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Dynamic Wellington-born businessman Sir Ron Brierley was tonight awarded life membership of Cricket Wellington.
Brierley, a long-time benefactor of Wellington and New Zealand cricket, was unable to be in attendance for Cricket Wellington's annual meeting as he is in London, as he said in his own words, "battling the London Stock Exchange et al!"
"I am very honoured to be nominated for life membership and what more can I say?
"I have been privileged to have an involvement with cricket at a number of venues around the world but there is always a justified special affection for Wellington Cricket and 'The Basin' and the people there."
One of the great cricket fans of the world, Brierley was at the Oval for England's series-winning triumph over the West Indies on Monday (New Zealand time).
He is a vice president of the Surrey County Cricket Club.
The result, he said, "made England supporters very happy but, no doubt, the ACB [Australian Cricket Board] much less so."
The West Indies are the main attraction on the Australian international programme this summer.
Brierley's connection with Wellington cricket is a long one. As a schoolboy he operated the scoreboard at the eastern end of the old Basin Reserve. He played his cricket for the Midland Cricket Club from 1954-64.
A frequent member of the club's touring team on annual excursions to Nelson and Motueka, he had a highest score of 97 for the club and once won the Duthie Cup after taking 45 wickets in a season and being chose the most improved bowler of the season.
He was club treasurer from 1955-58 and president of the club in 1984.
He is a past president of Cricket Wellington and a member of the Wellington Cricket Trustees. In 1994-95 he was president of New Zealand Cricket.
He has been a member of the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust and is a trustee of the Bradman Museum at Bowral in New South Wales. In 1988 he donated 100,000 pounds to the Oval in London.
Over the years, Brierley has also been instrumental in bringing international guests to the Basin Reserve for Test matches. Former Australian all-rounder Alan Davidson has been a frequent visitor while former New Zealand left-hand batsman Martin Donnelly also made several trips. Keith Miller and Neil Harvey were others to have been in Wellington as his, and friend, John Oakley's guests.
Donnelly, who died earlier this year, was the subject of a book, which was published with financial support from Brierley.
He has also assisted in the publication of John Reid's book, A Cricketing Life and has helped the publishing of a forthcoming book on Merv Wallace.
Brierley has also supported the National Cricket Museum, which is housed in the old grandstand at the Basin Reserve, with many items in the collection provided by him.
A long-time New Zealand supporter, Brierley frequently turned up on overseas tours by the New Zealanders. It all started when he was in the West Indies in 1972 when New Zealand played five drawn Test matches with the West Indians.