Former Australia Test captain Brian Booth dies at 89

Former Australia Test captain Brian Booth dies at 89

Brian Booth, the former Australia Test captain, has died at the age of 89.

A middle-order batter and a part-time offspinner, Booth played a total of 29 Tests, scoring 1773 runs and taking three wickets. He also represented Australia in hockey at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics before he earned his Test cap on the 1961 Ashes tour as a 27-year-old. In an interview with The Cricket Monthly in 2013, Booth had said that “he was fortunate to be able to play two sports.”

He waited for 16 months to play a Test at home, and when the time arrived, he notched up 112 and 19 not out against England in Brisbane in December, 1962. He followed it up with a second hundred in the next Test in Melbourne.

In 1965, on the tour of the Caribbean, Booth scored a century against high-quality pacers such as Charlie Griffith and Wes Hall, and shared a 220-run stand with Bob Cowper (143) for the third wicket in a drawn match in Trinidad. He had mentioned in the same interview that “Charlie Griffith and Wes Hall were the fastest pair I faced. They were always pretty fiery and they let us have it in ’65 in the West Indies.” He went on to add that to make a hundred against West Indies “gave me immense satisfaction.”

“Brian was immensely respected and admired throughout the cricketing community and beyond and we extend our deepest condolences to his wife Judy and their family and friends,” Nick Hockley, CA CEO, said.

“Less than 50 players have captained the Australian men’s Test team and Brian’s name is included on a list that features many of the game’s greats. He has had an extraordinary life and will be sadly missed. His contribution to cricket continues to be an inspiration and will always be remembered.”

Representing New South Wales at the domestic level, he scored a total of 5577 runs in 93 first-class matches, including 11 hundreds.

Lee Germon, Cricket NSW CEO, said: “Brian’s record on the playing field and as a leader are well documented and the fact he was able to captain Australia and NSW in cricket, as well as play hockey for Australia at a home Olympics, shows just how special he was as an athlete.

“But that is just a part of who Brian was and it was his respectful, courteous and friendly manner off the field that will endure in the memories of all that he came into contact with.”

Booth is survived by his wife Judy and four daughters.

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