Allan Lamb

Last updated

Allan Lamb
Personal information
Full nameAllan Joseph Lamb
Born (1954-06-20) 20 June 1954 (age 64)
Langebaanweg, Cape Province, Union of South Africa
NicknameLegga, Lambie
Height5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
BowlingRight-arm medium
Role Batsman
International information
National side
Test debut (cap  494)10–15 June 1982 v  India
Last Test18–21 June 1992 v  Pakistan
ODI debut (cap  64)2 June 1982 v  India
Last ODI24 August 1992 v  Pakistan
Domestic team information
1972/73–1992/93 Western Province
1978–1995 Northamptonshire
1987/88 Orange Free State
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC OD
Runs scored4656401032,50215,658
Batting average 36.0939.3148.9439.14
Top score142118294132*
Balls bowled30630532
Wickets 1082
Bowling average 23.0024.8714.50
5 wickets in innings 000
10 wickets in match000
Best bowling1/62/291/4
Catches/stumpings 75/–31/–371/–135/–
Source: Cricinfo, 30 November 2009

Allan Joseph Lamb (born 20 June 1954) is a former England cricketer and captain who played for the first-class teams of Western Province and Northamptonshire. He joined Northamptonshire so he could enhance his career and eventually play Test cricket for England, as his native country South Africa were to be banned from International cricket due to the apartheid régime. He retired in 1995 at the age of 41 and currently works for Sky Sports and other TV cricketing broadcasts as an analyst.

First-class cricket is an official classification of the highest-standard international or domestic matches in the sport of cricket. A first-class match is of three or more days' scheduled duration between two sides of eleven players each and is officially adjudged to be worthy of the status by virtue of the standard of the competing teams. Matches must allow for the teams to play two innings each although, in practice, a team might play only one innings or none at all.

Western Province is the team representing Western Cape province in domestic first-class cricket in South Africa. The team began playing in January 1890 and its main venue has always been Newlands in Cape Town.

Northamptonshire County Cricket Club english cricket team

Northamptonshire County Cricket Club is one of eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the historic county of Northamptonshire. Its limited overs team is called the Northants Steelbacks – a reference to the Northamptonshire Regiment which was formed in 1881. The name was supposedly a tribute to the soldiers' apparent indifference to the harsh discipline imposed by their officers. Founded in 1878, Northamptonshire (Northants) held minor status at first but was a prominent member of the early Minor Counties Championship during the 1890s. In 1905, the club joined the County Championship and was elevated to first-class status, since when the team have played in every top-level domestic cricket competition in England.


Personal life

Allan Lamb was born to British parents in Langebaanweg, Union of South Africa. His father Mickey was a journeyman club bowler and his mother Joan was an ardent spectator who never willingly missed a match. He attended Wynberg Boys' High School and Abbots College where he played cricket to an 'outstanding' level.

British people citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, British Overseas Territories, Crown Dependencies, and their descendants

The British people, or the Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the British Overseas Territories, and the Crown dependencies. British nationality law governs modern British citizenship and nationality, which can be acquired, for instance, by descent from British nationals. When used in a historical context, "British" or "Britons" can refer to the Celtic Britons, the indigenous inhabitants of Great Britain and Brittany, whose surviving members are the modern Welsh people, Cornish people, and Bretons. It may also refer to citizens of the former British Empire.

Langebaanweg Place in Western Cape, South Africa

Langebaanweg is a town on the southwest coast of South Africa, in Western Cape Province.

Union of South Africa state in southern Africa from 1910 to 1961, predecessor to the Republic of South Africa

The Union of South Africa is the historical predecessor to the present-day Republic of South Africa. It came into being on 31 May 1910 with the unification of the Cape Colony, the Natal Colony, the Transvaal, and the Orange River Colony. It included the territories that were formerly a part of the South African Republic and the Orange Free State.


Domestic cricket in South Africa

In January 1973, Allan made his first team debut at the age of 18 when he played for the Western Province in the Currie Cup. He batted at number three and made 59 and 36 against the Eastern Province. [1] He then had a two-year absence from the game and joined the National Service in the South African Air Force building airfields before returning to the club. Western Province then experimented with Lamb as an opener, at 5 and 6 but 4 was always his true and regular position in the batting order for Western Province. Lamb then had one year playing for Orange Free State, where he scored his highest first-class score of 294, before moving back to the Western Province for the rest of his South African domestic career.

Airport location where aircraft take off and land

An airport is an aerodrome with extended facilities, mostly for commercial air transport. Airports often have facilities to store and maintain aircraft, and a control tower. An airport consists of a landing area, which comprises an aerially accessible open space including at least one operationally active surface such as a runway for a plane to take off or a helipad, and often includes adjacent utility buildings such as control towers, hangars and terminals. Larger airports may have airport aprons, taxiway bridges, air traffic control centres, passenger facilities such as restaurants and lounges, and emergency services. In some countries, the US in particular, they also typically have one or more fixed-base operators, serving general aviation.

County cricket with Northamptonshire

Lamb came to England along with two young other cricketers, Peter Kirsten and Garth Le Roux, in search of fame and a county contract and it was Northamptonshire who signed Lamb as a relatively unknown overseas player in 1978. He went on to become a fixture in the side for 17 years, 13 as an England international, winning the 1980 Benson & Hedges Cup Final and the 1992 NatWest Trophy, and in his final season as captain in 1995 he very nearly took Northamptonshire to their first County Championship with 12 wins in their final 17 matches. [2]

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Peter Noel Kirsten is a former cricketer who represented South Africa in 12 Tests and 40 One Day Internationals from 1991 to 1994. He is the current coach of the Ugandan national side, having been appointed in August 2014.

Garth Stirling Le Roux in Kenilworth, Cape Town is a former South African first class cricketer. He went to Wynberg Boys High School, graduating in 1973.

In 2001, Northamptonshire honoured him by naming a room in the club's Indoor Centre 'The Allan Lamb Room'. [3] [4]

International for England

In 1970, South Africa were banned from international cricket indefinitely because of its government's policy of apartheid, an overtly racist policy, which led them to play only against the white nations and field only white players. This prevented Lamb from playing International cricket unless he emigrated to another nation. It was while in England that he was persuaded to play for them, having already qualified through his British-born parents, and his obvious talent led him to be selected for the national team only four years after moving there. He made his test debut against India in 1982, [5] and had also made his ODI debut a few days earlier.

Apartheid system of racial segregation based on skin colour common in South Africa

Apartheid was a system of institutionalised racial segregation that existed in South Africa and South West Africa (Namibia) from 1948 until the early 1990s. Apartheid was characterised by an authoritarian political culture based on baasskap, which encouraged state repression of Black African, Coloured, and Asian South Africans for the benefit of the nation's minority white population. The economic legacy and social effects of apartheid continue to the present day.

Test cricket the longest form of the sport of cricket; so called due to its long, grueling nature

Test cricket is the form of the sport of cricket with the longest match duration, and is considered the game's highest standard. Test matches are played between national representative teams that have been granted "Test status", as determined and conferred by the International Cricket Council (ICC). The term Test stems from the fact that the long, gruelling matches are mentally and physically testing. Two teams of 11 players each play a four-innings match, which may last up to five days. It is generally considered the most complete examination of a team's endurance and ability.

One Day International Form of limited overs cricket (white ball cricket), 50-over format

A One Day International (ODI) is a form of limited overs cricket, played between two teams with international status, in which each team faces a fixed number of overs, usually 50. The Cricket World Cup is played in this format, which is generally held every four years. One Day International matches are also called Limited Overs Internationals (LOI), although this generic term may also refer to Twenty20 International matches. They are major matches and considered the highest standard of List A, limited overs competition.

Lamb, who would go on to play a total of 201 international matches for England (79 Tests, 122 One-Day Internationals), was regarded as a fine player of fast bowling, but like a large number of South African-born batsmen he had a comparative weakness against spin, and his final average of 36 in Tests from over 4,500 runs did not do justice to his ability. Of his 14 Test hundreds, 6 of them came against the West Indies in 22 matches, when he came up against some of the game's finest fast bowlers from Joel Garner and Malcolm Marshall to Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose and Ian Bishop. However, only one of those centuries, in Jamaica in 1990, was in a winning cause, the other 5 seeing England fall to defeat.

Lamb was a member of two successful Ashes campaigns (in 1985 and 1986–87), but did not score a century in either series. In fact his sole Ashes century came at Headingley in 1989 in yet another losing cause. In 20 Ashes matches he scored 1138 runs at an average of over 34. He captained England in three Tests with disappointing results.

Lamb had considerably more success as a One-day player, averaging a shade under 40 with over 4,000 runs and being one of only fifteen Englishmen to play in over 100 matches. He played in two World Cup Finals in 1987 and 1992, but perhaps his most famous innings came in the 4th match of the 1987 Benson & Hedges World Series Cup against Australia, where England needed 17 runs to win off the final over to be bowled by Bruce Reid, who was a whole foot taller than him. Lamb hit Reid for 18 runs in 5 balls (2,4,6,2,4) to seal an improbable victory. [6] That over would be the subject of a cheeky banner used for the next match between the two sides which read "Can Bruce Reid please call Allan Lamb on 24624". England, who had earlier won the Ashes and the four-nation Perth Challenge, would go on to round off their triumphant tour by winning the tournament, which also featured the West Indies.

In 1992, during the ODI series against Pakistan, Lamb accused the Pakistani team of tampering with the cricket ball. Lamb was subsequently fined by the TCCB. [7] [8]


Since retiring from all forms of cricket in 1995, Lamb has published his autobiography called Silence of the Lamb, which he released in 1996. He has also done a lot of television work including working on the British TV channels Sky Sports and Channel 5 as an analyst. He alongside Ian Botham, have teamed up with English Beef and Lamb Executive to create an advertising campaign for Quality Standard Beef and Lamb in which they use their names, 'Beefy' and 'Lamby' and cartoon characteristics as a selling point. He also starred in the instant classic 'What Rats Won't Do' a film which also starred Samantha Bond, Charles Dance and Harry Enfield. [9] He was also a contestant on a special Cricketers Edition of The Weakest Link , where he was voted off in the second round.

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  1. Allan Lamb's debut CricketArchive. Retrieved 30 November 2009.
  2. "Northamptonshire's cult heroes". Cricinfo. November 2005.
  3. Room at the top for Allan Lamb Cricinfo. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
  4. Lamb honoured by county BBC Sport Retrieved 8 August 2011.
  5. England v India scorecard 1982 Cricinfo. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
  6. Australia v England scorecard 1987 Cricinfo. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
  7. Bad blood, balls and botches Cricinfo. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  8. Ward, Stephen (21 November 1993). "Are the Pakistani bowlers cheating?: After the 'ball tampering' case, a question remains unanswered". The Independent . Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  9. Memorable adverts featuring sports stars The Independent. Retrieved 30 November 2009.