Prominent Auckland and national administrator dies

Lynn McConnell

October 24, 2000

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Former New Zealand and Auckland cricket administrator Ken Deas died in Auckland on Friday.

He was 73. Born on July 10, 1927, he died on October 20, 2000.

The son of Jim Deas, a prominent Auckland politician, in the 1930s and 1940s, Ken Deas was the brother of Les Deas, who became a leading Auckland rugby administrator after a successful playing career in both rugby and cricket at representative level.

A pharmacist in his business life, Ken Deas had a long association with cricket, both as a player whose first-class career for Auckland spanned from 1946/47 until 1960/61 and then as an administrator.

A left-arm slow bowler, he played for Middlemore initially, which later became the Papatoetoe club. It was while a pharmacy student in the 1946/47 season that he was first selected for Auckland.

He was called into the side to play Walter Hammond's 1946/47 England team but was named 12th man for a team that was well beaten within two days.

Once he completed his pharmacy studies in the early 1950s he travelled overseas with his wife Marie and worked in Scotland where he was selected in the national team in 1955 and 1956.

After his playing career was completed, he moved into selection, first as an Auckland selector then as a national selector from 1965/66 until 1974/75, his last act being the selection of the first New Zealand team to attend a World Cup.

He also served as chairman of Auckland Cricket, becoming a life member and president and at the time of his death he was vice-patron.

He was Auckland delegate to the New Zealand Cricket Council and was a manager of international touring teams. He was also president of New Zealand Cricket. He was manager to Sri Lanka in 1987 when New Zealand's tour was aborted after a bomb blast in Colombo and he was manager of the New Zealand team to India when Richard Hadlee claimed the world test bowling record from Ian Botham.

Deas is survived by his wife Marie and his son Murray and daughters Heather, Alison and Fiona.

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