There are some people in cricket who can instantly bring a smile to your face, just the sound of their voice can make you laugh, one of those people for me is the great Dickie Bird.
Hearing him on the radio today, again had that effect on me. Bird was on to talk about his fellow Yorkshireman, the late, great Fred Trueman.
During the interview Bird was informed that Devon Malcolm is planning on becoming a 1st class umpire during the upcoming season. His response was classic, after a typical over flamboyant gasp of disbelief, Bird went on to say “I wasn’t expecting to hear that”, referring to the fact that Devon’s eyesight isn’t the best.
He then went on to tell a tale about Malcolm, in which he claimed that Devon’s eyesight was that bad as a player that once when he was fielding down at fine leg he had hurled a ball directly at Bird, who was standing in the position of square leg umpire, thinking that Bird was actually the stumps. It was classic Dickie.
Probably not the truest story he has ever told, but nevertheless it was one of those tales that only Bird can get away with, it was Dickie at his priceless best.