Thursday, December 3

Sydney Harry Curnow (1907-1986) Test Cap No:133

© En.wikipedia.org
Full name Sydney Harry Curnow
Born December 16, 1907, Benoni, Transvaal
Died July 28, 1986, Perth, Western Australia, Australia (aged 78 years 224 days)
Major teams South Africa, Transvaal
Batting style Right-hand bat

Profile
Sydney Harry Curnow, who died in Perth, Australia, on July 28, 1986, aged 78, played in seven Test matches for South Africa, opening the batting in all but one of his fourteen innings and scoring 168 runs. Such a record, however, does not indicate his true ability, and in all first-class matches he scored 3,409 runs with an average of 42.08. Going into the Transvaal side in 1928-29 for the trial series for the team to England, he failed to score in his first innings but made 92 in the second, showing a sound defensive technique and making a special impression in the field with his quick gathering and fast, sure returns. In 1929-30 he followed an innings of 99 against Natal with 108 against Griqualand West and 162 against Orange Free State, putting on 204 for the first wicket with A. Langebrink against the Free State.

Xenophon Constantine Balaskas (1910-1994) Test Cap No:132

© Wisden Cricket Monthly
Full name Xenophon Constantine Balaskas
Born October 15, 1910, Kimberley, Cape Province
Died May 12, 1994, Hyde Park, Sandton, Johannesburg, Transvaal (aged 83 years 209 days)
Major teams South Africa, Border, Griqualand West, North Eastern Transvaal, Transvaal, Western Province
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Legbreak googly

Profile
© Wisden Cricket Monthly
Bally Balaskas was the legspinner who bowled South Africa to their first victory in England, at Lord's in 1935. It was his only Test of the tour and the only one that produced a result. The pitch, ravaged by leather-jackets, turned from an early stage; Bruce Mitchell and Jock Cameron batted far better than anyone on the England team and Balaskas, bowling tirelessly and with great accuracy from the Pavilion End, had figures of 32-8-49-5 in England's first innings and 27-8-54-4 in the second. Balaskas was not merely one of the most improbably-named of all Test players, he had one of the most improbable backgrounds. His parents were Greek migrants who owned the first restaurant in the diamond town of Kimberley. Pre-war South African cricketers usually came from a narrow, English social background but De Beers, the diamond company that controlled Kimberley, always ensured the two local high schools had big-name coaches and Charlie Hallows taught Balaskas. He played first-class cricket for Griqualand West when he was 15, and in 1929-30 was both leading run-scorer and wicket-taker in the Currie Cup, with 644 -- including 206 against Rhodesia -- and 39.

Balaskas made his Test debut at 20 the following year: he made little impact with bat or ball in two Tests at home to England and never made the Test team when South Africa travelled to Australia in 1931-32, though he scored 122 not out against New Zealand in the second Test at Wellington. When he came to England in 1935, he was not chosen for the first Test. Years later he told the story of how he established his superiority over Leyland the week before the Lord's Test, bowling him with a huge leg-break and drawing the response: "Why don't you turn the effing ball, Bally?" Leyland was his first victim at Lord's -- with a straight one. Balaskas missed the rest of the series through injury and his subsequent Test career was anticlimactic.

Edward Alexander van der Merwe (1903-1971) Test Cap No:131

© En.wikipedia.org
Full name Edward Alexander van der Merwe
Born November 9, 1903, Rustenburg, Transvaal
Died February 26, 1971, Auckland Park, Johannesburg, Transvaal (aged 67 years 109 days)
Major teams South Africa, Transvaal
Batting style Right-hand bat
Fielding position Wicketkeeper

Profile
Edward Alexander van der Merwe  was a South African cricketer who played in two Tests, one each in 1929 and 1935-36.He was born in Rustenburg, Transvaal and died at Auckland Park, also in Transvaal.Van der Merwe was a lower-order right-handed batsman and wicketkeeper whose first-class cricket career extended over 11 years and included two important tours in the South African team, but which amounted to only 27 matches in all.He had played only three times for Transvaal when he was picked as the second wicketkeeper to Jock Cameron on the 1929 tour of England. With Cameron one of the key players of the team, his opportunities were limited and he played in only 14 of the 34 first-class matches on the tour, but they included the third Test match at Headingley, as Cameron had not recovered from being knocked unconscious while batting against Harold Larwood in the preceding Test at Lord's.Van der Merwe took two catches and, batting at No 10, scored 19 and 1.But Cameron, a far better batsman, resumed his place in the side for the next match in the series. The last game of the sequence of five consecutive tour matches played by van der Merwe while Cameron was injured was the first-class game against Scotland at Perth, and, still batting at No 10, he made an unbeaten 35, and this would prove to be the highest score of his career.

Quintin McMillan (1904-1948) Test Cap No:130

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Full name Quintin McMillan
Born June 23, 1904, Germiston, Transvaal
Died July 3, 1948, Randfontein, Transvaal (aged 44 years 10 days)
Major teams South Africa, Transvaal
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Legbreak googly

Profile
Quintin McMillan (23 June 1904 in Germiston, Transvaal – 3 July 1948 in Randfontein, Transvaal) was a South African cricketer who played in 13 Tests from 1929 to 1931-32.McMillan was a right-handed middle- or lower-order batsman and a right-arm leg-break and googly bowler. He had a curious first-class cricket career in that only nine of his 50 first-class matches were played in his native South Africa and five of those were Test matches; there were 25 games on the 1929 tour to England and 16 on the tour to Australia and New Zealand in 1931-32.He started with three matches for Transvaal cricket team in the series of games around Christmas that took the place of the Currie Cup in the 1928-29 season, and was immediately successful. In his first game, he made 61 against Eastern Province and followed that with bowling figures of three for 24 and six for 48 in an innings victory inside two days.[3] He followed that in the very next match with an innings of 185 not out, including a stand of 265 for the fourth wicket with Jock Cameron, against Orange Free State.The innings proved to be the highest of his first-class career and his only century.

Eric Londesbrough Dalton (1906-1981) Test Cap No:129

© ESPNcricinfo Ltd
Full name Eric Londesbrough Dalton
Born December 2, 1906, Durban, Natal
Died June 3, 1981, Westridge, Durban, Natal (aged 74 years 183 days)
Major teams South Africa, Natal
Batting style Right-hand bat

Profile
© En.wikipedia.org
Eric Dalton, who died in Durban on June 3, 1981, aged 74, was one of the finest allround sportsmen produced by South Africa between the wars. Considered fortunate to have been picked for the 1929 South African cricket tour to England, with only nine first-class matches behind him, in which he had limited success, Dalton, by late-summer, was giving every sign of developing into a very good, attacking, middle-order batsman. Against Kent at Canterbury, towards the end of August, he scored 157 and 116 not out, followed by 102 and 44 not out against Sussex at Hove and 59 against Sir Julien Cahn's XI at West Bridgford. On returning to South Africa, Dalton quickly established himself as an extremely fine cricketer. He was an automatic choice for the South African tour to Australasia in 1931-32, where he averaged 32.41 with the bat, his best score being 100 against Tasmania at Launceston. He played in two Tests in Australia and two in New Zealand, in the first of which, at Christchurch, he made 82. By the end of the 1934-35 season he had become one of South Africa's most reliable batsmen, having averaged 54.76 in first-class matches since returning from New Zealand. His bowling, too, came on tremendously during this period: in 1934-35 he captured 25 wickets at 19.08 each with his leg-breaks.

Alexander John Bell (1906-1985) Test Cap No:128

© The Cricketer International
Full name Alexander John Bell
Born April 15, 1906, East London, Cape Province
Died August 1, 1985, Mowbray, Cape Town, Cape Province (aged 79 years 108 days)
Major teams Rhodesia, South Africa, Western Province
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium

Profile
© En.wikipedia.org
Alexander John Bell (15 April 1906 – 1 August 1985), also known as Sandy Bell, was a South African cricketer who played in 16 Tests from 1929 to 1935.He was born in East London, Cape Province in 1906 and died there in 1985.Bell was a tail-end right-handed batsman and a right-arm fast-medium bowler. He made his first-class debut for Western Province in two matches in 1925–26 without making much impact, but returned to the team in the 1928–29 season. In his first match back, he took five Orange Free State wickets for 53 runs (and three more in the second innings).That and good performances in two other matches saw him selected for the 1929 South African tour of England.As a junior member of the team, Bell played in few of the early matches, but towards the end of May he took six Gloucestershire wickets for 68 in the match at Bristol.He was then given limited opportunities in the first team in the matches leading up to the first Test match, for which he was not selected.

Neville Anthony Quinn (1908-1934) Test Cap No:127

© En.wikipedia.org
Full name Neville Anthony Quinn
Born February 21, 1908, Tweefontein, Orange Free State
Died August 5, 1934, Kenilworth, Kimberley (aged 26 years 165 days)
Major teams South Africa, Griqualand West, Transvaal
Batting style Left-hand bat
Bowling style Left-arm medium-fast

Profile
Neville Anthony Quinn (21 February 1908 in Tweefontein, South Africa – 5 August 1934 in Kenilworth, a suburb of Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa) was a cricketer who played in 12 Test matches for South Africa from 1929 to 1931-32.A left-handed lower-order batsman and a left-arm medium fast bowler, Quinn played first-class cricket for Griqualand West from 1927-28. The following season, in only his third first-class game, he took eight Border first-innings wickets for 37 runs, and this remained his best innings bowling performance.He followed that with six for 19 in 24 overs against Transvaal in the next match, and that secured his place on the 1929 South African tour to England.

Harold Geoffrey Owen-Smith (1909-1990) Test Cap No:126

© ESPNcricinfo Ltd
Full name Harold Geoffrey Owen-Smith
Born February 18, 1909, Rondebosch, Cape Town, Cape Province
Died February 28, 1990, Rosebank, Cape Town, Cape Province (aged 81 years 10 days)
Major teams South Africa, Middlesex, Oxford University, Western Province
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Legbreak

Profile
Dr Harold Geoffrey "Tuppy" Owen-Smith, who died at Cape Town on February 28, 1990, aged 81, made a great name for himself in England in the 1930s as an exceptional all-round sportsman. His prowess at cricket was at least equalled on the rugby field, where he captained England, and he was a champion lightweight boxer. Born at Rondebosch, Cape Town, on February 18, 1909, he was twenty when he first set foot on English soil as a member of the South African touring side. He had had a thorough grounding as a boy at the Diocesan College from such English professionals as Harry Lee, Newman, Astill and O'Connor, and had already made his presence felt in Western Province's two matches against MCC in 1927-28. In the first match of the tour, bowling on a rain-damaged pitch, he took four for 43 in fourteen overs with his slow leg-breaks, and the records seem to show that Hammond was his first victim in first-class cricket. At the end of the tour, when MCC played a return match with Western Province, Owen-Smith made 32 in the second innings.

Bruce Mitchell (1909-1995) Test Cap No:125

© En.wikipedia.org
Full name Bruce Mitchell
Born January 8, 1909, Ferreira Deep Gold Mine, Johannesburg, Transvaal
Died July 1, 1995, Abbotsford, Johannesburg, Transvaal (aged 86 years 174 days)
Major teams South Africa, Transvaal
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Legbreak

Profile
Mitchell (left) and Dennis Dyer open the 1947 tour,
© The Cricketer International

Bruce Mitchell appeared in every one of South Africa's 42 Tests from 1929 to 1949 and ranks among the finest batsmen produced by his country. His total of 3471 Test runs (48.88) is the largest by any Springbok, and only Dudley Nourse (nine) made more than his eight Test centuries.

For most of Mitchell's career the South African batting lacked depth, and he was ever-conscious of his responsibility to lay a sound foundation. Had he played in a powerful batting side, there is no question but that he would have reached even greater heights. Possessor of a full range of strokes, he was seldom in a position to bat with absolute freedom, and he somewhat unfairly gained a reputation as a defensive batsman. The great South African wicket-keeper at the turn of the century, E. A. Halliwell, predicted that Mitchell would become a Test batsman after seeing him handle a bat at the age of six.

Born in Johannesburg on Jan 8, 1909, Mitchell made his first-class debut for Transvaal at 17, taking 11 wickets against Border with his high-tossed legbreaks and googlies. His batting started to develop the following season, and when MCC toured in 1927-28, Mitchell had worked his way up the order to No. 3. He hit 40, and a fine all round performance against Natal in the 1928-29 trial matches followed by successes against Griqualand West, rescuing his side after the first six batsmen had managed 11 runs between them, made his place in the Springbok team a mere formality.

James Alexander Joseph Christy (1904-1971) Test Cap No:124

© En.wikipedia.org
Full name James Alexander Joseph Christy
Born December 12, 1904, Pretoria, Transvaal
Died February 1, 1971, Addington, Durban, Natal (aged 66 years 51 days)
Major teams South Africa, Queensland, Transvaal
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium

Profile
James Alexander Joseph Christy, the former South African opening batsman, died suddenly in hospital in Durban on February 1 at the age of 66. Born in Pretoria on December 12, 1904, he was educated at Jeppe High School and made his first-class debut for Transvaal in 1925-26, scoring a century in his second innings. He was a tall, powerful batsman with a long reach who excelled against fast bowling, as well as a useful medium-pace bowler.

Ivan Julian Siedle (1903-1982) Test Cap No:123

Siedle, Ivan Julian with Mitchelli, Bruce,
© sportspages.com
Full name Ivan Julian Siedle
Born January 11, 1903, Berea, Durban, Natal
Died August 24, 1982, Bulwer, Durban, Natal (aged 79 years 225 days)
Major teams South Africa, Natal
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm bowler

Profile
Ivan Julian Siedle who died in Durban on August 24, 1982, aged 79, was South Africa's oldest surviving Test cricketer at the time of his death. He had the unique distinction of scoring the first century on a turf pitch in South Africa in both a Currie Cup match and a Test match. The first, 114 for Natal against Border at Durban, was in December, 1926. The second was at Newlands in Cape Town in 1930-31 when he and Bruce Mitchell shared a record first-wicket partnership of 260 against England, Siedle making 141, his one Test century.

Arthur Lennox Ochse (1899-1949) Test Cap No:122

Full name Arthur Lennox Ochse
Born October 11, 1899, Graaff-Reinet, Cape Province
Died May 5, 1949, Eldorado Farm, Middelburg, Cape Province (aged 49 years 206 days)
Major teams South Africa, Eastern Province
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast

Profile
Arthur Lennox Ochse (11 October 1899, in Graaff-Reinet, Cape Province – 5 May 1949, in Middelburg, Cape Province) was a South African cricketer who played in three Tests in 1927–28 and 1929.Ochse was a lower-order right-handed batsman and a right-arm fast bowler. He played intermittently and sometimes effectively for Eastern Province from 1921–22 to the end of the 1920s and then reappeared in two further domestic seasons in 1931–32 and 1937–38.He first came to notice by taking the last six wickets for 60 runs in a heavy defeat of Orange Free State in 1924–25.In 1927–28, when an English team toured, he was picked for a South African XI in a non-Test first-class match against the touring team and took three wickets.that performance did not get him into the Test team, but when Eastern Province played a first-class match with MCC in early January, Ochse took five wickets for 31 runs as the tourists were dismissed in their first innings for just 49; they recovered to win the match by 10 wickets courtesy of an unbroken second-innings opening stand of 187.South Africa had lost the first two Tests of the series, and Ochse was called into the side for the third match. But on a batsman's wicket at Durban he was expensive and did not take a wicket; in the second England innings, he did not bowl at all.He was dropped from the Test team after this single match and did not play again in the 1927–28 season.

John Fairless William Nicolson (1899-1935) Test Cap No:121

Full name John Fairless William Nicolson
Born July 19, 1899, Durban, Natal
Died December 13, 1935, Mourne Grange, Kilkeel, Co Down, Ireland (aged 36 years 147 days)
Major teams South Africa, Natal, Oxford University
Batting style Left-hand bat

Profile
John Fairless William Nicolson was a South African cricketer who played in three Tests in 1928.
Nicolson was educated at Oxford University, where he played a lot of club cricket, but made only one first-class cricket appearance, for the University against the West Indies in 1923. But in South Africa, he became a fairly regular player for Natal for five years from 1923-24 as a left-hand opening batsman. His best season was 1926-27, when he scored the only three centuries of his career. They included an unbeaten 252 against Orange Free State at Bloemfontein in which he shared a first-wicket stand of 424 with Jack Siedle. Nicolson's score was, at that time, the highest ever made in South Africa and the stand remains the South African record for the first wicket.

Nicolson was picked for the third Test against Captain Stanyforth's 1927-28 England touring team. He made 78 in the second innings, which was his highest Test score. He retained his place in the two remaining matches of the series, but was less successful in domestic South African cricket in the following season, and was not picked for the tour of England in 1929.Nicolson retired after a couple of matches in 1929-30. At the time of his death, he was on the staff of Mourne Grange School at Kilkeel in County Down.

Test debut South Africa v England at Durban, Jan 21-25, 1928
Last Test South Africa v England at Durban, Feb 4-8, 1928
First-class span 1923-1930