Len Maddocks, Australia’s oldest former Test cricketer, has died at the age of 90. The wicketkeeper-batsman played seven Tests for Australia between 1954-56, scoring 177 runs and claiming 20 dismissals.
Maddocks played 112 First-Class matches for Victoria and Tasmania, where he scored more than 4000 runs, scored six centuries and took 277 dismissals. He is best remembered as the player English spinner Jim Laker trapped lbw at Old Trafford in 1956 to complete his record 19-wicket haul.
After his playing days, he went into cricket administration as Victoria’s delegate to the Australian Cricket Board from 1973-83 and became a national selector. Maddocks was also the Australian team’s manager for the World Series Cricket affected Ashes loss in 1977.
James Sutherland, Cricket Australia chief executive, said it was a sad day for Australian cricket. “Len made an outstanding contribution to cricket in his lifetime within state and national ranks, both as a player and administrator,” he said on Friday (September 2). “We were deeply saddened to hear of Lens passing this week and are truly appreciative of his dedication to assist in building the game to what it is today.”
Selected in the Victorian team of the 20th century, Maddocks was a Cricket Victoria (CV) life member. “Len devoted his life to playing and serving Australian cricket and his impact on the game in this state cannot be underestimated,” CV chief executive Tony Dodemaide said. “At the completion of his playing career, Len held a variety of key administrative positions at Victorian and national levels and he was committed to the development of our game.”
Maddocks had become Australia’s oldest living Test cricketer last year after the death of Arthur Morris. Former Queensland opening batsman Ken Archer is now Australia’s oldest surviving Test cricketer at 88, while legendary batsman Neil Harvey is 87.