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Loved cricketer Max Walker dies

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Former Australian Test cricket fast bowler Max Walker has died, aged 68.

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Walker, who played 34 Tests for Australia, took 138 wickets at an average of 27.47 between 1972 and 1977.

Walker, an all-round sportsman, also played 93 matches in six years with the Melbourne football club.

He was also a member of the Nine Network’s commentary team between 1986 and 1991, and worked with the network until 1999.

“Sad news to hear about that,” former captain and co-worker Ian Chappell told 3AW.

“I only found out a couple of days ago that he was in bad shape.”


Walker was known as “Tangles” due to his unorthodox, but highly effective, bowling action (as can be seen in the video below).

Walker was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2011 for his services to cricket as a player and commentator, and also to social organisations.

Walker believed he got the gong because he always said yes – yes to bowling into the wind for Australia; yes to holding down an Australian Rules defensive post for Melbourne; yes to numerous community organisations who need help.

“Maybe the recognition is a result of saying yes more times than no, which in itself is a nice place to be,” Walker told AAP at the time.

After retiring from cricket in 1981, Walker carved a career as a sports commentator, author and public speaker and is thankful for advice from cricket commentary doyen Alan McGilvray.

“Mac said to me ‘imagine you’re speaking to a whole bunch of blind people. If you can satisfy their needs in word pictures, you will be well on the way to success’,” he told AAP.

“It is the best bit of communication advice … and that set up the story telling and the television and the books that followed.”

Walker’s exalted status led to charity work with a plethora of organisations, many revolving around social and youth work.

“You have an ability to open a door, make a phone call, create an idea or sow a seed for something to happen perhaps quicker than if you went through the normal gate keepers and channels to help,” he said.

Correction: The Walker family has sought to correct reports he died of melanoma. They said he was suffering from multiple myeloma.

– with AAP

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