One of the most famous clips in the history of Test mnatch cricket is of Yorkshireman Brian Close being repeatedly targetted by the feared West Indies pace attack in the 1976 Test series.
In 1976, the 45-year-old Close was called up for the first three Tests in England’s five-Test series against the West Indies.
In the second innings of the third Test at Old Trafford – Close’s final Test innings – the Yorkshireman opened with the 39-year-old John Edrich.
Click on the link to see Brian Close being targetted by the 1976 West Indies pace attack
Michael Holding, Andy Roberts and Wayne Daniel, a trio of fast bowlers, pounded them for two-and-a-half hours in one of the most brutal displays of fast bowling ever seen.
Wisden wrote: “Close and Edrich defended their wickets and themselves against fast bowling, which was frequently too wild and hostile to be acceptable”.
Close himself was quoted as saying: “It must have been the worst wicket I experienced in Test cricket.
“The faster the West Indians bowled the worse it got because the balls broke through the surface of the wicket.
“They exploded and flew at you.”
With this innings of 20 runs off 108 balls in 162 minutes Close completed his Test career, under a vicious barrage, standing tall and taking the damage.
After that, both Close and Edrich were dropped for the fourth Test.