TELFORD VICE, Cape Town
TEST cricket lost its oldest former player on Monday when Lindsay Tuckett died in Bloemfontein. He was 97.
Tuckett, a tall, athletic, archetypically South African fast bowler, played nine tests for SA against England between 1947 and 1949.
He carried a groin injury throughout SA’s tour to England in 1947, when a hot summer flattened the pitches.
Even so, Tuckett took 69 wickets at 25.78 on tour – but only 15 at 44.26 in the tests.
Two years later in a home series his contribution dwindled to four wickets at 79.00.
He never played for SA again.
But he remained a first-class force, taking 32 wickets at 17.59 for Free State in 1951-52.
Overall, he took 225 wickets at 23.07 in 61 first-class matches, and scored one century.
Tuckett was only 20 when World War II broke out but by then he had been a first-class player for more than four years, having made his debut for Free State two months after he turned 16.
His death means test cricket’s oldest former player is now John Watkins, 93, an allrounder who played 15 tests for SA between 1949 and 1957.