Eric Hollies has been named the Greatest Ever Bears Spinner after receiving an emphatic 66 per cent of another bumper vote from Warwickshire's members and supporters.
The short-list was formidably strong, with the likes of Jeetan Patel and Ashley Giles vying for the award, but it is hard to argue against a man who took the little matter of 2,201 wickets for the Bears in first-class cricket.
Already immortalised in the world-famous Hollies Stand at Edgbaston, Eric now also enters the history books as the Greatest Ever Bears Spinner.
From Old Hill to the England Test team and a mighty Bears career (173 five-fors and ten-in-a-match on 40 occasions), Hollies’ mastery of the art of leg-spin towered over his generation.
It is worth remembering, too, just what a difficult art, it is. The mechanics of bowling wrist-spin defy physical logic. For a leg-spinner, to turn the ball is one thing. To bowl with sustained control of line and length is another – perhaps the most difficult challenge in all cricket.
Hollies met that challenge – for decades. Following his retirement as a player in 1957, the distinguished cricket writer EM Wellings wrote: “There has never been an English googly bowler with such control of length and direction.”