Denis Begbie, a quick-scoring batsman who played five Tests for South Africa immediately after the war, has died at the age of 94. At the time of his death he was the third oldest surviving Test cricketer behind New Zealand's Eric Tindill and another South African, Norman Gordon.
Begbie had just established himself in the Transvaal side when World War Two arrived, and it undoubtedly robbed him of some of his best years. He had to wait until 1947, by which time he was 33, for international recognition when he toured England after a productive domestic season. Despite enjoying a good summer - he scored 612 runs at 30.60 - he did not win a place in the Test side.
His debut finally came in 1948-49 by which time he was past his best. In five Tests - three against England that year and two more against Australia the following summer - he failed to make any impression with a highest score of 48.
Begbie was also a very good golfer, and was a past president of the Royal Johannesburg. He was a scratch golfer, and was a member of the club for 80 years.
His son, Jim Begbie, said his father had been following the current tour by Australia. "He said although it was inexperienced, this was the best Australian team he had ever seen," said his son. "He said they play better than we do."
Oldest Surviving Test Cricketer