Denis Begbie 1914-2009 March 10, 2009

Denis Begbie dies aged 94

Denis Begbie, a quick-scoring batsman who played five Tests for South Africa immediately after the war, has died at the age of 94. At the time of his death he was the third oldest surviving Test cricketer behind New Zealand's Eric Tindill and another South African, Norman Gordon.

Begbie had just established himself in the Transvaal side when World War Two arrived, and it undoubtedly robbed him of some of his best years. He had to wait until 1947, by which time he was 33, for international recognition when he toured England after a productive domestic season. Despite enjoying a good summer - he scored 612 runs at 30.60 - he did not win a place in the Test side.

His debut finally came in 1948-49 by which time he was past his best. In five Tests - three against England that year and two more against Australia the following summer - he failed to make any impression with a highest score of 48.

Begbie was also a very good golfer, and was a past president of the Royal Johannesburg. He was a scratch golfer, and was a member of the club for 80 years.

His son, Jim Begbie, said his father had been following the current tour by Australia. "He said although it was inexperienced, this was the best Australian team he had ever seen," said his son. "He said they play better than we do."

Oldest Surviving Test Cricketer

Player Span Mat Born Age
EWT Tindill (NZ) 1937-1947 5 18 Dec 1910 98y 82d
N Gordon (SA) 1938-1939 5 6 Aug 1911 97y 216d
RA Hamence (Aus) 1947-1948 3 25 Nov 1915 93y 105d
ESM Kentish (WI) 1948-1954 2 21 Nov 1916 92y 109d
CA Snedden (NZ) 1947-1947 1 7 Jan 1918 91y 62d
AJW McIntyre (Eng) 1950-1955 3 14 May 1918 90y 300d
AV Bedser (Eng) 1946-1955 51 4 Jul 1918 90y 249d
L Tuckett (SA) 1947-1949 9 6 Feb 1919 90y 32d
Mohammad Aslam (Pak) 1954-1954 1 5 Jan 1920 89y 64d
RT Simpson (Eng) 1948-1955 27 27 Feb 1920 89y 11d
GE Tribe (Aus) 1946-1947 3 4 Oct 1920 88y 157d
AG Ganteaume (WI) 1948-1948 1 22 Jan 1921 88y 47d
SJE Loxton (Aus) 1948-1951 12 29 Mar 1921 87y 346d
MK Mantri (India) 1951-1955 4 1 Sep 1921 87y 190d
PH Punjabi (India) 1955-1955 5 20 Sep 1921 87y 171d
AR Morris (Aus) 1946-1955 46 19 Jan 1922 87y 50d
K Rai Singh (India) 1948-1948 1 24 Feb 1922 87y 14d
ES Maka (India) 1952-1953 2 5 Mar 1922 87y 5d
AJ Watkins (Eng) 1948-1952 15 21 Apr 1922 86y 323d
R Tattersall (Eng) 1951-1954 16 17 Aug 1922 86y 205d
JC Watkins (SA) 1949-1957 15 10 Apr 1923 85y 334d
DV Smith (Eng) 1957-1957 3 14 Jun 1923 85y 269d
F Ridgway (Eng) 1951-1952 5 10 Aug 1923 85y 212d
TE Bailey (Eng) 1949-1959 61 3 Dec 1923 85y 97d
MR Rege (India) 1949-1949 1 18 Mar 1924 84y 357d
R Appleyard (Eng) 1954-1956 9 27 Jun 1924 84y 256d
AR MacGibbon (NZ) 1951-1958 26 28 Aug 1924 84y 194d
SC Guillen (NZ/WI) 1951-1956 8 24 Sep 1924 84y 167d
RC Miller (WI) 1953-1953 1 24 Dec 1924 84y 76d
EW Dempster (NZ) 1953-1954 5 25 Jan 1925 84y 44d
VI Smith (SA) 1947-1957 9 23 Feb 1925 84y 15d
ED Weekes (WI) 1948-1958 48 26 Feb 1925 84y 12d
RT Barber (NZ) 1956-1956 1 23 Jun 1925 83y 260d
GHG Doggart (Eng) 1950-1950 2 18 Jul 1925 83y 235d
DJ Insole (Eng) 1950-1957 9 18 Apr 1926 82y 326d
LV Maddocks (Aus) 1954-1956 7 24 May 1926 82y 290d
JG Dewes (Eng) 1948-1950 5 11 Oct 1926 82y 150d
RG Draper (SA) 1950-1950 2 24 Dec 1926 82y 76d
DB Carr (Eng) 1951-1952 2 28 Dec 1926 82y 72d
Israr Ali (Pak) 1952-1959 4 1 May 1927 81y 313d
S O'Linn (SA) 1960-1961 7 5 May 1927 81y 309d
MC Frederick (WI) 1954-1954 1 6 May 1927 81y 308d
TW Graveney (Eng) 1951-1969 79 16 Jun 1927 81y 267d
JJ Warr (Eng) 1951-1951 2 16 Jul 1927 81y 237d
E Leadbeater (Eng) 1951-1952 2 15 Aug 1927 81y 207d
RJ Westcott (SA) 1954-1958 5 19 Sep 1927 81y 172d
Khan Mohammad (Pak) 1952-1958 13 1 Jan 1928 81y 68d
Imtiaz Ahmed (Pak) 1952-1962 41 5 Jan 1928 81y 64d
KA Archer (Aus) 1950-1951 5 17 Jan 1928 81y 52d
CB van Ryneveld (SA) 1951-1958 19 19 Mar 1928 80y 356d
JR Reid (NZ) 1949-1965 58 3 Jun 1928 80y 280d
JD Nel (SA) 1949-1957 6 10 Jul 1928 80y 243d
RN Harvey (Aus) 1948-1963 79 8 Oct 1928 80y 153d
RH Shodhan (India) 1952-1953 3 18 Oct 1928 80y 143d
KW Hough (NZ) 1959-1959 2 24 Oct 1928 80y 137d
DK Gaekwad (India) 1952-1961 11 27 Oct 1928 80y 134d
FCM Alexander (WI) 1957-1961 25 2 Nov 1928 80y 128d
T Meale (NZ) 1958-1958 2 11 Nov 1928 80y 119d
CC McDonald (Aus) 1952-1961 47 17 Nov 1928 80y 113d
NI Thomson (Eng) 1964-1965 5 23 Jan 1929 80y 46d
LS Butler (WI) 1955-1955 1 9 Feb 1929 80y 29d

Martin Williamson is executive editor of Cricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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