Indies in Brisbane in November 1992 his shoulder injury flared. Surgery and rehabilitation followed but finally, a month before his 33rd birthday, the injuries forced Reid to retire.

A fiercely-determined competitor, Reid generated deceptively fast pace, bowled a fearsome bouncer, angled the ball away dangerously from the right-hander and was also able to swing it menacingly. Apart from his 113 Test wickets he took 63 in one-day internationals, including the first hat-trick by an Australian. In 96 first-class matches he took 350 wickets at an average of 26.63 runs per wicket.