Obituaries index: P-S

A-E - F-J - K-O - P-J - T-Z

Parker, Mark Moreton, died on October 12, 2002 as a result of injuries received in the terrorist bomb blast in Bali. He had recently celebrated his 27th birthday and was holidaying there prior to the New Zealand season after a successful summer with the Hampshire club St Cross Symondians. He was the son of Murray Parker and nephew of John, both New Zealand Test cricketers. Mark captained New Zealand at Under-20 level and in 1996-97 played three Shell Trophy matches for Otago, making 50 runs at 8.33 with a top score of 14. Gavin Larsen, the New Zealand one-day specialist who knew Parker from Wellington club cricket, described him as "mega-talented... he was a great timer of the ball and should have played more first-class cricket".

Perera, Deutrom Conrad Camillus, who died in Colombo on July 14, 2002, aged 64, was one of Sri Lanka's senior umpires. At the time he was administrative manager of the country's Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers and a senior instructor of umpires for the Board of Control. Camillus "Cammie" Perera had taken up umpiring in 1963, while in his twenties, and was considered an authority on the Laws of Cricket, editing Sri Lanka's first magazine for umpires, Nompere. His two international matches were in 1985-86. In September, he umpired in a one-day game when there was criticism that Sri Lanka, 32 for four in the tenth over and needing 72 in 15 to beat India on run-rate, were offered the light too soon. Six months later he stood in the Second Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan, after which the Pakistan team were said to be considering returning home in protest at the standard of umpiring and the behaviour of the spectators. Sri Lanka's eight-wicket victory was only their second in Tests.

Petersen, Eric, died in a car crash in Cape Town on August 26, 2002, aged 70. He was one of three non-white nominees for South Africa's Cricketer of the Century, along with Basil D'Oliveira and the black African batsman Frank Roro, and his career is emblematic of his country's sorry history. Petersen bowled quick off-breaks with big fingers that gave the ball a venomous tweak, making it spin and jump viciously on the matting wickets on which he played most of his cricket.

While still a Cape Town high-school student he applied to join, and was accepted by, the Ridgeville club in the Central Union. The Union, however, excluded him at its weekly "passing out parade". "They didn't give a reason," Petersen said years later, "but I know the Union had a policy of not accepting players who were too dark-skinned." Across town, the Ottomans club turned D'Oliveira down because he didn't comply with their Muslims-only policy. However, another mainly Muslim club, Pirates, gave the 18-year-old Petersen a place and he repaid them with a record number of wickets in his first season. Soon he was representing Western Province Malays (ie Muslims) in the interprovincial Barnato Trophy, and then South African Malays when in 1953 the Muslim players joined the Africans, Coloureds and Indians for the second of four inter-race tournaments staged by the South African Cricket Board of Control between 1951 and 1958. On his first appearance he took four for 53 against SA Coloureds, for whom D'Oliveira scored 65. Petersen took ten or more wickets three times in these two-day games and 58 in all at 12.74. Going to East Africa with D'Oliveira's side in 1958 - the first time a non-white team had left South Africa - he found the pitches so conducive to fast bowling that he took the new ball and ended the 16-match tour as leading wicket-taker with 43 at 9.06, including 21 at 8.33 in the three "Test" wins over Kenya. Sadly, the chance to prove himself against stronger international opposition was denied him when a proposed tour of South Africa by a West Indian side under Frank Worrell was cancelled because black politicians feared it would be seen as endorsing apartheid.

Petersen and D'Oliveira were given a passionate reception when they walked out at Newlands for the Cricketer of the Year ceremony on the opening day of the Fourth Test between South Africa and England on January 2, 2000. The damage done to them, and thousands like them, "by an unjust political system will never be undone", said the Sports Minister Ngconde Balfour, "but this gesture of recognition will ensure that their sporting prowess will be recorded for future generations".

Pfuhl, Gavin Pattison, died in Cape Town on April 1, 2002, aged 54, from a viral complication after a heart transplant. The day before the operation, he had been doing cricket commentary for television. Gavin Pfuhl kept wicket for Western Province when they won the Currie Cup in 1970, 1975 and 1978, and in 95 first-class games between 1967-68 and 1979-80 took 280 catches and made 34 stumpings. He also scored 2,331 runs at 21.58. "He was an excellent keeper in the days when Province had Denys Hobson bowling leg-spin," recalled Ali Bacher, who played for Transvaal against him. Twice, against Rhodesia in 1970-71 and Eastern Province in his final season, Pfuhl held six catches in an innings. He followed up the first instance - in a non-Currie Cup game at Salisbury - by hitting his only century, 117, despite being hit on the head by a Mike Procter bouncer.

Pike, Philip, who died at Penisarwaen, Caernarfon, on October 29, 2002, aged 76, was the Warwickshire scorer from 1967 to 1973 and also kept the England book at Edgbaston. "He was a very quiet man," Dennis Amiss recalled, "and always con-scientious. He blended in well with all the players and never tried to impose himself."

Place, Winston

Pollard, Jack Ernest, OAM, died in Sydney on May 25, 2002 following two strokes. He was 75, and over 44 years had written, ghosted or compiled 87 books celebrating Australian sports and pastimes. The first was the autobiography of the tennis champion Lew Hoad in 1958, and Pollard had recently closed the circle with the reminiscences of Hoad's widow, Jenny. His 15 cricket titles included Cricket: The Australian Way (1961), Australian Cricket: The Game and the Players (1982), which won the Cricket Society Literary Award in 1983, and the four-volume Complete History of Australian Cricket (1986-1995). He started off in journalism as a 17-year-old copy boy on the Sydney Daily Telegraph and worked in London for AAP (1947-56) before returning home to cover his third Olympics. The Jack Pollard Trophy is awarded to the winner of the Australian Cricket Society's annual literary award.

Powley, Alfred, died on May 9, 2002, aged 82, having had Parkinson's Disease. In 1986 Alf and his marginally older brother George became the first twins to umpire at Lord's when they stood in the Eton-Harrow match. Overnight rain delayed the start until three o'clock, whereupon Harrow were dismissed for 37, their lowest total since 1827; further rain prevented Eton from batting. From the late 1970s, the brothers, long-term members of the Association of Cricket Umpires, held winter training courses for umpires at Cockfosters CC and conducted seminars in various ICC Associate and Affiliate countries.

Puckett, Charles William, who died in Adelaide on January 21, 2002, aged 90, was instrumental in Western Australia winning the Sheffield Shield at their first attempt, in 1947-48. When they needed to beat Queensland at Brisbane in their final game, he bowled unchanged for nearly two and a half hours, taking the last five wickets for nine runs in six overs as Queensland collapsed to 130, and finishing with six for 48. Puckett was then 11 days from his 37th birthday and he kept delivering for WA until he was 42. In those six seasons he bowled more than a third of their overs and captured almost a third of their wickets while 23 other bowlers shared the workload. When the ball lost its shine and hardness he would switch from fast-medium swing to slow-medium off-cutters and quickish off-breaks, always prepared to "bowl till my arm drops off " as he had promised his captain, Keith Carmody, at the Gabba in February 1948. It wasn't only his practice of stopping the ball with his shins that earned him his nickname "The Iron Man".

Puckett was born in Surrey - his father was a sometime groundsman at The Oval - grew up in Adelaide and was lured to Perth in 1938 to play baseball, having already made his name as a catcher for South Australia and Victoria. Two brothers were also state ballplayers and his son Max, who died in 1991, was a five-times All-Australian, as well as playing one Sheffield Shield game for South Australia, against Western Australia, in 1964-65. Charlie won All-Australian selection in 1948 and 1952 before hanging up his mitt in 1954. Cricket was little more than a summer diversion until his bowling for West Perth in 1939-40 brought a first-class debut against South Australia, including Bradman (135) and Grimmett (11 wickets). Having spent the war as a physical training and unarmed combat instructor, Puckett was just the man to bowl 38 overs while the 1946-47 MCC tourists put on 477 at Perth, and his five for 126 earned him Combined XI games against MCC at Perth and Melbourne. These were affluent days for Australian fast bowling, though. The best Puckett could muster by way of national honours was a place in the 2nd XI that went to New Zealand in February 1950, recognition for taking 32 wickets at 18.87 in his four Shield games that season. His five for 45 helped bowl out the West Indians for 151 in December 1951 - WA went on to win by one wicket - and ten months on he welcomed the South Africans to Perth with five for 119. He finished, in 1952-53, with career figures of 158 wickets at 25.58 in 37 games. His best figures were six for 35 in routing South Australia at Perth in 1951-52. A fortnight before that he had struck a career-best 75 in 99 minutes after Victoria had reduced WA to 96 for seven. His batting was uncomplicated and his 643 runs averaged 14.61.

Quinn, Kevin Joseph, who died in Dublin on May 1, 2002, aged 79, was the last survivor of four brothers who represented Ireland at cricket. Kevin Quinn had won five Irish rugby caps by the time he received the first of his seven for cricket, in 1957. Three were in first-class games, in which he totalled 49 runs at 9.80; in all matches he made 171 runs, with a highest score of 43 in a one-day game against the 1958 New Zealanders, and took one wicket with his left-arm slows. Quinn's 25, opening the batting against Scotland at Dublin in 1957, was the second-highest score in a match in which the opposing spinners Frank Fee and David Livingstone took 12 and 11 wickets respectively and the Scottish keeper James Brown gained renown by equalling the world record of seven dismissals in an innings.

Rashid, Umer Bin Abdul, drowned at Concord Falls, Grenada, on April 1, 2002 in an unsuccessful attempt to rescue his brother, Burhan, who had been sucked under the water. Umer was 26, Burhan 18. The double tragedy occurred while Rashid's county, Sussex, were in Grenada for a pre-season tournament. He had been with them for three seasons and was as much admired for his friendly, easy-going personality as for his explosive left-hand batting and slow left-arm bowling.

Born in Southampton and raised in Middlesex, Rashid was spotted early on and shone throughout the 1995 Under-19 series against South Africa in a team led by Marcus Trescothick and featuring Andrew Flintoff and Alex Tudor. Rashid hit 64, batting at No. 11, and 97 not out in the first two "Tests" and took ten for 71 in the last. While studying at London's Southbank University, he was also in the Combined Universities squad for the Benson and Hedges Cup from 1995 to 1997. Middlesex gave him a Sunday League game in 1995 and a first-class debut in 1996. But with Phil Tufnell the resident left-arm spinner and Owais Shah, Rashid's exciting young Ealing club-mate, hitting first-team fifties while still at school, opportunities were few and far between. Rashid's 1999 move to Hove made good sense and paid immediate dividends. Maybe his bowling needed time to develop - at times he looked to be putting the ball there rather than spinning it - but the advance in his wristy batting was a revelation. He hit his maiden hundred, 110, and a second-innings half-century against Glamorgan at the Colwyn Bay run-fest in 2000. His 106 at Chester-le-Street a year later set up a Sussex win which he completed by taking four for nine inside ten overs. In 41 first-class games Rashid scored 1,421 runs at 25.37 and took 49 wickets at 42.30, with a best return of five for 103 at Northampton in 2000. His 71 one-day games produced 564 runs, with a best of 82 for the Universities against Hampshire in 1997, and 73 wickets including five for 24 at Swansea to boost Sussex's promotion drive in the 1999 National League. They had high hopes for him; fate cruelly decided otherwise.

Robinson, Miles Trevor, died in Hinton St George on September 28, 2002, aged 72. He still had a year to go at Shrewsbury School when Sussex gave him two Championship games in August 1947. What might have been a Boy's Own story became a baptism of fire. Robinson's pace had given some batsmen the hurry-up in the Lord's Schools matches, but taking the new ball at 17 against Lancashire's Washbrook and Place (qv) was a different proposition. Washbrook hit a hundred in each innings and put on 233 in two hours with Place to win the game. Robinson did not take a wicket, nor in the next game against Gloucestershire. He opened the Schools bowling again in 1948, but the perceptive if acerbic cricket writer E. M. Wellings saw "no likelihood of him improving materially with his present style". What concerned Wellings was his whirlwind windmill action, bowled "off the wrong foot". When Robinson attended Freshmen's nets at Oxford, the booming in-swingers that served him so well as a schoolboy had deserted him, along with the prospect of any more first-class cricket. His Blue, instead, was for soccer.

Rumbold, Sir Jack Seddon, who died on December 9, 2001, aged 81, was one of two New Zealanders in the Oxford team that won the first post-war University Match, the other being Martin Donnelly. A solid opening bat, Rumbold made nine and ten at Lord's and played only seven games for Oxford in all, making 175 runs at 12.50 with a highest score of 25 against Middlesex on debut. The rest of his life was more eventful. In 1944, his ship, the destroyer Inglefield, was sunk by a German glider bomb off Anzio, and he was mentioned in despatches for helping fellow survivors to safety. Called to the Bar in 1948, he became crown prosecutor in Wanganui and later attorney-general in Zanzibar, where he had to prepare a new constitution. Ten days after independence, a bloody coup took place; Seddon and family escaped on a yacht to the African mainland with only the clothes they stood up in. The new regime asked him back but he opted for attorney-general in Kenya. After moving to England, he became chairman and then president of the Industrial Tribunals, at which he liked to wear his MCC tie.

Russell, Rt Hon. Sir Thomas Patrick, died in Manchester on October 28, 2002, aged 76. A Lord Chief Justice of Appeal from 1987 to 1996, Sir Patrick Russell was president of Lancashire in 1999 and 2000. In 2001, he conducted a club inquiry into the conspicuous good fortune enjoyed by senior Lancashire officials' wives in winning players' benefit raffles four years on the trot. His conclusion was that nothing untoward had happened. A useful swing bowler, Russell had played club cricket into his forties for his native Urmston.

Singh, Amar, died in Pennsylvania on May 7, 2002, aged 69, remembered by many for his lifelong contribution to cricket in India and the United States. Born in Calcutta, he later attended Haverford College, Philadelphia, where his accomplishments at cricket, soccer and fencing resulted in his being called "the Darjeeling Demon". He organised the Haverford College centenary tour of England in 1996 and served as chairman and secretary of the C. C. Morris Cricket Library.

Singleton, Michael, OBE, MC, who died at Malvern on December 11, 2002, aged 89, was the elder brother of the Oxford Blue and 1946 Worcestershire captain, A. P. "Sandy" Singleton. George Michael Singleton played two games for Worcestershire that summer, having also played alongside his brother for the Free Foresters against Cambridge. His left-arm spin brought him five first-class wickets at 29.20. Batting down the order he averaged 8.50 with a best of 23 against Combined Services at Worcester.

Spencer, Thomas William, OBE, died in Seaton Delaval, Northumberland, on November 2, 1995, aged 81. His death was not widely noticed in cricket circles at the time, although his first-class career as player and umpire had covered 36 seasons and he stood in 17 Tests. Tommy Spencer made his debut for Kent at 21 but the potential shown in his Second Eleven run-making was never quite fulfilled. In 75 first-class games between 1935 and 1946, interrupted by war service in the RAF, he made 2,152 runs at 20.11, with a highest score of 96 against Sussex at Tunbridge Wells in his last season before going off to coach at Wrekin College. Strong to leg and a fine cutter, Spencer was an attractive attacking batsman, while his fielding in the deep marked him as a natural sportsman. In winter he played football for Fulham, Lincoln City and Walsall; he claimed to have played four sports professionally - the others being table tennis and boxing. He held 36 catches and in 1937 had Joe Hardstaff caught for 146 off a full-toss, his only first-class wicket.

At Frank Chester's suggestion Spencer went on the umpires' list in 1950. Four years later he was standing in the Second Test against Pakistan at Trent Bridge when Denis Compton made his highest Test score and Bob Appleyard took his first four wickets for England at a cost of six runs. But 15 years would pass before his second Test. "I was a bit disgusted," he told the Northern Echo many years later, "but determined to plod on and become a bloody good county umpire."

Spencer had a gummy smile and although literally toothless, he stood no nonsense in the middle. "He was an umpire one would always trust," said the Warwickshire and England opener John Jameson. "His decisions were spot on." By 1975 this had been recognised and he stood in the first World Cup final at Lord's. It was his no-ball call that gave Australia a momentary reprieve as hordes of jubilant West Indian supporters poured on to the field, believing that Jeff Thomson had been caught by Roy Fredericks in the covers. With the ball lost in the mêlée after Fredericks's shy at the stumps went for overthrows, Spencer and Dickie Bird signalled dead ball once Lillee and Thomson had run three; otherwise they might have run all 21 needed for victory.

He was at the business end again that summer when Lord's had its first streaker, during the Test against Australia. Patrick Eagar gave him his photograph of the event and in retirement, after 30 years on the first-class list, Spencer would show it at the Seaton Delaval working men's club from time to time to "give them a bit of a laugh". He attributed his longevity to not driving a car for his last 20 years as an umpire: he travelled to matches by train instead. It was much easier on the eyes, he claimed, and his unwavering concentration stood him in good stead. So did his honesty and integrity. David Constant, with whom Spencer stood in his last Test at Trent Bridge in 1978, recalled him frequently saying that umpires should "keep the game straight".

Steward, Exley Anthony Whitefoord, died in his native Durban on May 4, 2002, aged 63. Tony Steward had 15 games for Essex in 1964 and 1965. The highlight came in Westcliff Week, 1964, with a career-best 47 against Middlesex and 38 against Somerset after being promoted to No. 3. However, nothing in his remaining games that summer, nor again in 1965, warranted his going in so high, and his Essex aggregate was 272 runs. Three games for Natal B in 1967-68 took his career tally to 310 runs at 12.91. Steward could also keep wicket and bowl leg-spin.

Suryaveer Singh died in a motor accident, some 125 miles from Ahmedabad, on August 5, 2002, aged 65. His daughter and two sisters were also killed. Suryaveer Singh's cricket career was rather overshadowed by that of his younger brother Hanumant, the Indian Test batsman and ICC match referee, whom he followed into the Rajasthan team in 1959-60 after a season with Madhya Pradesh. These were heady times for Rajasthan, with Vijay Manjrekar joining them just as Vinoo Mankad was nearing the end of his illustrious playing days. They reached the final of the Ranji Trophy for the first time in 1960-61, and seven times in all during Suryaveer's 14 seasons with them. Each time they went down to invincible Bombay, though not always without some individual glory. The brothers shared two big partnerships in the 1966- 67 final, adding 176 for the third wicket and 213 for the second: Suryaveer made 79 and 132 and Hanumant, the captain, 109 and 213 not out. The match became known as Banswara v Bombay on account of their connection to the former royal family of that name. A forthright opening batsman and wicket-keeper, Suryaveer topped and tailed his eight first-class hundreds with centuries for Central Zone against the 1961- 62 and 1972-73 MCC sides. His highest was 184 not out for Rajasthan against Bombay in their 1968-69 Ranji semi-final. In 81 games he scored 4,006 runs at 32.30, made 94 catches and 16 stumpings and, purveying the occasional off-break, picked up five wickets at 47.80.

© John Wisden & Co