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Full name Warrick Maxwell Darling
Born May 1, 1957, Waikerie, South Australia
Current age 57 years 330 days
Major teams Australia, South Australia
Batting style Right-hand bat
|Test debut||Australia v India at Adelaide, Jan 28-Feb 3, 1978 scorecard|
|Last Test||India v Australia at Mumbai, Nov 3-7, 1979 scorecard|
|ODI debut||West Indies v Australia at St John's, Feb 22, 1978 scorecard|
|Last ODI||Australia v West Indies at Melbourne, Jan 23, 1982 scorecard|
|First-class span||1975/76 - 1985/86|
|List A span||1976/77 - 1985/86|
Rick Darling was a stylish, if inconsistent, opening batsman and outstanding cover fielder whose 14-Test career was over before he turned 23. He got his chance early because of World Series Cricket, and impressed with his fearless cutting and hooking. But with that came the impetuosity of youth, and Darling often wasted a good start. His finest innings came at Sydney in 1978-79, when he laced 91 in a low-scoring match against England. In that same series, at Adelaide, Darling almost died when the gum he was chewing lodged in his throat after he was hit on the heart by a ball from Bob Willis. John Emburey, with a hearty thump, came to the rescue. An unimpressive tour of India followed - he was again hit on the head, this time by Kapil Dev - and even though he continued to plunder runs for his state, he wasn't recalled.
Over the last few months, he has slowly moved from a flashy finisher, to a more measured risk manager
It was Grant Elliott and New Zealand's time in Auckland. Not South Africa's. But the Proteas will leave this tournament wondering when that will ever change. Maybe next time.