On May 6, 1962, a metallic fast bowler entered this world. His friends and family fondly know Neil Foster as ‘Fozzie’. Twenty-nine Test matches and 48 One-Day International (ODIs), these numbers dissatisfy if you consider Neil Foster represented England for a decade.
Fozzie wasn’t archetypical bowler from the 1980’s. However, with his variations in pace and ability to extract swing, Foster managed to be marginally successful in his career. Foster had a beautiful, upright action, which generated prolific outswing and seam movement both ways. Neil Foster is a fearless bowler, which is his biggest asset. His ability to dismiss priceless players such as Viv Richards and Javed Miandad was simply a talent he and only he possessed. He has dismissed them for a duck, the only bowler to do so.
In 1984, Fozzie greatest career moment came against India in the sweltering and stifling heat of Madras. He took six wickets in the first innings and 5 in the second as the Brits won the Test by nine wickets.
In 1989, he joined England’s rebel tour to South Africa under the captaincy of Mike Gatting. He was subsequently banned for three years by the ECB. He made comeback in the 1993 Ashes series where he replaced Philip DeFreitas. It was his first Test for four years.
Neil Foster is remembered more for his injuries than his cricketing sojourn. A fine cricketing career was curtailed by barrage of injuries so much that once an airport metal detector was set off when Foster, who had metal plates in his body, passed through it. One of the most promising careers was truncated at 31, courtesy of yet another injury. After retirement from cricket he has been serving as a bowling coach, serving both his county Essex and his country England.