Who is the tallest cricket player to have played at the SCG?
He was the NSW pace bowler PHIL ALLEY, whose height was put at 208cm tall – or 6ft 10in. Marc Dawson’s book Bumper Book of Cricket Extras lists Alley as the second-tallest first-class cricketer of all time after Tony Allom, an Englishman, said to have been 6ft 10.5in or 209.5cm tall, who played briefly for Surrey around 1960. Other sources put Allom’s height at 6ft 9in, which means Alley may have been the tallest of all.
Certainly, he is well clear of the other main contenders, West Indians Joel Garner and Curtly Ambrose and Australia’s Bruce Reid, whose heights are all recorded at 203cm or 6ft 8in. Tony Greig was just behind them at 6ft 7.5in or 202 cm. Glenn McGrath is thus only moderately tall at 196cm (6ft 5in) and is even shorter than Lisle Nagel, a fast-medium bowler who played for Australia in the 1932-33 bodyline series. Nagel, considered exceptionally tall in his day, was 198cm tall – 6ft 6in. (Reproduced from SCG Members Sports Diary 2017).
Phil Alley played for two seasons with The Briars Sporting Club 1985-1987. Phil came to the Briars Sporting Club as a 15 year old and spent two seasons capturing 72 wickets in his short stay starting his career in D Grade and finishing in A Grade.
The great St George Club spotted Phil’s potential during the season of 1986/87 and by the end of that season he was playing 1st Grade with St George. In 1989-1990 Phil was playing for New South Wales and is probably our first state cricketer to have come from The Briars.
Phil represented both New South Wales and South Australia in his nine years of first class cricket.
STATS PHIL ALLEY – First Class Matches 1989-90 to 1997-98