Colin Bland      

Full name Kenneth Colin Bland

Born April 5, 1938, Bulawayo, Rhodesia

Died April 14, 2018, London (aged 80 years 9 days)

Major teams Rhodesia, South Africa, Eastern Province, Orange Free State

Batting style Right-hand bat

Bowling style Right-arm medium

Other Coach

Kenneth Colin Bland
Batting and fielding averages
Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 6s Ct St
Tests 21 39 5 1669 144* 49.08 3 9 20 10 0
First-class 131 219 28 7249 197 37.95 13 34 51 0
List A 4 4 0 138 69 34.50 0 1 1 0
Bowling averages
Mat Inns Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10
Tests 21 12 394 125 2 2/16 2/17 62.50 1.90 197.0 0 0 0
First-class 131 3508 1517 43 4/40 35.27 2.59 81.5 0 0
List A 4 174 138 3 1/38 1/38 46.00 4.75 58.0 0 0 0
Career statistics
Test debut South Africa v New Zealand at Durban, Dec 8-12, 1961 scorecard
Last Test South Africa v Australia at Johannesburg, Dec 23-28, 1966 scorecard
Test statistics
First-class span 1956/57 - 1973/74
List A span 1969/70 - 1972/73

Bulawayo-born Colin Bland will go down in cricket history as one of the greatest cover fielders. He combined speed, perfect balance and a quite exceptional throwing arm, and thrilled spectators and intimidated opposing batsmen in equal measure. Even in the modern era, when outstanding fielders are more commonplace, Bland would have stood out. He honed his skills by endless practice throwing at a single stump, and later on he used this to show off his skills to the public during team fielding sessions . Much as was the case with Jonty Rhodes in the 1990s, even if Bland did not perform with the bat, he was worth an extra 20-30 runs for his fielding alone. But he could bat, even if he was often undone by a tendency to try and loft the ball bacl over the bowler's head. In 1963-64 in Australia he scored 126 at Sydney, ending the series with 367 runs at 61.16, and followed with 207 runs at 69.00 in New Zealand. Against England in 1964-65 he was again at his best, hammering 144 at Johannesburg and his 572 runs came at 71.50. In England the following summer he made 906 runs, including 286 at 47.66 in the three Tests. On that tour, which was South Africa's last series against England for 29 years, Bland's fielding was a revelation wherever he went, and his run-outs of Ken Barrington and Jim Parks at Lord's turned the match. His Test career ended tragically at Johannesburg against Australia in 1966-67, when he crashed into a boundary fence while chasing the ball, badly damaging his left knee. In domestic cricket he was no less popular, and equally effective. In 1967-68 he smashed 197 in three hours for Rhodesia against Border in a low-scoring match on a poor wicket which highlighted his class. He was also a very useful medium-fast right-arm bowler who was probably underused.
Martin Williamson

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Apr 16, 2018

Colin Bland in action during South Africa's tour of England in 1965, Lord's

Colin Bland in action during South Africa's tour of England in 1965

© PA Images

Mar 3, 1965

Colin Bland on the eve of the 1965 England tour

Colin Bland on the eve of the 1965 England tour

© The Cricketer International


Colin Bland batting at Durban

Colin Bland batting at Durban

© The Cricketer International


Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1966