Johnny Hayes 1927-2007 December 28, 2007

New Zealand fast bowler Johnny Hayes dies

Cricinfo staff

Johnny Hayes, who made 15 Test appearances for New Zealand as a fast bowler in the 1950s, has died at the age of 80.

A tall right-arm bowler who on his day was genuinely quick, Hayes toured England under Walter Hadlee in 1949 but sustained a groin strain which meant he was a virtual passenger for much of the trip. His Test debut eventually came against England in 1950-51 and the following season he produced possibly his best single burst when he removed Gomez, Walcott and Worrell in eight balls against West Indies.

In 1955-56 he toured India and Pakistan with success, taking 35 wickets at 32.11 in first-class games where he used the new ball with skill. He was less penetrative in the Tests, his 13 wickets in six outings costing 46.61.

He made a second trip to England in 1958 where he took 62 wickets, including 11 against the MCC at Lord's. The New Zealand side was widely regarded as one of the worst to tour overseas and Hayes struggled in the four Tests with only six wickets. The bulk of those came in England's only innings at Lord's where Hayes took his Test-best 4 for 36.

In all first-class cricket he took 292 wickets, playing his domestic cricket for Auckland and Canterbury.

After retiring from cricket in 1961, he worked in an import-export business and was Morocco's honorary consul-general in New Zealand until his retirement in 2004.