Full name Geffery Noblet
Born September 14, 1916, Parkside, Adelaide, South Australia
Died August 16, 2006, Adelaide, South Australia (aged 89 years 336 days)
Major teams Australia, South Australia
Also known as Mistakenly christened Geffrey, he always signed his name that way
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium
|Test debut||South Africa v Australia at Port Elizabeth, Mar 3-6, 1950 scorecard|
|Last Test||Australia v South Africa at Melbourne, Feb 6-12, 1953 scorecard|
|First-class span||1945/46 - 1952/53|
thin and upright,
seemed nearly to
touch the clouds
when he bowled.
He was 6ft 3in, nothing these days,
but dwarfed almost all his Australian
team-mates and once dismissed the
great West Indian Frank Worrell for a
king pair in a tour match in Adelaide.
Competition for places in
Australia's best XIs after the war was
so intense, however, that he remained
an understudy for almost his entire
career. His most memorable moment
came as Australia's 12th man in
Melbourne in 1951-52 when he ran
for Arthur Morris in both innings after
he injured his thigh while fielding.
While Morris made only 6 and 12,
Noblet said so supercharged was
the atmosphere and so high was
his excitement that he could not
remember his feet touching the
While he may have been fourth in
line behind Australia's celebrated postwar
trio of Ray Lindwall, Keith Miller
and Bill Johnston, he toured South
Africa in 1949-50 and at Port Elizabeth,
having replaced Lindwall in the final
international, his first-innings haul of
3 for 21 helped trigger a South African
Team-mates said he was the
unluckiest to miss selection for the
tour to England in 1953, the final fast
bowling place being given to the
Queensland teenager Ron Archer on
promise rather than performance.
"They announced the [touring] team
one night after play [in the fifth Test],"
Archer said. "I looked across at Nobby
and knew how hurt he was - not that
he ever complained. He was a far
better bowler than I at that stage."
While Noblet lacked the genuine
hostility of Lindwall and Miller, his
height and whippy action enabled
him to extract bounce from the
deadest of wickets and from a run-up
of only seven strides. The opportunity
to play under the captaincy of Don
Bradman was a key factor, he said, in
his improvement. Either he bowled an
impeccable off-stump line or the Don
would throw the ball to someone else.
In 2003 Noblet received an Order
of Australia Medal for his services to
cricket. He was predeceased by his
wife, Betty, and is survived by two
daughters, Susan and Elizabeth.
Ken Piesse September 2006
This obituary first appeared in the October 2006 edition of The Wisden Cricketer
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