Full name William Russell Endean
Born May 31, 1924, Parkview, Johannesburg, Transvaal
Died June 28, 2003, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey (aged 79 years 28 days)
Major teams South Africa, Marylebone Cricket Club, Transvaal
Batting style Right-hand bat
Fielding position Wicketkeeper
|Test debut||England v South Africa at The Oval, Aug 16-18, 1951 scorecard|
|Last Test||South Africa v Australia at Port Elizabeth, Feb 28-Mar 4, 1958 scorecard|
|First-class span||1945/46 - 1960/61|
One of the great fielders who sparked the post-war revival of South African cricket, Russell Endean, died in England, aged 79. Although he made his debut as a wicketkeeper, Endean took the bulk of his 41 catches in the outfield, often as a part of the offensive ring that supported Hugh Tayfield's extraordinarily accurate off-spinners.
Endean was also involved in two of the game's oddest dismissals. At The Oval in 1951 Len Hutton's first contact with a ball from Athol Rowan made the ball loop towards the debutant's gloves. Hutton's subsequent swish at the ball brought an appeal and Hutton became the first Test cricketer to be given out obstructing the field. Five years later Endean was the first Test player to be dismissed handled the ball when he fended off a Jim Laker delivery at Newlands.
The high point of Endean's career was the 1952-53 tour of Australia. Written off as no-hopers, Jack Cheetham's team set new standards in fielding. Endean's one-handed boundary catch of a huge hit by Keith Miller off Tayfield is remembered as among the most brilliant of all time. Endean's century (162 not out) in this Melbourne Test was to be the South Africans' only one of the series. Endean's second-innings 70 also helped South Africa to a rubber-equalling win when they returned to Melbourne for the final Test.
Endean scored two other international centuries: 116 at Auckland in a draw and 116 not out at Leeds when the 1955 South Africans won to level the series at 2-2 before falling to Laker and Lock in the final Test.
In Australia he came to be known as 'Endless Endean' but in domestic cricket he had a reputation for fast scoring. He became the first South African to make a hundred runs before lunch in a 1954 innings for Transvaal against Free State.
Endean modelled himself on the great Bruce Mitchell with his bat five inches off the ground in a somewhat upright stance. Like Jonty Rhodes and the Proteas' new boy Thami Tsolekile, Endean played hockey for South Africa. A very popular player, Endean was a thorough gentleman with off-field tastes perhaps more refined than the average cricketer. Broadcaster Charles Fortune remembered Endean shocking his colleagues by attending the ballet during a tour.
"Whatever the passport is to be a gentleman, Russell had that passport," Johnny Waite, Endean's former Test team-mate, said. "And he would walk into a list of the best fifteen cricketers ever to have played for South Africa."
Endean served with the South Africa 6th Armoured Division in Egypt and Italy during World War II and qualified as a chartered accountant. His wife Muriel, who he met on the 1955 England, tour died two years ago. He lived in Worcester Park in Surrey and had worked as a chartered accountant for BP.
Wisden Cricket Monthly, August 2003
The themes of redemption and rehabilitation had been a constant companion for Pakistan in the build-up to what proved to be an epic first Test, but it was only in that moment of victory that the true significance of their 75-run win could be understood
Pakistan's thrilling triumph at Lord's was underscored by their captain's serenity
The hosts' pace attack, with a combined experience of 31 Tests and 56 wickets, is a candidate for being their weakest ever, yet India cannot simply show up and expect to win
Also, losing ten-fors, and back to back Tests at Lord's
England played a full part in a compelling Test, but if they are to continue to evolve as a Test side the top order has to shape matches
Sri Lanka's lead spinner must feel like a bus driver in charge of a spluttering vehicle as the hosts strive to challenge a strong Australian side
There was enough logic in Alastair Cook's decision not to enforce the follow-on to make it understandable at worst and reasonable at best
Australia will be hoping that Mitchell Marsh grows from an emerging allrounder into a top-quality allrounder by the end of the Sri Lanka tour
Technique and anticipation are important for close-in fielding. Many of today's fielders lack both