Dudley Nourse

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Dudley Nourse
Dudley Nourse 1935.jpg
Personal information
Full nameArthur Dudley Nourse
Born(1910-11-12)12 November 1910
Durban, Natal, South Africa
Died14 August 1981(1981-08-14) (aged 70)
Durban, Natal, South Africa
Role Batsman
Relations Dave Nourse (Father)
International information
National side
Test debut (cap  140)15 June 1935 v  England
Last Test16 August 1951 v  England
Domestic team information
1931–1953 Natal
Career statistics
Competition Test First-class
Runs scored2,96012,472
Batting average 53.8151.53
Top score231260*
Balls bowled20250
Wickets 00
Bowling average
5 wickets in innings
10 wickets in match
Best bowling
Catches/stumpings 12/0135/0
Source: CricketArchive, 30 January 2009

Arthur Dudley Nourse (12 November 1910 – 14 August 1981) was a South African Test cricketer. Primarily a batsman, he was captain of the South African team from 1948 to 1951.

Test cricket the longest form of the sport of cricket; so called due to its long, grueling nature

Test cricket is the form of the sport of cricket with the longest duration, and is considered the game's highest standard. Test matches are played between national representative teams with "Test status", as determined and conferred by the International Cricket Council (ICC). The term Test stems from the fact of the form's long, gruelling matches being both mentally and physically testing. Two teams of 11 players each play a four-innings match, which may last up to five days. It is generally considered the most complete examination of a team's endurance and ability.


Early life

Nourse was born in Durban, the son of South African Test cricketer Arthur (Dave) Nourse. His father represented South Africa in 45 consecutive Test matches from 1902 to 1924.

Durban Place in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Durban is the third most populous city in South Africa—after Johannesburg and Cape Town—and the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal. Located on the east coast of South Africa, Durban is famous for being the busiest port in the country. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism because of the city's warm subtropical climate and extensive beaches. Durban forms part of the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, which includes neighboring towns and has a population of about 3.44 million, making the combined municipality one of the biggest cities on the Indian Ocean coast of the African continent. It is also the second most important manufacturing hub in South Africa after Johannesburg. In 2015, Durban was recognised as one of the New7Wonders Cities. The city was heavily hit by flooding over 4 days from 18 April 2019, leading to 70 deaths and R650 000 000 in damage.

Dave Nourse South African cricketer

Arthur William "Dave" Nourse, was a cricketer who played for Natal, Transvaal, Western Province and South Africa.

He was named after William Ward, 2nd Earl of Dudley, who was the Governor-General of Australia in 1910. Nourse was born a few days after his father scored a double hundred against South Australia, [1] where he was touring with the South African team. When Lord Dudley heard about the innings and the baby, he expressed the wish that he be named after him. [2]

William Ward, 2nd Earl of Dudley British politician

William Humble Ward, 2nd Earl of Dudley,, was a British aristocrat, politician, and military officer who served as the fourth Governor-General of Australia, in office from 1908 to 1911. He was previously Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1902 to 1905, and also a government minister under Lord Salisbury.

Governor-General of Australia Representative of the monarch of Australia

The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative of the Australian monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II. As the Queen is concurrently the monarch of 15 other Commonwealth realms, and resides in the United Kingdom, she, on the advice of her prime minister, appoints a governor-general to carry out constitutional duties within the Commonwealth of Australia. The governor-general has formal presidency over the Federal Executive Council and is commander-in-chief of the Australian Defence Force. The functions of the governor-general include appointing ministers, judges, and ambassadors; giving royal assent to legislation passed by parliament; issuing writs for election; and bestowing Australian honours.

South Australia cricket team an Australian cricket team based in Adelaide

The South Australia cricket team, named West End Redbacks, nicknamed the ’Southern Redbacks’, is an Australian men's professional first class cricket team based in Adelaide, South Australia. The Redbacks play their home matches at Adelaide Oval and are the state cricket team for South Australia, representing the state in the Sheffield Shield competition and the limited overs Ryobi One-Day Cup. Their Ryobi One-Day Cup uniform features a red body with black sleeves. They are known as the West End Redbacks due to a sponsorship agreement with West End. The Redbacks formerly competed in the now-defunct KFC Twenty20 Big Bash, but were succeeded by the Adelaide Strikers in 2011 because this league was replaced with the Big Bash League.


Nourse played cricket and football in his early years. His father refused to teach him how to play cricket, insisting that Dudley teach himself like he had. Aged 18, Nourse decided to concentrate on cricket, initially playing for Umbilo Cricket Club in Durban. He played domestic first-class cricket for the Natal cricket team from 1931 to 1952, and played 34 Test matches for South Africa, in a long international career of 16 years, from 1935 to 1951. He scored a century in his second match for Natal, when his father was playing for the opposing team, Western Province. [3]

First-class cricket is an official classification of the highest-standard international or domestic matches in the sport of cricket. A first-class match is of three or more days' scheduled duration between two sides of eleven players each and is officially adjudged to be worthy of the status by virtue of the standard of the competing teams. Matches must allow for the teams to play two innings each although, in practice, a team might play only one innings or none at all.

Western Province is the team representing Western Cape province in domestic first-class cricket in South Africa. The team began playing in January 1890 and its main venue has always been Newlands in Cape Town.

He was an aggressive batman, stocky in build like his father, particularly later in his career, with broad shoulders and strong arms. He played mainly off the back foot, cutting square, hooking, and driving on the off side. He was also a good fielder with safe hands.

He joined the tour to England in 1935, in a team captained by Herby Wade, where he made his Test debut. After he scored a century in three consecutive innings, both innings against Surrey and then against Oxford, Plum Warner commented "A Nourse, a Nourse, my kingdom for a Nourse." He made small scores in the first two Tests and was dropped for the Third Test, but then reached 53 not out in the second innings of the Fourth Test at Old Trafford. Four matches were drawn, but South Africa won the Second Test at Lord's, and the series 1–0.

South African cricket team in England in 1935

The South African cricket team toured England in the 1935 season to play a five-match Test series against England.

Herby Wade Cricket player of South Africa.

Herbert Frederick Wade was a South African cricketer who played in 10 Tests in 1935 and 1935–36.

Old Trafford Football stadium in Manchester, England

Old Trafford is a football stadium in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England, and the home of Manchester United. With a capacity of 74,994, it is the largest club football stadium in the United Kingdom, and the eleventh-largest in Europe. It is about 0.5 miles (800 m) from Old Trafford Cricket Ground and the adjacent tram stop.

He played at home against Australia in 1935–36, and scored 231 in the Second Test in Johannesburg, his maiden Test century. The match was controversially drawn after the South Africa captain Wade appealed to the umpires against the bad light causing danger to his players, the first time that a fielding captain had successfully appealed against the light; Australia won the other four matches, and the series 4–0. The international schedule of the day meant that South Africa did not play Test cricket for three years, but Nourse then played against the English tourists in 1938–39, taking six hours to score a century in the famous 10-day-long timeless Test at Durban. [4]

The Australia national cricket team toured South Africa from November 1935 to March 1936 and played a five-match Test series against South Africa. Australia won the Test series 4–0. Australia were captained by Vic Richardson; South Africa by Herby Wade.

Johannesburg Place in Gauteng, South Africa

Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa and one of the 50 largest urban areas in the world. It is the provincial capital and largest city of Gauteng, which is the wealthiest province in South Africa. While Johannesburg is not one of South Africa's three capital cities, it is the seat of the Constitutional Court. The city is located in the mineral-rich Witwatersrand range of hills and is the centre of large-scale gold and diamond trade.

The England cricket team toured South Africa from 8 November 1938 to 14 March 1939, playing five Test matches against the South Africa national team and 13 tour matches against various provincial sides. England won the third Test by an innings and 13 runs, but the other four Tests finished as draws, including the final timeless Test, which was played over the course of 10 days. The final Test was declared a draw as the England team had to leave to ensure they caught the boat home from Cape Town.

In his prime as a player, Nourse lost six years of international cricket during the Second World War, during which time he served in the Middle East. South Africa resumed Test cricket in 1947, and Nourse joined the tour to England as vice-captain under Alan Melville. South Africa lost the series 3–0. Nourse topped the South African batting averages, and he and Melville were Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1948. [5]

As captain

Nourse's career performance graph. Dudley Nourse Graph.png
Nourse's career performance graph.

Nourse was appointed captain of South Africa for its home series against England in 1948–49, and remained captain until he retired in 1951. He captained his country in fifteen matches, the two home series against England in 1948–49 which was lost 2–0 and against Australia in 1949–50 which was lost 4–0, and the tour to England in 1951.

It was as captain in the 1951 series that he played what Cricinfo describes as "his most renowned innings", [6] against England in the First Test at Trent Bridge in 1951. [7] He batted for 9 hours, with a pin in his right thumb that had been broken while fielding in an earlier tour match. Each batting stroke exacerbated his increasingly painful thumb; nonetheless, he scored 208 in the first innings. He was then unable to field, or bat in the second innings. His innings was the first double century by a South African against England, and was enough to give South Africa its first Test win in 16 years – Nourse's first as captain, and only his second as a player (the other was also against England, at Lord's in 1935). England won three of the remaining matches, with the Fourth Test at Headingley drawn, and South Africa lost the series 3–1.

Later life

Nourse retired from Test cricket at the end of the 1951 tour, after the Fifth Test, and played his last first-class match in 1953. He was South African Cricket Annual Cricketer of the Year in 1952.

At the time of his retirement, he held the highest Test batting average of any South African batsman (currently surpassed only by Barry Richards, Graeme Pollock, Aiden Markram and Jacques Kallis). He scored 9 Test centuries, including 7 against England, and is a member of the short list of Test batsmen to retire with a batting average exceeding 50 runs.

His autobiography Cricket in the Blood was published in 1949. He served as a selector for South Africa, and managed the side that toured England in 1960, captained by Jackie McGlew.

He died in Durban. [8] [9]

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  1. Scorecard, South Australia v South Africans, Adelaide Oval, 4–8 November 1910, CricketArchive
  2. Dudley Nourse (1949) Cricket in the blood. Hodder & Stoughton.
  3. Scorecard, Natal v Western Province, 18–19 December 1931, CricketArchive
  4. When 10 days were not enough, ESPN Cricinfo, 7 March 2009
  5. Dudley Nourse, Cricketer of the Year 1948, Wisden archive, from Cricinfo
  6. Player profile, Cricinfo
  7. Scorecard, England v South Africa, 7–12 June 1951, ESPN Cricinfo
  8. Let us now praise Dudley Nourse, Cricinfo, 6 September 2014
  9. Dudley Nourse, Obituary, Wisden 1982, from ESPN Cricinfo