Bill O'Reilly

Bill O'Reilly (1905-1992) was rated by Don Bradman as the best bowler he had ever faced. His only rival as the greatest leg spinner in the history of the game is Shane Warne. At 6 ft 2 inches with an intimidating manner his style of spin was never 'gentle'.

Bill O'Reilly, demonstrates his famous grip

Australia bowler, Bill O'Reilly, demonstrates his famous grip, ca. 1932, by Sam Hood
Glass photonegative  Home & Away - 2388

Between 1927 and 1946, O'Reilly captured 774 first class wickets at only 16.6 runs per wicket. In 27 test matches against England, South Africa and New Zealand his haul was 144 wickets at 22.59. Even in the controversial 1932-33 Bodyline series he took 27 wickets.

In 1946, at the age of 40, O'Reilly played in his last test against New Zealand. He later worked as a sports journalist until his retirement in 1988.

Bill O'Reilly, demonstrates his famous grip

William Joseph "Tiger" O'Reilly, ca. 1932, by Sam Hood
Photograph  PXE 789 (v.42)/ 65