Bowls: England drop Bryant to end 33-year era

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AN ERA came to a close yesterday when David Bryant, still the world's best known bowler at 61, was dropped by the England selectors for this year's Home International series at Worthing.

For the first time since 1960, Bryant's name was missing when the teams for the international trial were announced, an omission that signified the end of an unparalleled reign by the man from Clevedon. Puffing endlessly on that ever-present pipe, it was Bryant who did most to bring bowls out of the woods and into a nation's front rooms.

Bryant was 16 when he won his first title, the Clevedon Club Handicap in 1948. Since then he has taken three world outdoor singles titles, four Commonwealth Games gold medals and 16 national titles. 'I'm a bit disappointed, but not surprised,' he admitted. 'You have to be a young man to play bowls these days. I'll now be approaching the county competitions with renewed zeal. If I can win my way through to the National Championships, perhaps they'll admit I'm not too old after all.'