Richard Bede McCosker
December 11, 1946, Inverell, New South Wales
Right hand bat
Although he played 25 Tests for Australia between 1975 and 1980 - it would have been far more but for his spell with World Series Cricket -scoring four hundreds, Rick McCosker will be best remembered for his gutsy innings in the Centenary Test at Melbourne in 1977. In the first innings he had his jaw broken by a Bob Willis bouncer (helmets only began to appear later that year) but in their second he came out to bat at No. 10 swathed in bandages and with his jaw wired shut, and made a gritty 25, including a hooked four off a John Lever bouncer, in a ninth-wicket stand of 54 with Dennis Lillee. Australia eventually won by 45 runs.
Tall and broad shouldered, McCosker, who worked in a bank, moved to Sydney from northern NSW to develop his cricket but it took him a long time to force his way into the state side. When he did, his powers of concentration and strength off his legs helped him establish himself, and four successive first-class hundreds gaine dhim a Test call-up against England in 1974-75 at the age of 28. He made 80 in his first knock, scored 202 at 40.40 in the series and remained a regular in the side until he defected to WSC. he struggled on Australia's tour of England in 1977 - as did most of his coleagues - which was in contrast to his tour two years earlier when he scored 414 runs at 82.80.
He returned to the Australian side after the demise of WSC for three Tests in 1979-80, but never really recaptured his old form, although he did lead NSW with some success. He retired at the end of the 1983-84 summer, signing off with 723 runs.
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