Friday, December 4

Eric Alfred Burchell Rowan (1909-1993) Test Cap No:141

Full name Eric Alfred Burchell Rowan
Born July 20, 1909, Johannesburg, Transvaal
Died April 30, 1993, Edenvale, Johannesburg, Transvaal (aged 83 years 284 days)
Major teams South Africa, Eastern Province, Transvaal
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Legbreak
Relation Brother - AMB Rowan

Eric Alfred Burchell Rowan, the South African Test player, and elder brother of Athol, died on April 30, 1993, in Johannesburg, aged 83. Eric Rowan ranked with Dudley Nourse and Bruce Mitchell in the very forefront of Test batsman from South Africa in the years before and after the Second World War. His long career (1929-30 to 1953-54) was spiced by controversy. He was always fearless -- he sometimes batted without gloves and, so it was said, box -- and not only as a batsman. He was small and wiry and cocky and feisty and contemptuous of authority. Having been left out of the 1947 tour of England because of personality clashes, he was chosen in 1951, as vice-captain, when he often had to lead the team because Nourse was injured, and dominated the tour.

Arthur Dudley Nourse (1910-1981) Test Cap No:140

Full name Arthur Dudley Nourse
Born November 12, 1910, Durban, Natal
Died August 14, 1981, Durban, Natal (aged 70 years 275 days)
Major teams South Africa, Natal
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm bowler

Graeme Pollock is congratulated by Dudley Nourse.....
© ESPNcricinfo Ltd
© The Cricketer International
Arthur Dudley Nourse, who died at his home in Durban on August 14, was destined to outstrip even the deeds of his father, A. W. 'Dave' Nourse, although the war cost him many Test appearances. The first of his 34 Test matches was at Trent Bridge in 1935, and the last at The Oval in 1951. In that time he scored 2960 runs, with nine centuries (seven against England), at the rare average of 53.81, and established a reputation as a fighting batsman, defensive when need be but ever ready to punch the ball with all the strength of his beefy forearms.
His most renowned innings was 208 in the Nottingham Test of 1951. Coming into the match (at the age of 40) with his broken right thumb pinned,he batted for nine hours, gritting his teeth against the pain, and not only registering South Africa's first double-century against England, but captaining South Africa to their first Test victory for 16 years.

Dudley Nourse bats © Getty Images

And yet his finest innings from a technical point of view was his 115 at Old Trafford four years earlier, on his second tour of England, when he was vice-captain. On a spiteful pitch, with the ball rearing from a length, he hit 13 fours and two sixes before being yorked by Edrich.Nourse's first tour of England, in 1935, brought him little Test success, though he scored a century in each innings against Surrey in May, followed immediately by 148 against Oxford, compelling 'Plum' Warner to utter the squelcher: 'A Nourse, a Nourse, my kingdom for a Nourse." An unbeaten 160 against Warwickshire in August helped him towards an aggregate for the tour of 1681 (av. 41). Back home, Nourse did well against the 1935-36 Australians, making 91 in the first Test and 231 in the second, still a Test record for the city of Johannesburg. The innings lasted no more than 289 minutes, contained 36 boundaries, and was the highest for South Africa in any Test at the time -- and yet was over-shadowed somewhat by Stan McCabe's glorious 189 not out on the last day, when Wade appealed successfully in the stormy gloom in the interests of his fieldsmen.

Such was the international calendar in those days that it was just on three years before South Africa's next Test match, and Nourse, having made runs galore for Natal, partook of the high scoring in the home series against England, making centuries in the Cape Town Test and in the final match, the 'timeless Test' at Durban.
George Mann waits for Nourse to toss,
© Getty Images
During war service in the Middle East, he smote nine sixes off nine balls (including all six in an over) in a match in Alexandria; but, having lost his peak years to the war, he had also lost some of his health and his slimness. Gradually he found his form again, and England in 1947 saw a redoubtable Nourse. His stand of 319 with Melville in the opening Test, at Trent Bridge, remains the second-highest in South Africa's Test history, and a further century flashed from his bat -- in a losing cause -- in the third Test, at Old Trafford. He renewed acquaintances with Edgbaston with an unbeaten 205 against Warwickshire, and in The Oval Test he was given out bowled for 97 only after an umpires' consultation. His 621 runs (av. 69) topped the Springbok averages, and only the phenomenal figures of Edrich and Compton exceeded his on the English side.

A year later his form still held as he captained against England in a losing series, making centuries in the Cape Town and Johannesburg Tests and leading the averages of both sides with 76.57. A year later he scored consistently in the four defeats by Australia, reaching three figures at Cape Town. And at last, in the 1951 series in England, he led his country to a victory, his 208 at Nottingham receiving the necessary support from the bowlers. The rest of the tour was anticlimax, England winning three of the other four Tests. Nourse's ninth century, however, placed him on a pinnacle, still unmatched today, eleven years into South Africa's isolation.

In all first-class cricket in South Africa or for his country overseas Dudley Nourse made six double-centuries, to occupy second place to his father, who made seven. Altogether the son, of whom the father was so proud, scored 12,472 runs at the outstanding average of 51.37, with 41 centuries, unequalled by any Springbok apart from Graeme Pollock among those who have not played domestic cricket in England or Australia. Dudley Nourse did not tour Australia, but had 'connections'. When he was born, on November 12, 1910, his father had just made 201 not out against South Australia at Adelaide; the new-born was named after Australia's Governor-General. At 14 young Dudley was headed for Australia with members of the family when his mother became ill and the journey was cancelled. Fate thus preserved for South African cricket one of its firmest and most admirable pillars.Nourse's autobiography, Cricket in the Blood, was published in 1949, and after retirement from the field he served as a national selector and as a popular tour manager.

Test debut England v South Africa at Nottingham, Jun 15-18, 1935
Last Test England v South Africa at The Oval, Aug 16-18, 1951
First-class span 1931-1953

Arthur Chudleigh Beaumont Langton (1912-1942) Test Cap No:139

© ESPNcricinfo Ltd
Full name Arthur Chudleigh Beaumont Langton
Born March 2, 1912, Pietermaritzburg, Natal
Died November 27, 1942, near Maiduguri, Nigeria (aged 30 years 270 days)
Major teams South Africa, Transvaal
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium, Right-arm medium

Flight-Lieut. Arthur Beaumont Chudleigh Langton was a member of the team which in 1935 gained the first triumph for South Africa in England, their victory by 157 runs at Lord's being the only definite result in the rubber. In that match he took six wickets for 89--four for 31 in England's second innings, after helping Bruce Mitchell (164 not out) add 101 in two hours. This stand enabled H. F. Wade to apply the closure when Langton returned a catch to W. R. Hammond. The wonderful bowling of X. Balaskas contributed perhaps more than anything else to that success, but in the five Tests, Langton, with fifteen wickets, came second to C. L. Vincent in effectiveness, while his batting average of 30.25 showed his all-round value. In the whole tour he excelled among the bowlers with 115 wickets at 21.16 each, and scored 537 runs--average 21.48. He played his highest innings of the tour, 73 not out, at the Oval, where he and E. L. Dalton, 117, added 137 in seventy minutes, a ninth wicket record for matches between England and South Africa. Such valuable batting late in the innings was characteristic of Langton, and he concluded the tour at Scarborough by making 20 and 68 when runs were wanted badly, so helping to remove fear of defeat from H. D. G. Leveson-Gower's powerful side in a very keen match.

Robert James Crisp (1911-1994) Test Cap No:138

Full name Robert James Crisp
Born May 28, 1911, Calcutta (now Kolkata), Bengal, India
Died March 3, 1994, Colchester, Essex, England (aged 82 years 279 days)
Major teams Rhodesia, South Africa, Western Province, Worcestershire
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast

Bob Crisp, DSO, MC, who died in Essex on March 3, 1994, aged 82, was one of the most extraordinary men ever to play Test cricket. His cricket, which is only a fraction of the story, was explosive enough: he is the only bowler to have taken four wickets in four balls twice. Born in Calcutta, he was educated in Rhodesia and, after taking nine for 64 for Western Province against Natal in 1933-34, which included his second set of four in four, was chosen for the South Africans' 1935 tour of England. He took 107 wickets on the tour at a brisk fast-medium, including five for 99 in the Old Trafford Test. Crisp played four further Tests against Australia in 1935-36 and appeared eight times for Worcestershire in 1938 without ever achieving a huge amount.

Lennox Sydney Brown (1910-1983) Test Cap No:137

Full name Lennox Sydney Brown
Born November 24, 1910, Randfontein, Transvaal
Died September 1, 1983, Durban, Natal (aged 72 years 281 days)
Major teams Rhodesia, South Africa, North Eastern Transvaal, Transvaal
Batting style Right-hand bat

Lennox Sydney Brown was a South African cricketer who played in two Tests in 1931-32.Brown was a right-handed lower-order batsman and a right-arm fast-medium bowler who turned to bowling leg-breaks and googlies later in his career. His first-class cricket career began with two matches for Transvaal against the 1930-31 English touring team and he took seven wickets in his first match, including Walter Hammond and Percy Chapman twice each.He was then picked, as the youngest member of the team, for the 1931-32 tour to Australia and New Zealand. Brown was rarely part of the touring team's first eleven in the major matches, but after a bad showing in the first Test match, which was lost by an innings and 163 runs, he played in a non-first-class match against a New South Wales Country XI and, bowling throughout the Country XI's first innings, took five wickets for 57 runs, with another couple of wickets in the second innings.That led to his call-up to the Test team for the second match of the series.

John Alexander Kennedy Cochran (1909-1987) Test Cap No:136

Full name John Alexander Kennedy Cochran
Born July 15, 1909, Johannesburg, Transvaal
Died June 15, 1987, Johannesburg, Transvaal (aged 77 years 335 days)
Major teams South Africa, Griqualand West, Transvaal
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium-fast

John Alexander Kennedy Cochran (15 July 1909 in Johannesburg, Transvaal – 15 June 1987 in Johannesburg, Transvaal) was a South African cricketer who played in one Test in 1931.

Cochran was a right-arm medium-fast bowler and a tail-end right-handed batsman. Having played only four previous first-class matches and never having taken more than three wickets in an innings, he was picked for South Africa for the fifth and final Test of the 1930-31 England tour at Durban, where South Africa needed only to draw to seal the series victory. Cochran took no wickets, but the draw was achieved.He played only one further first-class match.

Only Test South Africa v England at Durban, Feb 21-25, 1931
First-class span 1929-1932

Kenneth George Viljoen (1910-1974) Test Cap No:135

Ken Viljoen pulls past Bill Edrich at short leg......
© ESPNcricinfo Ltd
Full name Kenneth George Viljoen
Born May 14, 1910, Windsorton, Cape Province
Died January 21, 1974, Krugersdorp, Transvaal (aged 63 years 252 days)
Major teams South Africa, Griqualand West, Orange Free State, Transvaal
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm bowler

Ken Viljoen, who died in Johannesburg in January at the age of 63, not only played in 27 Test matches for South Africa but rendered his country's cricket great service as an administrator. Without detracting in any way from his ability as a player it is as a manager of South African teams to Australia in 1952-53 and 1963-64 and to England in 1955 that he is likely to be most remembered. The prospects of the South African team which went to Australia in 1952 could not have been gloomier from every point of view. Many in both countries felt that the tour should be cancelled to avoid such inevitable and crushing defeats as to do irreparable harm to the immediate future of the game in South Africa. In the event, and thanks largely to the remarkable leadership combination of the captain, Jack Cheetham. and the manager a wonderful team spirit was created. Ken Vilioen's quiet determination, an insistence on the right sort of discipline, and their combined appreciation of the value of fielding laid the foundations of a success beyond anyone's wildest dreams. The Australian tour wisely led to the same combination bringing the team to England in 1955. Again, understanding and discipline of the same kind brought success. Perhavs less dramatic than in Australia, but equally encouraging as far as South African cricket was concerned. The same should be said of the South African tour to Australia in 196364 when, with Trevor Goddard as captain.

Edward Serrurier Newson (1910-1988) Test Cap No:134

Full name Edward Serrurier Newson
Born December 2, 1910, Sea Point, Cape Town, Cape Province
Died April 24, 1988, Durban, Natal (aged 77 years 144 days)
Major teams Rhodesia, South Africa, Transvaal
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast

Edward Serrurier "Bob" Newson (2 December 1910 in Sea Point, Cape Province – 24 April 1988 in Durban, Natal) was a South African cricketer who played in three Tests in 1930–31 and 1938–39.Newson was a lower-order right-handed batsman and a right-arm fast bowler. He had a 20-year first-class cricket career, but as the career included two gaps of more than six years without a single first-class game (one of the gaps being the Second World War), he totalled only 24 matches in all, including his three Test appearances.