Long-term administrator ruled through Packer crisis May 11, 2005

Former ACB chairman Bob Parish dies

Cricinfo staff

Bob Merriman, the current Cricket Australia chairman, says Parish's influence will always live through Australian cricket © Getty Images

Bob Parish, a former chairman of the Australian Cricket Board, has died in Melbourne aged 89. Parish, who was on the board from 1957 to 1991, was in charge during the World Series Cricket split and hosted the negotiations to seal Kerry Packer's eventual television-rights agreement in 1979.

Bob Merriman, the current Cricket Australia chairman, said Parish was an incredible servant of the game and "scrupulously fair". "He was a great confidant of the late Sir Donald Bradman, a mentor to those around him, and he gave tremendous assistance to other administrators during and after his time," Merriman added. "He was the epitome of dedication to cricket. He hardly missed a day's play, whether at his beloved Prahran Cricket Club, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, or wherever cricket was being played."

Merriman said Parish's influence would always live through Australian cricket. "His dedication and ability to work through challenges and difficulties, in particular those around the World Series Cricket agreement in 1979, was substantial," he said. "The benefit of that agreement to Australian cricket and cricket around the world has been phenomenal. He also took great strides in trying to resolve the problems in South Africa when it was separated from world cricket."

Ken Jacobs, the Cricket Victoria chief executive, said Parish served as an administrator for 56 years at club, state, national and international level after joining the Prahran committee in 1936. "He made a unique contribution and his influence on cricket in this country will never be forgotten," he said.

Parish was elected as a delegate to the Victorian Cricket Association in 1950, and held the position for 42 years. In 1966 he was elected chairman of the Australian Board of Control for International Cricket Matches, and after a six-year break returned to the position for five years after the organisation was renamed the Australian Cricket Board.