Robert James Parish
May 07, 1916, Armadale, Melbourne
May 11, 2005, Melbourne, (aged 89y 4d)
Wisden Cricketers' Almanac obituary
PARISH, ROBERT JAMES, OBE, died on May 11, 2005, aged 89. Bob Parish was perhaps the most committed, hard-working and long-serving of all Australian administrators and spent 33 years on the Australian Cricket Board, including two stints as chairman. Unfortunately for him, the second of these, from 1975 to 1980, encompassed the game's great schism. Parish was in the forefront of the battle against Kerry Packer, which he had helped precipitate by refusing to negotiate with him over television rights, and was seen as one of the board's most hawkish anti-Packer figures. However, when surrender became inevitable, he gave in gracefully. Parish was a Melbourne timber merchant who joined the committee at the Prahran club in 1936 and was involved in running the game for the next 56 years. He was noted (unlike many officials) for being an enthusiastic spectator. "He was the epitome of dedication to cricket," said Cricket Australia chairman Bob Merriman. Former ICC president Malcolm Gray said Parish was "the greatest cricket administrator Australia has ever produced".