Anthony John Pithey
July 17, 1933, Umtali (now Mutare), Rhodesia
November 17, 2006, Southbroom, Natal, (aged 73y 123d)
Right hand bat
Right arm offbreak
Rhodesian-born Tony Pithey's 17-Test career had one distinct highlight: a patient 154 against England at Cape Town in 1964-65. It was his only Test hundred. Able to bat as an opener or lower down the order, he was an accumulator rather than a strokemaker, and was fearless against fast bowling. His final Test series - against England - was his best, with his 462 runs coming at 51.33. But his runs came slowly - the 154, made on a good pitch, took six hours and his 95 in the next Test was equally pedestrian. He was named in the side to tour England in 1965 but didn't make the trip, withdrawing for business reasons. His brother David also played eight Tests for South Africa.
Tony Pithey, who has died in Durban after a long illness aged 73, was brought up in Rhodesia at the border town (between Rhodesia and Botswana) of Plumtree and was the elder of two brothers to represent South Africa. He played 17 Tests for his country while David, an offspinner, played eight. Pithey was a solid, rather than enterprising, right-hand batsman with a good technique against the new ball who represented South Africa as opening batsman and later at No.3. He toured England in 1960 and Australasia in 1963-64 and played home series against England in 1956-57 and 1964-65. His best series was the last, when he made his only Test century, taking more than seven hours to make 154 at Newlands. After retiring he remained in the administration of the game and was part of the historic selection panel when South Africa returned to international cricket in 1991.
Michael Owen-Smith, The Wisden Cricketer
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