New Zealand’s oldest surviving Test player passes away

AUCKLAND: Former New Zealand cricketer and the country’s oldest surviving Test player John Richard Reid has died at the age of 92.

Reid was an exceptional all-rounder, who not only displayed aggression in the batting and bowling aspects of the game. He scored 3428 runs in 58 Test matches with an average of 33.28, hitting 22 half-centuries and six centuries in a career that spanned over 16 years.

His maiden Test century, a knock of 135, came against South Africa in Cape Town in 1954. He scored two fifties in his debut series against England and was the only surviving member of the famous team that brought New Zealand cricket to the world stage when they toured England in 1949.

He was a fast bowler at the beginning of his career but had to sacrifice pace in the latter stages of his career in order to avoid potential injuries. He finished with 85 Test matches to his name including four five-wicket hauls and best bowling figures of 6/60.

The right-handed batsman was the first captain ever to score 500 runs and pick up 10 wickets in a series with his tally of 546 runs and 11 dismissals in South Africa in 1962.  He also held the record for most international runs by a New Zealand cricketer in a calendar year (871 in 1965), before it was broken by Brendon McCullum in 2014.

Reid was the first cricketer to lead New Zealand to a Test victory when they beat the Windies by 190 runs in Auckland in 1956. He was also the captain when New Zealand defeated South Africa in 1962 to claim their first overseas Test win.

When the legendary cricketer hung up his boots in 1965, he held the record for the highest number of caps, runs, outfield catches, as well as wickets for New Zealand.

He continued to be influential in international cricket even after his retirement and was appointed as a national selector. He also officiated in 50 Tests and 98 one-day internationals as a match referee.

Reid was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 but recovered completely after undergoing surgery. In August 2015, he became the oldest surviving Test cricketer from New Zealand after Trevor Barber passed away.

 

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