Full Name

Johan Wilhelm Zulch


January 02, 1886, Lydenburg, Transvaal


May 19, 1924, Umkomaas, Natal, (aged 38y 138d)

Batting Style

Right hand Bat

Bowling Style

Right arm Medium

Johan Wilhelm "Billy" Zulch, for some years one of South Africa's leading batsmen, was found dead in bed on May 19, at Umkomaas (Natal), where he had gone to recoup his health after a nervous breakdown. He was born in the Lydenburg District, Transvaal, on January 20, 1886, and so was only 37 years of age at the time of his death. His education was received at Green and Sea Point High School, Cape Town, and his earliest big success on the cricket-field was an innings of 180 for Pretoria v. Potchefstroom. He was a great batsman, having many strokes and a strong defence, and a good field, but he never visited England. He toured Australia, however, in 1910-11, and played innings of 150 at Sydney and 105 at Adelaide in the Test matches. His first really big game was in 1905-6 for Pretoria against England, but he did not begin to come to the front until three years later. In Test matches against both Australia and England he commenced 32 innings, was twice not out and, with the 150 mentioned as his highest effort, scored 985 runs with an average of 32.83. (In one of the games with Australia--at Johannesburg in 1921-2--he was dismissed in an unusual manner, a splinter from his bat being removed by a ball from E. A. Macdonald and dislodging a bail.) When he made 176 not out for Transvaal v. England at Pretoria in 1909-10, he and L. A. Stricker (101) put up 215 for the first wicket. Twice in the Tests of 1913-14, too, he and H. W. Taylor were responsible for excellent opening partnerships, the pair making 153 together at Johannesburg and 129 at Port Elizabeth: Zulch's innings were respectively 82 and 60 and Taylor's 70 and 87. In the Test at Cape Town four seasons earlier Zulch had carried his bat through the innings for 43. In other great matches in his native land he scored 112 not out for Transvaal v. Border at Cape Town in 1908-9--he and A. Difford (91) made 190 for the first wicket, 168 for H. D. G. Leveson-Gower's XI. v. Rhodesia at Bulawayo in 1909-10, and 135 for South Africa v. Australia Imperial Forces at Johannesburg in 1919-20. In his seven innings whilst on tour with a Transvaal XI in 1920-1, he made 6 and 64 v. Border, 171 v. Grahamstown, 124 v. Eastern province, 76 v. Graaff Reinet, and 185 and 125 v. Orange Free State, thus averaging 107.28.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack

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Johan Wilhelm Zulch

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Debut/Last Matches of Billy Zulch