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Brian Booth

Batter

Bats Right Hand.
Bowls Right Arm Off-Spin

Batter

Bats Right Hand.
Bowls Right Arm Off-Spin

AGE
86
HEIGHT
181cmCM
BORN

Bathurst

COUNTRY

STATE

NSW

NSW

Bio

Ashes Tests: 15

Captain: 2

Record: One draw, one loss

Off the Record

Brian Booth was the Mr Nice Guy of Australian cricket. Spurred on by his religious upbringing, Booth displayed a number of characteristics that were uncommon at the time, but were respected by teammates and opposition players alike.

Booth faced England in 15 Ashes encounters. He manages 812 runs at 39.23, including back to back centuries in 1962 in Melbourne and Brisbane.

His Stint

Booth captained Australia twice during the 1965/66 home series. After having been Bob Simpson’s deputy, Booth was promoted to captain after his leader was struck down with a broken wrist.

His first match in charge was affected by rain, which meant a draw was always the likely result. While Booth failed with a patient 16 off 65 deliveries, two of his teammates cashed in on a Brisbane belter. Bill Lawry added a painstakingly slow 166, while a young Doug Walters blasted a masterful 155. Peter Philpott was the pick of the Australian bowlers, sending five English batsmen back to the pavilion. Trailing by 153, England were asked to follow-on, and reached 3/186 before the match was called off.

Simpson returned for the next match, which also finished in a draw, but was ruled out for the third Test with a bout of chickenpox. Seven wickets to Neil Hawke made no difference as England feasted on a weak Australian attack. Bob Barber made 185 off 255, while John Edrich added 103. England’s 488 would have been more had it not been for a middle-order collapse. The crowd then had to bear witness to some insipid batting from the locals. A first innings total of 221 preceded a disappointing 174, signalling Australia’s heaviest home defeat since 1911/12. It was an unfortunate result for Booth, with the defeat ending his career effective immediately.

His Legacy

Booth probably paid a price for being too nice. Australian captains have always had a competitive streak to them, which seemed to be lacking in Booth. It was hard to compete with someone like Bob Simpson, who would do virtually anything for victory.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the way he carried himself on the field. Booth was an honest cricketer, and walked whenever he felt he was out. He also became the first Australian skipper to shake the hands of every Englishmen as they came off the field.

Booth was held in such high regard that Sir Donald Bradman actually wrote to him to tell him how sorry he was to have to cut him from the team.

Played and Missed

When Geoffrey Boycott picked the ball up to prevent it from hitting the stumps, Booth refused to appeal because he didn’t think it was a proper way to get someone out.

Booth refused to play cricket on Sundays to honour his religious beliefs.

In 1974, Booth ran for the seat of St George in the federal election, but was unsuccessful.

Booth has been openly critical of modern players in regards to their sledging tactics.

Booth would have loved to have played more matches at home. He averaged 53.8 from 13 matches in Australia, but only 31.68 in his 16 away matches.

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