Australia’s cricket community is mourning the passing of Brian Booth, the country’s 31st men’s test captain. Booth, who passed away at the age of 89, made a significant impact on Australian cricket during the early 1960s.
Booth’s cricketing career included 29 Tests for Australia, where he showcased his talent as a stylish middle-order batsman. He amassed 1,773 runs at an impressive average of 42.21, including five test centuries. His contributions with the bat played a crucial role in Australia’s success during that era.
Notably, Booth made an instant impact in his debut home test against England in 1962, scoring a century. He continued his fine form by registering another hundred in the subsequent match at the MCG. During Australia’s successful Ashes campaign, he maintained an average of 50.5, helping his team retain the coveted urn. Booth’s prowess extended beyond the Ashes, as he also performed admirably against South Africa, adding two more test centuries to his name.
In 1965-66, Booth was entrusted with the captaincy for two matches when regular skipper Bob Simpson was unavailable. However, despite this honor, his own batting form suffered a dip, and he was subsequently dropped from the side after Australia suffered a heavy defeat. Reflecting on his time as captain, Booth acknowledged it as a privilege, but also recognized the need for better individual performances.
Booth’s cricketing achievements extended beyond the field. He represented Australia in hockey at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, showcasing his exceptional athleticism. Later, he received numerous accolades, including being elected as a Life Member of the Melbourne Cricket Club, receiving an MBE from the Queen in 1982, and being inducted into the Cricket NSW Hall of Fame in 2014.
Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley expressed his condolences, describing Booth as a highly respected and admired figure in the cricketing community. Booth’s legacy will continue to inspire future generations, and his significant contributions to the sport will always be remembered.
The cricketing fraternity and fans alike bid farewell to a true legend of the game, Brian Booth.