Bert Sutcliffe

Country: New Zealand
Born: November 17, 1923, Ponsonby, Auckland
Batting Style: Left hand Bat
Bowling Style: Slow Left arm Orthodox
Died: April 20, 2001, Auckland, (aged 77y 154d)

Bert Sutcliffe Bio

Bert Sutcliffe was an exceptional cricket player from New Zealand, known for his elegant left-handed batting and brilliant fielding skills. Born on November 17, 1923, in Auckland, Sutcliffe became one of the most distinguished cricketers of his time.

Tall, handsome, and blessed with fair hair, Sutcliffe possessed a classic batting technique that made him instantly recognizable on the field. His strokes, particularly those to the leg side, displayed power and grace, earning him a reputation as one of the finest batsmen of his generation. His defensive skills were equally commendable, with an unwavering composure that made him a reliable presence in the team.

Sutcliffe’s rise to prominence began when he made his first-class debut for Auckland against Wellington in the 1941-42 season, at the young age of 18. Following two years at teacher training college, he joined the army and had the opportunity to play cricket with renowned English spinners, Jim Laker and Peter Smith, during his overseas service in North Africa and Italy.

His experience playing alongside skilled cricketers in the army significantly contributed to his development as a player. After returning from the war, Sutcliffe settled in Dunedin and continued his teaching career. His exceptional performance for Otago against the 1946-47 MCC tourists earned him his first Test cap just a week later, cementing his place in the national team.

From 1949 to 1965, Sutcliffe played 42 Test matches, accumulating 2,727 runs with an impressive average of 40.10. His highest score in Test cricket was an unbeaten 230 against India at Delhi in the 1955-56 season. Sutcliffe captained the New Zealand team for several matches, notably leading the side against the West Indies in 1951-52 and in the last two Tests in South Africa in 1953-54.

One of the defining moments of Sutcliffe’s career came during the second Test against South Africa at Ellis Park. After being struck on the head by a vicious bumper from Neil Adcock, Sutcliffe courageously returned to the field heavily bandaged and scored a remarkable 80 not out. This innings showcased his determination and resilience, earning him respect and admiration from cricket fans worldwide.

In addition to his Test exploits, Sutcliffe had a remarkable first-class career, amassing 17,447 runs at an average of 47.41. He scored an impressive 44 centuries, including a monumental innings of 385 for Otago against Canterbury in 1952-53, which at the time was the sixth-highest score in first-class cricket history. Sutcliffe’s all-round skills also extended to his fielding, where he took 160 catches and claimed a stumping.

Sutcliffe’s contributions to New Zealand cricket were duly recognized throughout his career. He was awarded the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) and became New Zealand’s first-ever Sportsman of the Year in 1949. In 1990, he was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame, a testament to his significant impact on the sport.

Even after retirement, Sutcliffe remained involved in cricket, passing on his knowledge and skills as a coach. The decision to name the cricket academy ground at Lincoln, New Zealand, the Bert Sutcliffe Oval, was a fitting tribute to his incredible achievements and his enduring legacy in the country’s cricket history.

Bert Sutcliffe, with his natural talent, exceptional technique, and affable disposition, will forever be remembered as one of New Zealand’s cricketing legends. His contributions to the sport left an indelible mark on the nation’s cricketing heritage, and his name continues to be celebrated amongst cricket enthusiasts.

Bert Sutcliffe Career Stats

Bert Sutcliffe Batting Stats

Batting Matches Innings Nos Runs High Score Ave BF SR 100s 50s 4s 6s Ct St
Tests 42 76 8 2727 230* 40.1 - - 5 15 - 16 20 0
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FC 233 407 39 17447 385 47.41 - - 44 83 - - 160 1
List A - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Bert Sutcliffe Bowling Stats

Bowling Matches Innings Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10w
Tests 42 20 538 344 4 2/38 2/38 86 3.83 134.5 0 0 0
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FC 233 - 5966 3273 86 5/19 - 38.05 3.29 69.3 - 2 0
List A - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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