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Former New Zealand leg-spinner Jack Alabaster dies aged 93

IANS | April 10, 2024 02:54 PM

WELLINGTON: Former New Zealand leg-spinner Jack Alabaster has died at the age of 93 in Cromwell late on Tuesday night, said the country’s cricket governing body.

Alabaster played 21 Tests from 1955-1972, including the first four wins New Zealand achieved in the format spread over 12 years (from 1956 to 1968), and being the only player to do so. Overall, he took 49 wickets at an average of 38.02 in his Test career for New Zealand.

"NZC is deeply saddened to mark the death of leg-spinner Jack Alabaster, who died in Cromwell last night aged 93. A champion of Southland and @OtagoCricket, Jack played 21 Tests from 1955-1972 (including the first four wins NZ achieved), taking 49 wickets at 38.02, " New Zealand Cricket said in a statement posted on X.

As a New Zealand cricketer, Alabaster toured India and Pakistan in 1955-56, England in 1958, South Africa in 1961-62 and ended his international career with the trip to West Indies in 1971-72.

The spinner took exactly 500 first-class wickets from 143 matches while representing Otago in domestic cricket. After his playing career ended, Alabaster served as the principal of Kingswell High School in Invercargill and also worked as a Rector of Southland Boys High School in the same city in 1981.

He is survived by his younger brother, Gren Alabaster, who is currently 90 years old and was a former New Zealand selector and manager after playing 96 first-class matches for Otago.

The passing of Alabaster now leaves Trevor McMahon, who’s 94 right now, as New Zealand’s oldest living Test player.

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