Cricket Australia mourns the demise of Alan Davidson, Ashley Mallett

Alan Davidson was widely regarded as one of the world’s best left-arm fast bowler | Getty Images

Legendary Australian Test all-rounder Alan Davidson and spin great Ashley Mallett died within a day of each other. Cricket Australian (CA) on Saturday (October 30) mourned the death of the two legends.

While Davidson, who was known for his ability to swing the ball both ways, died peacefully at age 92 on Saturday morning, the off-spinner Mallett passed away on Friday (October 29) at 76 after a long battle with cancer.

Davidson was widely regarded as the world’s best left-arm fast bowler until the emergence of Pakistan’s Wasim Akram. He played 44 Test matches from 1953-63 and took 186 wickets at an average of 20.53, and scored 1,328 runs at 24.59 in the traditional format of the game.

Cricket Australia (CA) Chairman Richard Freudenstein said: “Alan was a colossal figure in our game. Not only as one of the finest players to have represented Australia and New South Wales, but for the positive influence, he exerted across the game as an administrator, mentor, and benefactor.”

Ashley Mallett remain Australia's one of the best off-spinners | Getty Images

Meanwhile, Mallett played 38 Tests and took 132 wickets at an average of 29.84. He started his career against England in 1968 and finishing also against them in 1980. He is behind only Nathan Lyon (399 wickets) and Hugh Trumble (141) as Australia’s most successful test off-spinners.

Later, the legend spent 33 years as president of Cricket NSW, 20 years as a Trustee of the Sydney Cricket Ground, and five years as an Australian Test selector between 1979 and 84.

Freudenstein said: “Ashley Mallett was a wonderful player, admired journalist, and highly acclaimed author. He played a significant part in Australian cricket not only as a player but as a prolific storyteller who has preserved the memories of some of the game’s greatest and moments in time for people to enjoy through the ages.”

Noteworthy, Mallett wrote numerous books, including biographies of batting great Victor Trumper and fellow spin wizard Clarrie Grimmett.