Dr. Reginald Bettington

BETTINGTON, DR. REGINALD HENSHAW BRINDLEY, who died in an accident--his car fell 100 feet on to a railway line--in New Zealand on June 24, aged 69, was a fine all-round sportsman. He was in the Oxford cricket XI for four years from 1920, being captain in 1923; played as a forward in the University Rugby matches of 1920 and 1922 and got his Blue at golf. He appeared for Middlesex, for Gentlemen v. Players and, after returning to Australia, captained New South Wales. In addition, he won both the New South Wales and Australian amateur golf championships.

Going from King's School, Paramatta, to Oxford in 1920, Reg Bettington got his cricket Blue as a Freshman. He created a big impression with his leg-breaks and googlies, taking 56 wickets for the University for 15.12 runs each. In the Freshmen's match, he dismissed eight men for 48 runs in an innings, took seven for 47 and five for 42 against Somerset, five for 48 against Essex and earned a similar analysis in the match at Oxford with Warwickshire. Yet he met with little success in the University match and he did not touch the same form in the following two seasons.

In 1923, when he became the first Australian to captain Oxford, however, he reaped a rich harvest of Cambridge victims. Helped by the effects of what Wisden described as the worst thunderstorm for twelve years, he took three wickets for 19 runs in the first innings and eight for 66 in the second, thus playing a leading part in victory for Oxford by an innings and 227 runs--the most substantial in the series between the Universities. Among other Outstanding analyses he achieved were six wickets for 71 runs against Hampshire at Oxford and five for 22 and four for 91 against Surrey at The Oval, and his full figures for the summer were 61 wickets for 16.55 each.

From the University he went to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, where he qualified as a doctor, and in 1928 he assisted Middlesex. In 15 County Championship matches, he took 54 wickets for 29.44 runs apiece and made 605 runs at an average of 30.25. Against Somerset at Lord's he followed an innings of 95 by sending back six second-innings batsmen for 78 runs, and he took six Somerset wickets for 78 on the same ground.

In all first-class cricket in England, he obtained 335 wickets for 22.15 runs each and, as a forthright batsman who once drove a ball into the Press Box at The Oval, he scored 3,072 runs, including five centuries, average 27.67.

For a number of years he was ear, nose and throat specialist to the Hawke's Bay Hospital Board, a post he held at the time of his death.

© John Wisden & Co