Full name Ralph Roland Phillips
Born February 28, 1920, East London, Cape Province
Died November 26, 2008, Claremont, Cape Town (aged 88 years 272 days)
Major teams Border, Cape Province, Orange Free State
Batting style Left-hand bat
Bowling style Legbreak googly
Education Selborne College
Relation Brother - JG Phillips
|First-class span||1939/40 - 1956/57|
Ricey Phillips was a top-order batsman and occasional legspinner, who made his debut in 1939-40, the last full season before World War Two. In his final match of the summer, he was brought on to bowl for the first time in his career and took a hat-trick in his first over.
In the war he served with the South African forces in Africa and was captured at Tobruk. While being transported as a prisoner-of-war to Germany across Italy, he made a dramatic escape and managed to get to England. He stayed for a while, playing some war-time cricket for a South Africa XI before returning home where he re-enlisted.
He resumed playing after the war, and returned in style with scores of 93, 62 , 53 and 139 in his first two matches. He finished the summer with 531 runs at 59.00 and was widely considered to be unlucky to miss out on the 1947 of England. "The following season we played Western Province at Newlands and Ricey scored a brilliant century in our second knock," Border captain Harold Whitfield recalled. "There was a barracker in the stands and every time Ricey hit a four the barracker would direct shouts to the national selectors in the stands, 'see what the Springboks missed, see what the Springboks missed!'" He continued playing until 1956-57 without recapturing his early post-war form.
He was a good enough rugby player - at either full-back or as a centre - to be picked for Springbok trials in 1949. A wrist injury sustained while playing full-back for Border all but finished him as a bowler.
His nickname came from a childhood liking for rice pudding.
He understands the Indian mentality better and doesn't have to deal with star players on the wane