Almanac Cricket: Tim May

 

 

Tim May currently lives in Texas. Originally I intended to email Tim some questions and then use his answers as notes for an article but his replies contained just so much of his famous dry sense of humour and, as expected, took the absolute mickey out of himself that it would have been criminal not to print it in full.

 

Parents and siblings

Mary and Brian May (parents) – Now both eighty+ years of age and still going strong, they live in Burnside. I have a sister Annabelle who lives in Melbourne with her husband Frank.

 

Schools attended

Burnside Demonstration School – Grades 1 to 5
Prince Alfred College – Grades 6 -12

 

Earliest influences

There were a few but none greater than my Dad. Brian had me out the back at every opportunity playing football or cricket. He was an SANFL umpire for a number of years, so was a frustrated sportsman. He used to bowl these shitty little round-arm leg spinners to me which were money for jam. His batting was equally or even more crappy, but that gave me hope that I could bowl okay.

 

It was Dad who convinced me to bowl off spin at an early age. He said that everyone wanted to bowl fast and that I had a better chance of success bowling my off spin. For one of the only times in his life he was right.

 

He was tireless in his support and the sacrifices that he made for me to advance my cricket career. He and mum never missed a game that I played in Adelaide. I don’t think they actually missed a ball I bowled – ever! They never critiqued me, only praised me when I did well and picked me up when I played poorly.

 

Other great influences were Barry Jarman (his enthusiasm for the game was pure motivation), Chester Bennett (my coach at PAC who was just the sweetest man and most astute coach I ever had) and Ashley Mallett who was always on hand to keep me in check with the technical and ‘mind’ aspects of off spin bowling.

 

Earliest sporting memories both footy and cricket

As with most of the kids back in the day, I played footy and cricket.

 

I remember my first game of footy. I was in Grade 4 and I was picked for the Burnside Demonstration School Grade 7 team. Everyone seemed like giants to me. I was petrified.

 

I didn’t have any black footy shorts, so Mum made me wear a pair of navy blue corduroy shorts. Great, so now  I was petrified and totally bloody embarrassed.

 

I managed to get some black shorts eventually, but the feeling of being petrified never left me for my whole career which culminated in me playing for the Norwood Under 17s.

 

I played centre half-forward for the ‘Legs. We were a team of midgets. I only lasted a couple of matches before John Gallagher delivered a crap pass over my head -I was a very fast lead. Doubling back to follow the flight of the ball, I managed to tear basically everything in my knee. No more football after that. I have had 14 knee operations – all because of that crap kick from Gallagher.

 

Cricket-wise, I played at Burnside Demonstration School. I bowled medium pace then had some success as a bowler. In Grade 5 I took 9 for 4 against some bunch of losers and I got my photo in the local rag, The Messenger with, strangely enough, a story by Ashley Mallett who worked for The Messenger at that time.

 

After that I went the normal route for a cricketer back then – Primary School team, PAC under age ,and First X1 teams, Grade Cricket for Kensington and Adelaide University, and then representative teams for SA and, later, I was fortunate enough to play for Australia.

 

A little known fact is that I captained the State Under 17s, State Under 19s and South Australia, even though I couldn’t lead an army of ants to a sugar bowl!

 

District debut

I made my District ‘A’ Grade debut for Adelaide University once I left school. In those days you had to play for Uni if you went to the University. I loved my time there – so much fun and so many unique characters.

 

I played for Kensington ‘A’ grade once I completed Uni and had as much fun as I had at Adel Uni. It was great to go ‘home’ to Kensington, the place I used to go every weekend as a little kid to watch my heroes, ‘Crewy’’ Glover, ‘Bunger’ Hurn, ‘Doc’ Oaten. As a boy, I also operated the scoreboard there for the reward of one can of coke every weekend.

 

Kensington was, and still is, a wonderful club full of wonderful people. And that’s what makes a club, the people. Even though I was lucky enough to play in a couple of premierships with Kensy, my greatest memories of the club are its characters. Guys that I grew up with such as Parkinson, Brins, Riz, Rumbles, Hendo, Nuggett, Ricey and Pitto, just to name a few. We had so much fun on and off the field – best club in Australia – I miss those times and now I am living in the States, I can’t wait to get back there some day. I owe the club a lot.

 

Shield debut, Shield highlights, winning the Shield memories

I debuted in 1984/85 (I think) against a full strength New South Wales team. I didn’t do too well – I took about 0/90 odd in the first innings, and then 1 for not many in the second innings. I didn’t exactly burst onto the scene.

 

I missed most of that year with a further knee operation but returned to play the last game against Queensland where I took a five for in the second innings. Then I started to think that this Sheffield Shield stuff might to be my liking.

 

I played for about ten or eleven years for SA, took a few wickets here and there, and even won the Sheffield Shield Player of the Year one year. Tony Greig presented me with the Golden Goblets, which I still have. These days, the cleaning lady puts all our pens, spare coins, golf tees etc in them.

 

My biggest thrill was winning the Shield in my last Shield Game. For a guy that played for so long not to have the ultimate success of winning one, this was a feat to be celebrated. I went hard at it for four days straight. I them hopped on a plane to go to the US – the bloke next to me on the plane, looked at me and said jokingly, “You look and smell like you have been on the piss for a week.” I just looked at him and said, “Correct”.

 

Test debut, 1st Test wicket, memories of the game.

John Wright was my first wicket, caught in close if I remember correctly. Only problem was he didn’t hit it! I did, however, have Andrew Jones caught in close much earlier – the ump gave him not out and he went on to make over 150.

 

Career highlights, Tour of England, Bowling with S K Warne

Highlights were winning the World Cup in 1987 in Calcutta on my first tour, and both Ashes Tours in 1989 and 1993. The Ashes really are something special, and I was fortunate to ‘earn my keep’ by taking over 20 wickets in the 1993 tour, after the selectors overlooked me for the First Test.

 

I bowled in tandem with the ‘King’, Shane Warne – that was fun just watching him confuse the hell out of the English guys. I suspect that most of my wickets were as a result of bowling the other end to Warnie – they were so mentally drained after surviving a Warne over, that anyone who bowled the other end couldn’t help but to get a few scalps.

 

1-Day game highlights?

Winning the World Cup on my first tour – things went downhill pretty sharply after that.

 

Your career having to be a stock bowler for SA – how much did that hurt your career?

I am not sure it hurt my career being a stock bowler – you had plenty of balls to bowl so you have plenty of opportunities to take wickets.

 

I loved bowling at Adelaide Oval. There was nothing better than walking out onto the Adelaide Oval on a hot Sunday morning, the bells from the church ringing, the smell of the onions cooking from the Hamburger Truck – wouldn’t swap it for the world.

 

It was always a bit tough bowling in the first innings there – the ball tended to skid onto the bat too much, but as the game went on and the pitch started to grow tired, it was the best place in the world to bowl off spin – great bounce and turn at pace, nothing could suit a spinner more.

 

Ferris Bueller, leaving the tickets at the gate. How did the fascination start for you and Steve Waugh?

I have no idea when this started. I just loved the movie – even found it in a video rental place in Karachi!

 

Steve Waugh and I then commandeered the movie room at the Beach Luxury Hotel (which was neither near the beach nor luxurious) and played it for hours on end, much to the bewilderment of the Pakistani hotel guests who were watching ‘Casablanca’ before we swapped the movies over.

 

Ferris was so cool – I was and am not cool. I adored him. It just seemed natural to leave 2 tickets for every match that I played across the world for Ferris.

 

All my mates knew this and if they got the urge to come to the ground they always knew they had a ticket waiting for them under the name of Ferris Bueller.

 

Characters you played with and any particular funny moments

Cricket attracts characters. It’s such a long game (4 and 5 days stuff), and you spend so much time away from home, you need the personalities to keep you amused and in good spirits.

 

Big Merv, Damien Fleming, Carl Rackemann, Steve Waugh, David Boon. Steve Waugh was my roommate on tour before Bob Simpson banned us from rooming together. Steve has a very dry sense of humour. These blokes were all hilarious in their own way and kept life on tour bearable.

 

But probably the funniest bloke I played with was Kensington legend Sam Parkinson. Just bloody hilarious – so many stories starred Porkinson I really can’t single out any particular episode. But, if you know Sam, I am sure that you would agree that he is a classic.

 

Rumour has it that you wrote to The Sunday Mail nominating little red head Jack Gallagher as your favourite player

Yes, I did – Gags and I went under the name of Patrick McHunt in the possum pages. We made up lousy jokes, poems and eventually got enough ‘possum points’ to be awarded a bike! We were all at university so we couldn’t claim our prize – as our alias Patrick was only 10 years old.

 

You support Norwood

Norwood football club was my passion. I remember rushing out to the front lawn every Friday to see the ins and outs of the team. I went with Dad to the football most games when I was a kid. They sucked for a long while but that didn’t dampen my passion for the club.

As I grew older I spent an inordinate amount of time in the Redlegs club trying to getting up close to my real heroes.

For every home game, my Norwood mates and I would go to the Members’ lunch at the Redlegs club and then drift off to our regular position under the scoreboard to barrack for a hopeful victory – then back to the club for more drinks and then a couple more for good luck.

In 1975 I was fortunate enough to go to the Grand Final and see us win the premiership over Glenelg at Football Park. Don’t think I have ever been that happy.

I became friends with a number of the guys who were regular stars – Phil and John Gallagher (albeit a shit kick), Duncan Fosdike , Justin Scanlon, Rick Neagle, Bruce Winter, ‘Tubby’ Turbill, Macca, John Hall and a bunch of others.

I still follow the legs religiously from over here in the States. Good luck to Jade and the boys in 2022.

 

What exactly did you study and what are your qualifications?

Bachelor of Economics and then later qualified as a Chartered Accountant.

 

Inaugural CEO of the ACA – What did the role entail?

In 1996 when I stopped playing, I was approached by the current players to establish a Players Association with the principal aim of getting a more equitable share of the game’s revenues and ripping up the master/slave player contracts and construct newer, fairer terms of employment for first class cricketers.

 

It was a bun fight. As usual, the Governing bodies do everything they can (legal and not so legal) to stop you forming an effective player association and, after about 12 months of public bickering, we managed to sort out an agreement that set the foundations which still stand today.

 

Looking back on it, it was probably my best contribution to the game.

 

I was then charged to help facilitate the establishment of Player Associations across the world – with an aim to ensure that not only players within Australia had equitable terms of employment, but also our rivals throughout the world.

 

It was important, as control of cricket and decisions that affected players across the world were shifting to the ICC, to establish a common link between different countries players, so that we could add leverage to our positions with ICC.

 

It was a long, frustrating but rewarding journey, which I continued for a number of years after I moved to Austin. Texas.

 

In the end the loneliness of travelling the world alone, coupled with the frustration of dealing with the political beast that ICC wore me down and I retired content with what I had achieved.

 

I have not stepped completely away from cricket – I still a committee member of the MCC’s World Cricket Committee and the ICC’s Cricket Committee.

 

Tsunami Appeal game

It was my little brainchild but the bulk of the kudos should be reserved for the Michael Brown, James Sutherland and the wonderful staff at Cricket Australia who were just magnificent in putting this together. It’s incredible what you can achieve when the Governing Body and Players work together!

 

Bob Neil – Shane Warne – Tim May the Spin triplets

Nothing much to add to that! Loved seeing the Bob Neill banners across the World. It kept reminding me of the great times and personalities of the Adelaide University Cricket Club.

 

(Rulebook: I won tickets to a book launch and a copy of Steve Waugh’s ‘95 book on the WI tour. It was at Players Bar which Tim and Chris McDermott were partners in. I said to Steve that I had only one complaint about the book – it wasn’t dedicated it to Bob Neil! Tim was working down the other end of the bar. Steve yelled, ‘Hey, Maysie, this guy knows Bob Neil.’  Maysie looked up and goes, “Yeah, he’s one of the ringleaders.”Steve shook my hand like I’m the celebrity! The moral of the story: ‘The Legend’ delivers yet again. Another memorable moment at Players Bar was New Years Eve 1993. Geoff Wilson, Emma and myself are lined up to get in, Tim sees us in the line and comes up and says “follow me”. He goes to Geoff “geez Malcolm’s batting above his weight with his girlfriend”, Willy replies “they’re married
Maysie” to which Tim replied “bloody hell there’s hope for every bloke in the world”, no argument from me, Tim was and is totally correct!)

 

Partner’s name and children

My wife is Katie May, she’s from USA. She’s a ripper and far too smart for me. She was part of the initial Executive team at Seek.com.au , founded Kidspot.com.au before selling it to Rupert Murdoch. She rescued a failing Australian business called Shipping Easy before taking it to the US and subsequently sold it to a public company over here. She is now retired but keeps herself busy by sitting on about 6 Boards – spanning the globe, UAE, Canada, Australia and USA. I am very proud of her.

 

I have 4 kids – they all live in Austin, a wonderful city – and sister city of Adelaide.

Georgie – married, with one little girl Poppy and one on the way;

Ben – married with one boy Lachie – and veteran of the Austin Crows Australian Rules Football Club – only gets a game because I am President. We have won 6 National Championships over the past 8 years. Success begins at the top!;

Sophie – just completed college, University of Virginia, currently a nurse in maternity and delivery;

Sarah – currently studying Business and heavy drinking at University of Georgia.

 


Sarah, Sophie and Georgie

 

Hardest batsman to bowl to

Martin Crowe – He gave me the impression that he could hit any ball I bowled anywhere he wanted.


Best bowler faced

I found them all pretty hard but Wasim Akram on his day was pretty much impossible for a scrubber like me. Patrick Patterson scared the living crap out of me.

 

Favourite cricketer

Alan Border/Steve Waugh – both just so tough with a ‘never say die’ attitude

 

Favourite ground

Adelaide Oval – Just a wonderful place to play cricket. The lunch of chicken with plum sauce probably kept me playing a couple more years!

Lords – So special!

Adelaide Oval s a social test match – Just a wonderful place to go and not watch the cricket. I remember when I was an up-and-coming cricketer having a few glasses on the tennis courts out the back of the old Members Stand, looking at the players’ changerooms, thinking, ‘I hope I can be there one day’. And then when I was selected for Australia to play the Adelaide Test, looking down at all the Members on the tennis court wishing I was down there having a few glasses!

What is life like for you now

I retired about seven years ago and now my days consist of daily walks with my two dogs, helping some young addicts trying to overcome their issues, playing a truck load of golf (got my handicap down to 0.8), babysitting my wonderful grandchildren and traveling with my wife Katie.

 

About 20 months ago, I made a decision at the commencement of the pandemic to quit alcohol. I certainly wasn’t an habitual drinker but would definitely go overboard from time to time. I found myself becoming more reclusive, moody and depressed. After being diagnosed with a leaking aortic valve in my heart and a scary incident with alcohol, I decided enough was enough. I booked myself into rehab!

 

The 30 days I spent there was eye-opening for me. I bought into the program 100% and since then have never had an urge to drink.

 

As part of the program, I was required to go to AA meetings for 90 consecutive days. I will never forget my first meeting when a guy who had been sober for 7 years said that since he gave up alcohol he has found true happiness – the rest of the group all agreed. I thought they were full of shit. I had so much fun drinking, and drinking gave me the confidence that I lacked naturally.

 

I am here today to say they were not full of shit –  I have never been happier, never felt so confident and never felt so clear in thought. And my golf game is about 10 shots better. It’s the most important thing I have done in my life.

 

I know that not all addictive people have found it as easy as me to kick their habit. I am extremely fortunate to have a wonderful family to support me, not too many worries in life and am at an age where my mates are all scaling down their Saturday nights.

 

I love helping a couple of the younger guys and women who I went to treatment with. It is frustrating, it’s rewarding and it’s a hard slog with many setbacks for these guys but, hopefully, I can do more good than bad for them – and get them living a full life

 

Life has never been more rewarding for me.

 

Rulebook’s Summary:

Tim was technically as perfect an off spinner as there has been in the history of the game, imo. Injuries did hold him back. Deep down I’m not sure that Tim had as much self-belief in himself as he should have as he really was an incredible bowler.

 

I understand his thoughts that it didn’t hurt his career being the stock bowler for South Australia and that you can’t take wickets unless your bowling. I think having to bowl on that very, very flat Adelaide Oval pitch for the first couple of days of a game where if he took 3 for 120 odd off 40 or so overs was a bloody good return through the sheer amount of volume of bowling. He often developed shocking calluses which certainly didn’t help! I certainly value Tim’s ability to block up an end big time!

 

There are 2 games in Tim’s career where it felt that he was going to take a wicket every ball. In his spell against Tasmania in a McDonalds Cup game in 86-87, Tim took 4-10 at Football Park! A group of Payneham guys went down to watch and I remember it vividly. It certainly lived up to its nickname of,Pluerisy Park –  it was freezing !

 

Then, of course, the individual highlight game of Tim’s career was that Test match against the WI in 92-93. Tim took 7 for 50 for the game and then his brilliant rearguard innings of 42 no got us so close, losing by an agonizing one run! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cYQEaR0bHcw

 

I feel that, overall, Tim underachieved with the bat – he was technically sound and that particular innings did show Tim’s real ability with the blade on a uncharacteristic sporting Adelaide Oval pitch with unusual cloud cover.

 

Tim has made a sensational contribution to the game as a player and administrator .

 

We all salute you! THANK YOU, TBA May!

 

Comments by Steve Waugh: 

Tim May was my all-time favourite touring teammate. He was an underrated talent with the ball, often in the shadow of Shane Warne. But his guile and street smarts made him world class more often than not. We celebrated a World Cup victory and Ashes triumphs.

It was, however, off the field where we formed a lifelong bond through our love of a practical joke and sense of adventure. Many a day off on tour was spent in the search to cause chaos and to have a laugh often at our own expense.  Purchasing 11 sets of oversized ears at a Yorkshire market to spring a surprise on Craig McDermott in a county match as he ran into bowl in recognition of his generous wing nuts lightened the mood of a match that had lost its way. Wandering the shopping malls in Johannesburg to purchase the team baby  ‘chips’ doll to present to the player who messed up during each week of the tour provided endless laughs for the team. Miraculously tracking down a copy of Maysies favourite movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in the markets of Faisalabad in Pakistan so we could enjoy a laugh during an extremely challenging tour was as close to a miracle as any man could get. Downing way too many Singapore slings in a Mumbai hotel to ease the tension on a  tough tour led to us both paying a heavy price on the following day’s team flight to our next destination.

It must be said that he did have his faults as a roomie – primarily his gold medal snoring capabilities which were exacerbated by the loss of his favourite yellow Puma t-shirt in the hotel laundry. I had many an evening staring at the ceiling as an orchestra of instruments reverberated around the room.

We played in an era of long tours, poorly planned itineraries and mixed standards of accommodation but, no matter what the circumstance, we always managed to have a good laugh and for that I’ll be forever grateful to my great mate.

 

To see the full statistics of Tim May’s career click here.

 

Photos courtesy of Tim May.

 

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Comments

  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    ‘Book, you continue to aMayze me with these stories. Well played.

  2. BILL DRODGE says

    Good read Malcolm. Well delivered from over the wicket!

  3. Well done once again Malcolm, what a splendid read. I well remember my late father, who was a pretty handy leg or off spinner in his day, rate Tim’s bowling rather high. He could bat a bit too. Learning that Tim loves the Redlegs has enhanced my opinion of him. Sometime later, when things quieten down here and before the 2nd test, I intend to re read this profile. I bet I’ll pick up some thing s I missed on the first reading.

  4. Another cracking article Rulebook.
    Sounds like a ripping bloke!!
    Warne and May bowling in tandem – Magic
    Legend

  5. GreT insight to TBA May I remember after the 82 GF sitting with Maysy and a fan came up for autographs I duly signed my name and Tim signed as David Payne and also during a Kensy vs Norwood match Tim bowling to Peter Laughlan he turned to me in slip to say “that ball is fizzing as it is coming down” such was Tim’s skill, by the way Pete did drop kick him over the club rooms that match.

  6. Great Read Book.
    Some valuable insights there!

    I ran into Tim May at a Party once, of course started talking Cricket, then, more specifically, Off-Spin, which, inevitably, ended up with his showing me his calluses – Wow.
    Big cracks of pain!

    Ripping bloke though!

    Arson Garson.

  7. Rob O Shannassy says

    Great character and one of our greatest off-spin bowlers. Pleasure to captain him is his first years of A grade at Adelaide Uni. Should have played earlier than he did but was still recovering from his serious knee injury however made a comeback late in the 1979-80 season and played in a C grade premiership. One of the first picked in the As in 1980-80 because he had the goods as a classic off-spinner that had all the tricks. He challenged the batsman with flight and I can’t recall him ever going defensive with darts. Above the eyes, drift, loop, drop, arm ball, length are some of the descriptive words that come to mind. Was absolute fun batting in the nets to him – always a contest – use your feet or perish!

  8. How much impact did only getting paid one can of coke per weekend for scoreboard duties as a kid influence TBA May at the ACA?

    May bowling in tandem with SKW was always a treat.

    Funny, insight, curious. Well done ‘Book.

  9. One of your best Rulebook! TBA May on Parkinson Oval was a must see for me as a kid. Every U14 net bowler would always try to copy his body rotation until he got smashed into the creek. I bet he still has nightmares about that WI test in Adelaide.

  10. What a read, another great article! Good stuff Malcolm

  11. Dave Arthur says

    Might not be a popular theory but I reckon Tim May contributed a lot to Shane Warne’s early success – I remember particularly the 93 Ashes (I think!) where Tim kept it so tight at one end and Warnie (or a quick) cleaned up at the other. He also took a severe sledge from my sister in law at the Mirage Golf Club in Port Douglas – we’d caught his group on one of the tee’s and she said “I hope you play golf better than you bowl!” .. I think it was a mangled compliment but I nearly fell over!

  12. What an enjoyable read. TBA May was a great cricketer, larrikin and his work to create player associations has truly put professional cricket in good stead for many years to come.

  13. Brad Wigney says

    Great insight from Tim May and well written Malcolm

    Superb cricketer, team mate, leader, spokesperson and friend.

    As a former teammate Maysie (In his own way) was always there for you and a great support. Had an uncanny sense of any self doubt in a player starting out, would tap you on the shoulder and say we’re going for beer/meal, cricket was rarely spoken about but rest assured there was laughter. In a strange way it was a feeling of acceptance and comforting support from a legend to know you’re good enough to be there.

    I heard a qoute recently saying ‘ Never think you’re going as bad as you think nor as good as you think’. I’m sure I’ve heard Maysie say something very similar.

    Used to shite myself early days fielding at mid-on when Maysie bowled. He would set batters up so well only to have a big giraffe undo his plan with a missfield . Learnt to relax pretty quickly after he informed me he missfielded once.

    Current and past players over the world will be forever indebted to Tim for the tireless work he did early days in the set up of the ACA and assistance with other player associations.

    Keep up the great articles Malcom and thoroughly enjoyed reading your book

  14. John Griffen says

    I don’t even like cricket that much –
    But after reading this article I might change my mind !
    With Simmo now he reckons you should get a job with mainstream media as a guest journo
    Fair praise – very entertaining, well done
    Tim May what a character

  15. Thanks Malcolm, I’ll always remember his magnificent duck off 52 balls in the 96 Shield final and walking off to a standing ovation

  16. By coincidence, I also got my Economics degree at Adelaide Uni, a few years before Tim. He is without doubt, the funniest Economics graduate on the planet, but then I guess the rest of us are not hard to beat.

  17. One of your best Book – loved it!

  18. Cracker Malcolm. Good man is Tim. As we have read is sense of humor is something else. Had know idea he has been living the high life in the states.

  19. Scott Alfred says

    I remember Tim inviting me to after play drinks at a pub in Canterbury, tour game v Kent, and wasn’t sure if I fit in with the group. I was actually quite shy. Tim made it so easy to relax and enjoy the moment. Being his hilarious self as usual. Way up in my cricketing highlights was Saturday nights at Parkinson between A grade and U23 games on Sunday. Camping in the club for the night with Sam taking over the show. I have no idea how we were able to take the field on Sundays. But we recovered well.

  20. Steven Moody says

    Great read Malcolm, Nothing more reassuring than to read about a completely unassuming sportsman as there are plenty of the opposite.
    Sounds like a ripping bloke. Well done.

  21. Tony Foster says

    A very good read Malcolm. I first met Tim when we both played for Kensington in the January Schoolboy Competition back in the 1970’s. He was great company and hilarious. I couldn’t believe how funny he was. He dubbed my last game as the “Tony Testimonial” which was against Port Adelaide at Alberton Oval and was a memorable game for me. I wonder if Maysie remembers his exploits at the Kensington DCC Test Match cabarets in the marquee out on Parkinson Oval? Terrific to read how contented he is with life and that Mary and Brian are going well. Lovely people.

  22. Jeff Milton says

    Great insight into Tim May. He did well to play so much Test cricket when most times Australia only play one spinner and his career clashed with that of Shane Warne, Economics graduate from Adel Uni, Chartered Accountant, Norwood supporter and bowled off spin. What a combination. So good that you showed his sense of humor in his words.

  23. Malcolm I’m certainly biased when it comes to assessment of SA cricketers, but Tim May was one of the very best. High class consistency, yet cricket, as important as it was/is was always put into the correct perspective by Tim May. ‘Life is far too short to be serious’ is not a bad adage to describe him on one page, yet his efforts on the field for his team were always top shelf. I have never had the pleasure of meeting Tim, but proud to say, one of the best. Great story Malcolm.

  24. Greg Robins says

    Mal, I distinctly remember being at Adelaide Oval with a few workmates and Tim May was fielding on the eastern boundary. Knowing he was a passionate Norwood man I waited for a lull in the crowd and yelled out ” Go the Redlegs Timmy” to which he turned around and gave us this funny look which cracked the crowd up. He was a great bowler and seemed to never get ruffled in tough situations. A favourite player of mine, no doubt.

  25. Tim sounds the same as he always did! Great writing Tim and Rulebook and Steve Waugh!

  26. David Jenkins says

    A great read, Malcolm, and I imagine an evening spent in Tim’s company might be very entertaining. At a dinner in Sydney (at Luna Park, if memory serves me) years ago to celebrate all those who had played ODIs for Australia, I asked him to sign a book on Test cricket at Adelaide Oval. It was a large ‘coffee table’ book which, upon being produced, caused Tim to ask, ‘That thing must weigh a ton, what are lugging that around for?’ The answer, ‘Because I need you to sign it, Tim’, didn’t seem to be a good enough reason judging by the bemused look on his face.
    .
    Speaking of signatures, while the Tim May autograph may well be one of the most recognizable in world cricket, that is largely because it is the only autograph I have seen which would not look out of place as a piece of graffiti on a wall in China. It only has six letters, all of them with ‘straight lines’ and yet I defy anyone who has never seen it before to identify it. I always assumed it was because of May’s renowned sense of humour…..either that or PAC didn’t teach kids to write.

  27. Luke Reynolds says

    Rulebook, in my opinion you are spot on with your view of May as being as technically as perfect an off spinner as there has been in the history of the game. As a young offie myself in the early 90’s I tried to replicate his action but it wasn’t easy and didn’t suit me.

    He was a joy to watch bowl in those years but never more so than the ’93 Ashes where his mix of big off breaks, top spin and arm balls was absolute finger spin perfection. Despite what he said I reckon May might have contributed to a few of Warnie’s wickets as well in that series.

    Very entertaining and funny read!

  28. Really enjoyed this read RB. Interesting bloke T May. Very good bowler. He was always trying to get the batsman out, which I liked.

  29. Great that you have allowed his story to be told by himself in this instance – it gives us a real insight into his humour and perspective! Well done again mate!

  30. Peter Flynn says

    The Definitive TBA May.

  31. Brilliant stuff, RB.

  32. Oh this is outstanding, Rulebook.
    Well played TBA May.

  33. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Swish in terms of a Tim May article it stems from facebook,Tim mucking around with a comment would have sold more copies of your book if I was in it you know me well enough,TBA May wasn’t escaping after that.
    Tim had as much buy in as anyone I have written on with lots of messages and emails back and forth to
    Texas he was sensational and I greatly appreciate also the emails from Steve Waugh who LOVED the whole
    Bob Neil bit.Bill thank you.Fisho thank you.Zorza appreciated.Shmaaly that doesn’t surprise me I was there huge hit from,Lachy was that the game,Balmey hit the 6 which hit the trees as well ? Arson Garson those callouses were not a pretty sight.Rob that C grade premiership photo is definitely legendary yes always attacked joy to watch.Mickey the scoreboards pay certainly wasn’t one to retire on I cleaned the bloody toilets as well.Raf thank you and definitely i admit I’d already thought of starting up a chant of -Tim May walks on water at the victorious presentation grrrr.Campbell thank you.Dave agreed the art of keeping it tight at one end is severely underrated in general and amusing.Paul thank you and couldn’t agree more thanks folks and sincere apologies should have replied far earlier thank you

  34. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Brad thank you ! A good teammate and role off the ground does have a big impact on ground,TBA May certainly understood that,Brad no one could ever accuse you of not committing 100 per cent well and truly.
    Coach and Simmo massively appreciated Wynton thank you and yes it was a glorious sporting globe.
    John yes I fancy,Tim may have that role sowed up pun intended.Thanks TC.Rowdy ( hint Rowdy went ok himself particularly at footy ) yes v funny man and glad to have found that you tube link which includes you’re dad.Scott yes those under 23 games not sure how a young scorer recovered for them as well v much,Sam leading the way.Steven thank you and Tim certainly never afraid to take the piss out of himself.TF thank you good insight I reckon you’re vodka night on me was after a U 23 game – the creek jumped out in front of my bike mind you I got up at 7 the next morning and rode back to clean up the Chris Mews.Milts yes it’s often forgotten about how hard it was for other spinners to be around particularly in Australia while,SK Warne was playing. thanks folks !

  35. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Ian well said and thank you.Greg Tim never ever forgets the legs.6 per cent thank you.David yet to be announced,May certainly a v distinctive signature definitely think it’s something he thought of v early in his life.Luke yep technical perfection and couldn’t agree more.Dips thank you.Chris v much so I admit I originally intended to use the answers to my questions as notes but,Tims reply’s were just to good not to form the major base of the article.PJF I thought one of two things you would commentate in detail or use the exact words you have I was correct and thank you re the test match not only for your company but pushing my book as well.
    Smokie thank you.OBP greatly appreciated,Merry X mas folks a massive thank you to Tim May,Steve Waugh and Ian Hausler

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