Obituaries index: K-O

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

Kamalasuriya, Sujeewa Priyantha, was killed by the Indian Ocean tsunami at Unawatuna, Sri Lanka, on December 26, 2004. He was 39. Kamalasuriya was a left-handed bat who played three first-class matches for Tamil Union in 1988-89, scoring 69 against Galle, and also appeared in two Under-19 Tests. He had moved to Australia and was showing his home country to a friend; they had arrived at the beach to go snorkelling when the wave struck.

Kumar, Dileep, died after he was hit on the chest during a college match in Srikakula, near Visakhapatnam in India, on July 31, 2004. He was 18. A promising opening batsman, he was a junior intermediate student at Nalanda College, and was playing for East Bengal against a team from Vizianagram when he collapsed after being hit by a rising delivery. He died on the way to hospital.

Langdon, Christopher Walter, died on May 2, 2004, aged 81. Wally Langdon was a legendary figure in Western Australian cricket, and a member of the side that sensationally claimed the Sheffield Shield at their first attempt, in 1947-48. They did not win it again for 20 years, by which time he was their coach. Langdon was a classy left-hander regarded in Perth as unlucky to miss out on Test selection, then dominated by players from the Eastern states. Langdon had to content himself with state cricket, and a tour of India with Jock Livingston's Commonwealth XI in 1949-50. All Langdon's five first-class hundreds came for Western Australia, two as captain in his last full season, 1952-53. His first was a boundary-studded 112 against Don Bradman's Australian team who stopped off in Perth in March 1948 before boarding the boat to England. The Don was impressed, and invited Langdon to play in one of his farewell testimonial matches the following season. In front of huge crowds at the MCG, Langdon scored 60 and 42 in a match that ended as a tie. Langdon, who was also a handy left-arm medium-pacer, was Burnley's professional in the Lancashire League in 1955 and 1956, and later became a familiar voice as a commentator for ABC Radio. Richie Benaud recalled his "gift of painting the picture of the play for the listeners".

Larkham, William Trevor, died on April 3, 2004, aged 74. Trevor Larkham was a leg-spinner who played one match for Worcestershire in 1952 when Roly Jenkins was in the Test team. He was a stalwart of the Kidderminster club in the Birmingham League.

Legard, Antony Ronald, who died on August 22, 2004, aged 92, produced a devastating piece of bowling in the 1935 Varsity Match. Opening the bowling for Oxford and swinging the ball both ways, he bowled out a very strong Cambridge side and took seven for 36. It was not enough to save Oxford from a heavy defeat. He was also their most successful bowler in the 1932 game, with match figures of six for 64, but was dropped for the Varsity Match in 1933 and did not play at all in 1934. He appeared in a solitary match for Worcestershire after his success at Lord's, and played sporadically thereafter for the Europeans in India, the Free Foresters and for MCC in Ireland.

Leggat, Alick J., who died aged 98 on January 23, 2004, served on the Lancashire committee from 1961 to 1987, the last 15 years as treasurer. He returned, however, as club president for 1991-1992, shortly after the admission of women to full membership. A man of strongly held and traditional opinions, he struggled to remember to add "Ladies" to "Gentlemen" when addressing the AGM. As a friend of the artist L. S. Lowry, he collected many of his paintings, including A Cricket Match and a Cricket Sight Board, whose sale for £600,000 is reported in Cricketana, page 1699.

Lewis, William Ian, died suddenly on November 20, 2004, aged 69. Ian Lewis was a right-hand bat who represented Ireland 20 times between 1955 and 1973, playing in five first-class matches without much success. He was president of the Irish Cricket Union in 1989, and his son Alan became Ireland's most capped player.

Mackenna, Robert Ogilvie, died on November 22, 2004, aged 91. An opening bowler, Ogilvie MacKenna played two first-class matches for Scotland, against Yorkshire in 1938 and Ireland in 1946, taking two wickets. He became a librarian, and was keeper of the Hunterian Books and Manuscripts at Glasgow University from 1951 to 1978. He was president of the Scottish Cricket Union in 1968.

Mackerdhuj, Karamchund, died in a Durban hospital on May 26, 2004, aged 64, having suffered a heart attack after a knee operation. Krish Mackerdhuj was president of South Africa's United Cricket Board from 1992 to 1998 and played a major role in the post-apartheid unification of the game there. A member of the Durban Indian community, Mackerdhuj had been a staunch campaigner against the half-hearted integration of sport under the old regime and as late as 1989 was arrested at a demonstration against a touring rugby team. But his mixture of a sharp mind and genial manner made him a highly effective operator in the new South Africa and he forged a constructive, if wary, partnership with the board's chief executive, Ali Bacher, and useful alliances with cricket's emerging Asian partners. Mackerdhuj felt flashes of his old anger when South Africa were welcomed to England and Australia after the end of the boycott as though the tours were merely a resumption of the old apartheid-era connections. He described the programme for the 1994 Lord's Test as "the most deplorable, disgusting document that was ever produced" for making no reference to the unity process. He gave up cricket administration to become South Africa's ambassador to Tokyo for five years, but before he died was being whispered as a possible president of ICC in 2005. "South African cricket has lost a visionary leader," said the current board president Ray Mali.

McLean, Sir Terance Power, who died on July 10, 2004, aged 90, is believed to be the only person knighted specifically for his sports journalism (Sir Neville Cardus was partly recognised for his music writing). Terry McLean was mainly famous for his knowledgeable and incisive work on rugby; he was a tireless writer on the game in the New Zealand Herald and produced a stream of books. He was also a welcome visitor to cricket press boxes. In 1965-66 he covered the MCC tour of New Zealand, but the tedium of the cricket - every game was drawn - did not encourage him to repeat the experience.

Maker, Elizabeth Jean, died on February 2, 2004, aged 78. Betty Maker, born in Australia, was a left-arm medium-pace bowler for Wellington who played three women's Tests for New Zealand, all in England in 1966, when she was past 40. She made a 29-minute duck in her first Test, and opened the bowling in the last, at The Oval, where she took four for 60 in the match.

Mara, Ratu Sir Kamisese Kapaiwai Tuimacilai, who died on April 18, aged 83, was hereditary paramount chief of the island of Lau and the founding father of modern Fiji, as its first prime minister and later president. He was also a fast-medium bowler who was vice-captain of the 1953-54 Fijian touring team in New Zealand, and played two matches which were given first-class status. He performed impressively in both games, taking seven wickets against Otago, and scoring 44 in 46 minutes against Canterbury, before breaking his arm in the second innings. He also led the Fijian team to victory over the West Indians in Suva in 1956. His imposing stature - 6ft 6in - helped both his bowling and his political authority, and he cut an especially impressive figure in his sulu (traditional skirt) at Commonwealth Conferences. Under his leadership, the country became a beacon of stability in the South Pacific, but this broke down later, leading to three coups and lasting damage to Mara's reputation.

Marsham, Algernon James Bullock, who died on February 11, 2004, aged 84, was the last of the Marshams to play for Kent; the family had been associated with cricket in the county since the 18th century, and his father was captain from 1904 to 1908. Algernon Marsham played just six games for Kent in the two seasons after the war without much success, but he scored an unbeaten 74 for Combined Services against Oxford in 1946.

Martin, Edmund John, died on June 9, 2004, three months short of his 102nd birthday. Teddy Martin was a Western Australia leg-spinner in the days before the state joined in the Sheffield Shield. As a result he only played two firstclass matches, but they were memorable: the first two games of the 1932-33 MCC tour when Douglas Jardine's team faced a state side and then a Combined XI at the WACA. Martin took six for 165 in the opening match, and had Freddie Brown dropped four times. Batting at No. 9, he was also roughed up by Harold Larwood and Bill Bowes in a short bouncer barrage that was a harbinger of the Bodyline strategy. Martin retired to concentrate on accountancy and worked for BP until he was 72, remaining sprightly until after he reached his 100th birthday, a milestone never previously achieved by an Australian first-class player. "It's nice to have beaten Bradman at something," he said.

Martin, Ruth, see Symons.

Matthews, Alexander Angus, died on January 30, 2004, aged 73. Sandy Matthews, from Port Elizabeth, umpired 35 first-class matches in South Africa between 1969-70 and 1986-87, when his final match involved Kim Hughes's rebel Australians. He wrote more than a thousand columns on chess for the Eastern Province Herald.

Melle, Michael George, died on December 28, 2003, aged 73. South African fast bowler Michael Melle took five for 113 against Australia on his Test debut, at Johannesburg in 1949-50. It was only his fifth first-class match, and he had taken just six previous wickets. He played seven Tests in all, six against Australia and one at The Oval in 1951, when he mopped up the tail for the startling figures of 10-6-9-4 in England's first innings. Melle topped the bowling averages on that tour, with 50 wickets at 20.28, but a hernia operation cost him six weeks halfway through, and he appeared only in the final Test. The previous home season he recorded the astonishing analysis of 12-7-8-8 for Transvaal as Griqualand West were bundled out for 29. In Australia in 1952-53 he played in the first four Tests, taking six for 71 in the First at Brisbane, but overall he was not quite quick enough to trouble the best batsmen. The Australian commentator Johnnie Moyes, reviewing the tour, said that Melle "in general lacked the extra life and fire so necessary for Test match fame. This likable chap had the bulk, power and probably the ambition to bowl fast, but... lacked the ability to use body and arms as the great fast bowlers have done." Melle's father Basil played for Western Province, Hampshire and Transvaal.

Meuleman, Kenneth Douglas, died on September 10, 2004, aged 81. A prolific and consistent opener whose fluid foot-movement led Arthur Mailey to nickname him "Pavlova", Ken Meuleman played just one Test for Australia, against New Zealand at Wellington in 1945-46, where he was out for a duck in his only innings, a dishonour he shares with five other Australians. He was selected for that tour, which only later gained Test status, after just five first-class matches for Victoria, which included two centuries. He was twelfth man for the first two Tests of the 1946-47 Ashes series, but could not force himself back into the strong Australian side, although he did tour India with Ben Barnett's Commonwealth XI in 1953-54, and struck centuries in the last two unofficial Tests. He had moved across to Perth the season before, and became something of a legend there, not least because his son, Bob, and grandson, Scott, both played for the state too. But Meuleman initially earned that respect with his runs - scoring over 3,000 for Western Australia at an average of 51.48, and half his 22 first-class hundreds. The highest was a gritty 234 not out in nearly eight hours against South Australia in 1956-57, the state's first double-century. Richie Benaud recalled his "great sporting gesture" during the deciding Sheffield Shield match of 1959-60 when Meuleman, as fielding captain, could have gone off in light rain and prevented New South Wales from winning the Shield. After his retirement, Meuleman turned to coaching, setting up an indoor school and shop in Perth, where he had a hand in the development of many notable local players, including Justin Langer.

Michael, Reginald Gilbert, who died on August 30, 2004, aged 97, was secretary of Ewyas Harold Cricket Club, Herefordshire, for 78 years, from 1924 until 2002. It is thought he was performing most of the secretarial functions from about 1922. Reg Michael played regularly as an all-rounder until he was 65, and was also secretary of the village football team for more than 70 years, and the village's Hereford Times correspondent for 77 years until his death. He lasted a trifling 40 years as clerk to the parish council. "Ewyas Harold was the centre of my dad's universe," said his son Robin.

Mills, Damian, who died in his sleep on November 17, 2003, aged 24, was a promising young player in the Canadian high-performance programme. He captained Winnipeg Juniors, scoring over 1,100 runs for them in 2003, the sixth year in seven that he had been the leading run-scorer in Manitoba. He played three times for Canada in the West Indian Red Stripe Bowl, in 1999 and 2000, opening the innings each time, but with limited success.

Mooney, Francis Leonard Hugh, died on March 8, 2004, aged 82. A polished wicket-keeper who won 14 caps for New Zealand, Frank Mooney was serious on the field, rarely smiling or speaking, but a changed man off it, where his exploits earned him the nickname "Starlight". He first appeared for Wellington in 1941-42, and hammered 180 against Auckland in his second match a year later, but his batting was generally moderate, so it was a shock when he was chosen as the first-choice keeper for the 1949 tour of England. It caused outrage in Dunedin, where dockers threatened strike action in support of their local man, George Mills of Otago. But Mooney was a success, scoring 102 against MCC at Lord's, and kept his place for almost five years. Soon after he retired, Mooney made the news when he won a hefty bet that he could drive the 410 miles on the then primitive roads from Auckland to Wellington in less than seven hours. He started at midnight, had his powerful Jaguar further souped up, arranged for garages to be open in the small hours and rocketed through the night. There was widespread embarrassment when news leaked out and Mooney paid a small fine out of the winnings to cover the police's certainty that he must have exceeded 100mph at some point. In his forties he won another big bet that he could run a five-minute mile. He later became a Test selector.

Mountgarret, Rt Hon the 17th Viscount, who died on February 7, 2004, was regarded as a comically eccentric aristocrat until events thrust him into the centre of Yorkshire's turbulent cricket politics of the 1980s. In 1984, Mountgarret - owner of a huge swathe of countryside near Harrogate - was nominated out of the blue as Yorkshire president in the midst of the club's civil war between supporters and opponents of Geoff Boycott. His arrival was farcical: the chairman, Reg Kirk, introduced him as "Viscount Mountbatten". But Mountgarret, himself just an enthusiastic but indifferent cricketer for the smarter touring clubs, was so far above the Yorkshire battle that he proved the ideal choice. He said he intended to "bang heads together", and he succeeded in doing so: during his six years as president, the situation became far calmer. He was helped by being rather deaf, which meant he never had to listen to the overheated nonsense talked on both sides of the dispute. Earlier, he had been best known for a bizarre incident when he took pot-shots at a hot-air balloon that flew over his grouse moor; he was found guilty of recklessly endangering an aircraft, and fined £1,000.

Neasom, Michael, died on March 15, 2004, aged 69, after a long illness. Mike Neasom grew up in Sussex, where he watched Harold Gimblett's 310 at Eastbourne in 1948 and faced the young John Snow, who bowled him for a duck, playing for Midhurst against Bognor. He later crossed the border and covered Hampshire (and Portsmouth FC) for The News, Portsmouth, from 1974 to 1997. Neasom was a stalwart local journalist, trusted by the players but honest and critical whenever necessary. He was Wisden's Hampshire correspondent from 1990 to 1998.

Norton, Eric Bertram, died on February 23, 2004, aged 84. "Pop" Norton was an Eastern Province batsman who toured Australia in 1952-53 without breaking into the Test side. He was, at 32, the oldest member of a South African party notable for its tigerishly youthful fielding. He captained the Junior Springbok rugby team in 1950, and was regarded as an outstanding rugby coach at his old school, St Andrew's College in Port Elizabeth, where he eventually became headmaster. His uncle, Norman Norton, played one Test for South Africa in 1909-10.

Ogiral, Arun Muralidhar, died on February 26, 2004, aged 61. He was an off-spinner who played for Vidarbha and India's Central Zone, and took eight for 39 against Madhya Pradesh at Nagpur in 1967-68. In his one appearance against a major touring side - for Central Zone against Clive Lloyd's West Indians in 1974-75 - he took five for 186 including Viv Richards, caught behind for 45.

Outridge, Thomas Michael, who died on July 21, 2003, aged 75, was a left-hand batsman who played 19 matches for Western Australia in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Outridge passed 90 twice without ever making a first-class century, scoring a rapid 92, with three sixes off Brian Close, in a run-chase against Freddie Brown's England tourists in 1950-51. He also took 21 wickets with his left-arm wrist-spin.

© John Wisden & Co
 
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