Doug Ring, the former Australian legspinner, has died in Melbourne at the age of 84. His passing means that the ranks of the surviving members of Australia's legendary "Invincibles" team, which toured England in 1948 under the captaincy of Don Bradman, have dwindled to seven. The survivors are Bill Brown, Ron Hamence, Neil Harvey, Bill Johnston, Sam Loxton, Keith Miller and Arthur Morris. Another tourist, Ernie Toshack, died last month at the age of 88.
Ring was born in Hobart, Tasmania, but played his Sheffield Shield cricket for Victoria. He played 13 Tests for Australia between 1947-48 and 1953. He made two tours of England - in 1948 and 1953 - but played in only one Test on both trips.
In all he took 35 Test wickets during his career, with a best return of 6 for 72 against South Africa at Brisbane in 1952-53. On the same ground the previous year he took 6 for 80 against West Indies. In first-class cricket Ring took 451 wickets at 28.48, with a career-best of 7 for 88 for Australia B v a New Zealand XI at Dunedin in 1949-50.
A more-than-capable batsman, he liked to use his height to good advantage in attacking the bowling in swashbuckling style. He scored one first-class hundred - 145 for Victoria against Queensland at Melbourne in 1946-47 - and his 426 Test runs included four half-centuries. Two of those came against West Indies in 1951-52, but it was his 32 not out in the fourth Test of that tour, at the MCG, which is probably his best-remembered contribution to Test history. Australia, set 260 to win, were 222 for 9 when Ring was joined by his clubmate Bill Johnston. Somehow Ring and Johnston eked out the runs required for a nailbiting one-wicket victory to clinch the series.
Doug Ring is survived by his wife, Lesley, three children, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Bob Merriman, the chairman of the Australian Cricket Board, passed on his condolences to the family. "Australian cricket has this week lost a valuable member of its community with the passing of Doug Ring," he said Mr Merriman. "Doug represented his country, state and club with pride and distinction and will long be remembered for the role he played on Australia's 1948 tour of England under the late Sir Donald Bradman."