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Full name John Edward Francis Beck
Born August 1, 1934, Wellington
Died April 24, 2000, Waikanae, Wellington (aged 65 years 267 days)
Major teams New Zealand, Wellington
Batting style Left-hand bat
Bowling style Slow left-arm orthodox
|Test debut||South Africa v New Zealand at Johannesburg, Dec 24-29, 1953 scorecard|
|Last Test||New Zealand v West Indies at Auckland, Mar 9-13, 1956 scorecard|
John Edward Francis Beck died on April 24 aged 65. A shooting star in New Zealand's cricket firmament, he was selected for the tour of South Africa in 1953-54 without having played a first-class game. In the Third Test (his second) he was run out for 99, primarily because his partner wished him to have the strike. An outstanding fieldsman, Beck had all the shots, but perhaps his desire to score quickly limited his appearances to eight, scoring 394 runs at 26.80. After the South African tour he was not called upon to represent his country until the West Indies tour of 1955-56. In this series Beck scored two half-centuries and was in the team which won a Test for the first time. He also played first-class cricket for Wellington and the North Island. In all he played 41 matches scoring 1,508 runs at 23.90. That was not all: he bowled medium pace, and was a representative rugby tennis player and had much success at track and field. Beck was a personable and likeable lad and he maintained a keen interest in cricket throughout his life. He died a week before a reunion of the team which won at Auckland in 1956. A minute's silence was held when the six surviving members gathered.
Dick Brittenden, The Cricketer
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