Ray Harvey 1926-2011 January 10, 2011

Victoria batsman Ray Harvey dies

Ray Harvey - one of six brothers of whom two, Neil and Merv, went on to play for Australia, while a fourth, Mick, also played for his state - has died in Melbourne at the age of 85.

Harvey was an attacking batsman who only managed to hold down a place in the Victoria side for two seasons. hile his ability was there for all to see, he perhaps lacked the drive of his more accomplished siblings. Bill Lawry said that he was one of the two best district cricketers he had faced.

His first-class debut came in 1947-48, although he had already made his mark when scoring 86 for Victoria against Australian Services as a 17-year-old in 1943-44. In a side which contained three Harvey brothers, he scored 42 and 22 not out, but despite being given a long run in the team he failed to pass fifty.

He was in and out of the team -more out than in - over the next few seasons, getting his chance when regulars were on Test duty, but finally looked the part when drafted in near the end of the 1952-53 summer, converting his maiden fifty into a career-best 121 against Western Australia.

In 1953-54 he was a regular in the Victoria side, recording two more hundreds and making 699 runs at 49.92, and that earned him a place in the Australia XI against the England tourists at the start of the following summer in what was effectively a Test trial. But his form again fell away markedly, and in 15 matches over the next six season he passed fifty only twice, in consecutive innings at the end of 1958-59.

For Fitzroy in Victorian Premier Cricket he was a major player, scoring 19 centuries and 9,146 runs in first-grade competition, both of which were club records. Like his brothers, he also represented his state at baseball.

Martin Williamson is executive editor of Cricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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