John R. Reid and Brian Close

Two great characters and legends of the game came together at Headingley Carnegie in Leeds during the second test between England and the BLACKCAPS.

Former New Zealand Test captain John R. Reid and former English captain Brian Close watched the game at Headingley side by side, while reminiscing on past times.

The 84 year-old Reid and 82 year-old Close both have a rich history in the sport. Reid played 58 Test matches for New Zealand and was a talented all-rounder, compiling 3428 runs and 86 wickets in his career. He was renowned for his thunderous strokeplay and ability to bowl everything from off-cutters to feisty bouncers. His tremendous athletic ability also saw him become one of the best gully fielders in the world. Following his retirement he went into administration and became a New Zealand Cricket (NZC) selector, before being made a Life Member of NZC.

Close was an unmistakable talent with bat and ball, but is just as well remembered for his hard-as-nails approach to the game. Originally from Yorkshire, Close made 52 First-Class centuries and took 1172 wickets over 786 matches. He was brought into the English national side in 1949 and played 22 Test matches and three ODIs over a lengthy 27 year period. However, he became somewhat of a legend for his dismissive nature of body-blows from opposition bowlers. In an era where protection from the ball was scant, Close refused to acknowledge when he was struck and was famous for the line “How can the ball hurt you? It's only on you for a second."

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