John Morton Parker
February 21, 1951, Dannevirke, Manawatu
Right hand bat
The youngest of three brothers who all played first-class cricket, John Parker made up his mind to follow in the footsteps of Glenn Turner. A determined, if limited, batsman with a short backlift and plenty of pluck, he was also a fine fielder who could keep wicket if needed. In 1971 he paid his way to England, and had a successful trial at Worcester, scoring 91 on his first appearance. His eventual Test debut -- against Pakistan in 1972-73 -- was not so successful, as he broke a bone in his hand while fielding and was unable to bat. He redeemed himself after a miserable tour of England by scoring 108 against Australia at Sydney in 1973-74, and he was a member of the side which that same season beat Australia for the first time, at Christchurch. However, he was inconsistent as an opener, and did better when he dropped down the batting order. Vice-captain to Turner in Pakistan and India in 1976-77, Parker led his country in one match, against Pakistan at Karachi. He later became an amusing TV commentator.
Adapted by Wisden from World Cricketers: A Biographical Dictionary (Oxford, 1996).
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