Colin Bland, the man who redefined fielding, passed away
He was suffering from a lengthy illness after which he breathed his last.
Published - Apr 16, 2018 7:46 pm | Updated - Apr 16, 2018 7:46 pm
Cricket is undoubtedly an intense battle between bat and ball. However, the fielders are catalysts and the unsung heroes who rarely get the credit. The South African team have produced several brilliant fieldsmen over the years, Colin Bland is one of them. The Rhodesia-born cricketer played in the 1960s and revolutionized the concept of fielding.
Recently, he passed away on Saturday in London at the age of 80 years and nine days as per reports in www.iol.co.za. He was suffering from a lengthy illness after which he breathed his last. Meanwhile, Ali Bacher, a former teammate of the deceased cricketer, reminisced the days when Bland used to work out of his skin in order to enhance his skills as a fielder.
Hours and hours of practice by Colin Bland
“Fielding for us used to just consist of 15 minutes of catching and throwing, but Colin would spend hours and hours practising by himself, chasing a ball, picking it up, turning and throwing at the stumps. We’d watch him and would think, ‘he was from a different planet’,” Bacher mentioned.
Meanwhile, Bacher also drew comparisons between Bland and Jonty Rhodes, who is also one of the greatest cricketers to have shown the art of fielding. “It was a case of come and watch Graeme Pollock bat and Colin field, he was amazing. Jonty used to huff and puff, almost bulldozer like in the field, Colin was very different, he was incredibly graceful, sheer poetry in motion. He was magic.” he added.
Apart from his athletic attributes on the field, he was a stupendous batsman as well. Bacher also brought his attributes of efficiently cutting, pulling and driving the leather. Bland made his debut against New Zealand at Durban back in December 1961. Thereafter, he played 21 Test matches, in which he scored 1669 runs at an average of 49.08 and finally retired after playing against Australia in 1966.