Henry Gifford Vivian
November 04, 1912, Auckland
August 12, 1983, Auckland, (aged 70y 281d)
Left hand bat
Slow left arm orthodox
Henry Gifford Vivian, who died in Auckland on August 12, 1983, aged 70, was only 18 years 267 days when, as a left-handed allrounder of much natural ability, he played in the first of his seven Tests for New Zealand. That was at The Oval in 1931, and, besides taking the wickets of Sutcliffe and Ames, he was top scorer, in New Zealand's second innings, with 51. His record on that tour (1,002 runs and 64 wickets) included centuries against Oxford University and Yorkshire. At Wellington in 1931-32, against South Africa, he scored 100 (his only Test century) and 73, the highest score in each innings. On his second tour to England, in 1937, he opened New Zealand's innings in the three Test matches, three times reaching 50. A charming person and welcoming host, he had been only 22 when appointed to the captaincy of Auckland. By the time a back injury ended his first-class career and confined him to the game's administration--he did not play after the Second World War--he had scored 4,443 runs (average 34.71), including six centuries, the highest of them 165 for Auckland against Wellington in 1931-32, and taken 223 wickets. He also played with success in the late 30s for Sir Julien Cahn's XI. His son, Graham, played five times for New Zealand between 1964 and 1972.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Giff Vivian, who died in Auckland on August 12, at the age of 70, was only 18 when he made his Test debut during New Zealand's 1931 tour of England. A left-handed allrounder, he impressed immediately with an innings of 51 in the second innings at The Oval, having taken the wickets of Sutcliffe and Ames in England's weighty innings of 416 for 4. He added the wickets of Duleepsinhji and Hammond in the next Test, when rain prevented New Zealand from batting, and in his next Test, against South Africa at Wellington that winter, he scored 100 and 73 and took 4 for 58. The last three of his seven Tests were against England in 1937, when he made a pair of half-centuries at Old Trafford and another at The Oval, to finish with a Test career average of 42.10 (10 innings) and 17 wickets at 37.23. On both his tours of England he passed 1000 runs, making hundreds against Cambridge and Yorkshire (an even-time 101, with 12 fours and four sixes, at Harrogate) in 1931 and Hampshire in 1937, and his sharp spin brought him 64 and 49 wickets. In 1939 he played for Sir Julien Cahn's XI, he and fellow-Kiwi Stewart Dempster both recording over 1000 runs at averages of over 50.
Henry Gifford Vivian, born November 4, 1912 (he grew up in the same
neighbourhood as G. L. Weir), was an accomplished allrounder of whom New Zealand was immensely proud. His 165 for
Auckland v Wellington in 1931-32 was con-
sidered the best innings ever seen at Basin
Reserve. At 22 he became Auckland's
captain in acknowledgement of his
character and his understanding of the
game. He was a thinker and a conversa-
tionalist, always eager to talk with old
players. He served in the artillery during
the Second World War, and business
interests and a back injury stopped him
from playing further first-class cricket. His
career was thus confined to the 1930s,
during which he made 4443 runs and took
223 wickets. He later served as administra-
tor and Test selector, and founded the
worthy Crusaders XI, whose 'golden oldies'
showed school teams not only how to play
but how to behave. Vivian's son, Graham,
played in five Tests between 1964 and 1971.
Wisden Cricket Monthly
Batting & Fielding
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