The upcoming Edgbaston encounter against India will see England becoming the first team to complete the landmark of 1000 Tests. In what has been an exceptionally enduring 141-year journey, the traditional heavyweights have provided plenty of legendary names to the sport. However, there have also been quite a few players whose prospective legacies were impeded by various factors.
Let us take a close look at five such England players who can consider themselves extremely unlucky not to have played more matches at the highest level. Due to diverse reasons ranging from perilous heart condition to the second World War, numerous promising careers were cut short.
#5 David Bairstow
During December last year, an emotional Jonny Bairstow received a very special gift from a veteran England supporter. The young wicket-keeper was given a pair of gloves which had been signed by his late father in 1978. With son consolidating his old man's dream, it was indeed a truly poignant moment.
Aged 46, David Bairstow took his own life following a series of personal setbacks. He had built his cricketing career on his tenacity. Aside from his skills behind the stumps, the Yorkshireman could also bat boisterously. The presence of the iconic Alan Knott, as well as the gifted Bob Taylor, delayed the gloveman's entry into the England team.
David played just four Tests spanning from 1979 to 1981 before being discarded for good. When Knott and Taylor walked into the sunset, the wicket-keeper's slot was up for grabs in the mid-1980s. However, the selectors overlooked Bairstow's experience and instead shifted attention to younger alternatives such as Paul Downton.