Stephen John Rixon
February 25, 1954, Albury, New South Wales
Right hand Bat
A sound wicketkeeper and dependable lower-order batsman who entered the NSW team following the retirement of Brian Taber, Rixon was thrust into the spotlight when chosen for Australia against India and the West Indies in 1977-78 after Rodney Marsh and Richie Robinson were signed up for World Series Cricket. After being Marsh's understudy during the 1981 Ashes tour he received his next international opportunity when Marsh retired and Wayne Phillips was injured in 1984-85. He signed for a lucrative, but rebel, tour of South Africa in 1985-86 which ended his Test career. At the time of his retirement in 1988 he had played more games for New South Wales than anyone else.
After his retirement as a player, Rixon became coach of the New South Wales team in 1989-90. In his first five seasons the Blues reached the Sheffield Shield final on each occasion, winning three, and achieving the Shield/one-day cup double twice. From there he became the successful coach of the New Zealand team from late 1996 until the end of the England tour of 1999, after which he returned to Sydney to pursue his business interests.
But at the start of the 2000-01 series he returned as New South Wales's coach, and at the end of the 2003-04 summer, with his contract up, he moved to England to take charge at Surrey but that didn't work out and he left after two years with some stinging criticism of English cricket. He was subsequently linked with a series of international vacancies. He joined the Indian Cricket League before its second season and took over as coach of the Hyderabad Heroes from Moin Khan.
Rick Eyre February 2008
Batting & Fielding