Charles Stewart Dempster
November 15, 1903, Wellington
February 14, 1974, Wellington, (aged 70y 91d)
Right hand Bat
Stewie Dempster died on February 13 at Wellington, New Zealand, where he was born on November 15, 1903. Probably the best batsman New Zealand has produced, he first toured England in 1927 and headed the batting averages, but no Tests were played. He first played against England during the 1929-30 MCC tour and in the second Test scored 136 and 80 not out; with J. W. E. Mills he put on 276 for the first wicket-still the New Zealand record first-wicket stand. In 1931 he scored 120 against England at Lord's and his average for the tour was 59.26. He captained New Zealand v South Africa in 193132 and also in two Tests against England in 1932-33. In his ten Tests he scored 723 runs for an average of 65. Dempster then settled in England and in 1935 became a member of Sir Julien Cahn's talented XI. Cahn appointed him manager of one of his Leicester stores, thus allowing him to play for the county he captained in 1936, 1937 and 1938. He was a most prolific scorer for Leicestershire and twice hit three centuries in consecutive innings. Wisden chose him as one of the Five Cricketers of the Year in 1932 and in 1937 he played for the Gentlemen v Players at Lord's. He represented Scotland on several occasions and after the war played a few games for Warwickshire but soon returned to New Zealand. He maintained his interest in the game to the end and coached many young players. Oddly enough he used to emphasise that he had never received any coaching and it was not until he came to England in 1927 that he really learned to play cricket. A neat and compact player, he ranked amongst the first six batsmen in the world; his admirable footwork made him probably the best player of slow bowling during his career, being particularly strong on the off side. Although he usually opened the New Zealand innings, his regular position for Leicestershire was No. 4. In the field he was really magnificent-usually close to the wicket. In first-class matches Dempster scored 12,267 runs, with an average of 45.43.
Batting & Fielding