Tuppy Owen-Smith

Country: South Africa
Born: February 18, 1909, Rondebosch, Cape Town, Cape Province
Batting Style: Right hand Bat
Bowling Style: Legbreak
Died: February 28, 1990, Rosebank, Cape Town, Cape Province, (aged 81y 10d)

Tuppy Owen-Smith Bio

Harold Geoffrey Owen-Smith, fondly known as “Tuppy,” made a significant impact in the world of cricket as an exceptional all-round sportsman. Born on February 18, 1909, in Rondebosch, Cape Town, he was not only a talented cricketer but also excelled in rugby and boxing. Tuppy’s journey to greatness began when he joined the South African touring side to England in 1929 at the age of twenty.

Even as a young boy, Tuppy showed promise as a cricketer while attending the Diocesan College, where he received instruction from renowned English professionals such as Harry Lee, Newman, Astill, and O’Connor. His skills gained recognition during Western Province’s matches against MCC in 1927-28. In the first game of the tour, on a rain-damaged pitch, Tuppy showcased his slow leg-breaks by taking an impressive four wickets for 43 runs. Remarkably, his first victim was none other than the great Wally Hammond, marking a memorable entry into first-class cricket. Tuppy’s impact continued throughout the tour, including his innings of 32 against MCC in a return match with Western Province.

Tuppy became widely known for his exceptional fielding skills, particularly as cover point. His speed, anticipation, and ability to intercept strokes left spectators in awe. Only a select few, such as Colin Bland and Clive Lloyd, have since caused such a stir with their fielding abilities. However, Tuppy wasn’t just a fielder; he possessed incredible batting skills as well. In the Second Test at Lord’s in 1929, he played a crucial role by scoring an unbeaten 52 runs, ensuring South Africa achieved a lead of 20 runs.

One of Tuppy’s most memorable performances occurred during the Third Test at Headingley. In a seemingly lost cause, with South Africa conceding a 102-run lead on the first innings and only 14 runs ahead with one wicket remaining, Tuppy partnered with Quinn to take the score to 167. After Quinn’s dismissal, Tuppy took command and scored a remarkable 129 runs, including an astonishing 102 runs before lunch. His partnership of 103 with Bell for the tenth wicket was scored in just 65 minutes, and the applause they received upon leaving the field demonstrated the impact they had made. Although England ultimately won the match, Tuppy’s performance was widely recognized, and he was named as one of the Five Cricketers of the Year by Wisden.

In 1930, Tuppy returned to England as a Rhodes Scholar to study medicine at Oxford. He represented the university in cricket, earning a Blue in all three years. Tuppy’s performances were particularly memorable during matches against Cambridge, where he showcased his batting skills with scores of 78 and 67. His final year in 1933 was remarkable, with impressive bowling figures and a fourth-place finish in the national averages.

Tuppy continued to pursue his medical career while playing for Middlesex and Cape Town in South Africa. In 1937, he enjoyed a successful season with Middlesex, taking 57 wickets at an average of 19.84. He also displayed his batting prowess by scoring 77 runs against Yorkshire. Tuppy’s career saw him achieve 4,059 runs in first-class cricket at an average of 26.88, accompanied by 319 wickets at 23.22. His fielding skills, including 93 catches, further reinforced his reputation as an exceptional all-round player.

Tuppy’s impact extended beyond his on-field performances. He brought a new energy and joy to cricket in the 1920s, filling a void left by the older generation who had fallen in World War I. His debonair attitude, reminiscent of Denis Compton, endeared him to thousands of cricket fans. Tuppy’s infectious love and enjoyment of the game left an indelible mark, making him a true legend of the sport.

On February 28, 1990, Tuppy Owen-Smith passed away in Cape Town at the age of 81. His legacy lives on as one of cricket’s most versatile and beloved players, forever remembered for his exceptional skills and vibrant personality.

Tuppy Owen-Smith Career Stats

Tuppy Owen-Smith Batting Stats

Batting Matches Innings Nos Runs High Score Ave BF SR 100s 50s 4s 6s Ct St
Tests 5 8 2 252 129 42 - - 1 1 - 2 4 0
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FC 101 162 11 4059 168* 26.88 - - 3 23 - - 92 0
List A - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Tuppy Owen-Smith Bowling Stats

Bowling Matches Innings Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10w
Tests 5 6 156 113 0 - - - 4.34 - 0 0 0
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FC 101 - 13445 7410 319 7/153 - 23.22 3.3 42.1 - 20 3
List A - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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