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South African born Allan first played first-class cricket for Western Province, before being signed as an overseas player by Northamptonshire. There he made his fame, and was persuaded by Ken Turner, their secretary, that with South Africa banned from test match cricket because of the apartheid régime, he was best taking advantage of his parents’ English heritage to play for England.
Lamb was to be a fixture of the England middle order for the next decade. Lamb played in 79 tests captaining England on three occasions. In 1995 he came close to taking Northamptonshire to their first Championship.
Allan was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1981.
With over 4600 Test runs, including 14 Test hundreds for England and over 100 one-day international appearances, he has been one of the most successful batsmen of all time.