Throughout the Ashes series we'll be posting a variation on our usual Heroes & Zeroes theme and naming those that have starred or sunk at each of the five venues over the years. These will coincide with the actual action taking place in the 2010/11 series.
We start with an example of real valour and courage from the Brisbane Test in the infamous Bodyline Series of 1932/33. England led 2-1 going into what was the 4th Test and a win would see Douglas Jardine's side achieve its quest for the Ashes.
Eddie Paynter had been taken to hospital with tonsillitis and if England had responded strongly to Australia's first innings of 340, would probably not have batted. But all did not go well, and at 216 for 6 he emerged from the pavilion, refused Woodfull's offer of a runner, made his way to 24 not out at the close, and returned to his hospital bed for the night. Next morning, Paynter fought his way to 83 in just under four hours and put on 92 with Verity for the ninth wicket. England had their first innings lead and then Larwood, Allen and Verity dismissed Australia for just 165 and the Ashes were back in English hands.
Wisden's description of Paynter's innings states that he although he was "normally quick on his feet and a fine driver, he had conserved energy by waiting for opportunities to hit the ball to leg, preferably to the boundary".
Paynter's bravery, his ability to adapt and the significance of the match meant that few innings in history have so captivated the imagination of the public - the picture used with this piece is one that we certainly remember well from our childhood. Paynter's courage knew no bounds as he then insisted on fielding for a couple of hours before retiring and then, to cement his place in Ashes folklore even more, finished the match with a 6.
Eddie Paynter is an unsung hero no more. For bravery beyond the call of duty in England's hour of need and for his staggering average of 84.42 inhis seven Tests against Australia, the left-handed Yorkshireman is a Reverse Sweep hero.