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Full name John William Solanky
Born June 30, 1942, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanganyika
Died October 7, 2003, Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland (aged 61 years 99 days)
Major teams East Africa, Devon, Glamorgan
Batting style Right-hand bat
|First-class span||1963/64 - 1976|
|List A span||1969 - 1976|
The Wisden Cricketer
John Solanky made his first-class debut for East Africa against MCC during their tour in 1963-64. During the mid 1960s he emigrated to the United Kingdom, and initially played League cricket in Devon, whom he represented in the Minor County Championship between 1967 and 1969.
His accurate medium-pace and forthright batting at club and Minor County level drew the attention of Glamorgan's scouts, and he joined the staff in the early 1970s. He made his County Championship debut in 1972 against Hampshire at Neath, and became a regular in the county`s 1st XI over the course of the next three years, winning his county cap in 1973. He scored 2263 first-class runs, and took 176 wickets, at a cost of 25 runs apiece, with his career-best bowling figures coming against Derbyshire at Buxton in 1975.
Solanky was also a very useful performer in limited overs games, where his nagging medium pace and wristy strokeplay in the lower middle-order made him a valuable member of the Glamorgan one-day set-up as the club rebuilt after the glory years in the 1960`s.
He left Glamorgan at the end of the 1976, as the club had signed West Indian allrounder Collis King. He spent a year acting as a cricket coach and squash professional in South Wales, before moving to Lisburn CC in Northern Ireland, whom he helped win the Senior League title in 1980, and later Cliftonville CC. He soon established a reputation as a superb coach and amongst the Irish internationals to benefit from his coaching were Kyle McCallan and the Patterson brothers, Mark and Andrew.
In the late 1980's he embarked on a second career as a technology teacher at a local secondary school in Carrickfergus - a position he held until his untimely and sudden death from a heart attack - and he continued to play with Cliftonville as an amateur until retiring in 1993. Andrew Hignell