John Beck (cricketer)

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John Beck
John Beck 1962 .jpg
John Beck in 1962
Personal information
Full nameJohn Edward Francis Beck
Born(1934-08-01)1 August 1934
Wellington, New Zealand
Died24 April 2000(2000-04-24) (aged 65)
Wellington, New Zealand
BattingLeft-hand bat
BowlingSlow left-arm orthodox
International information
National side
Test debut(cap  65)24 December 1953 v  South Africa
Last Test9 March 1956 v  West Indies
Career statistics
Competition Test First-class
Runs scored3941508
Batting average 26.2623.93
Top score99149
Balls bowled46
Bowling average
5 wickets in innings
10 wickets in match
Best bowling
Catches/stumpings 0/-19/-
Source: Cricinfo, 1 April 2017

John Edward Francis Beck (1 August 1934, Wellington – 24 April 2000, Wellington) was a New Zealand cricketer who played in eight Tests from 1953 to 1956.


International career

An attacking left-handed batsman and fine fieldsman, John Beck was selected for the tour to South Africa in 1953–54 at the age of 19 and before he had played a first-class match: chosen "on the basis of his schoolboy form and his raw promise". [1] In the Third Test at Cape Town he was run out for 99 after he and John Reid had put on 174 for the fifth wicket, including 165 in the two hours between lunch and tea on the second day. [2]

In New Zealand's first ever Test victory, against the West Indies at Auckland in 1955–56, he made 38 in the first innings, adding 104 for the fifth wicket with Reid, the highest partnership of the low-scoring match. [3]

Domestic career

He played for Wellington with mixed success from 1954–55 to 1961–62. [4] His highest score was 149 against Canterbury in 1955–56. [5]

Beck has been referred to as "one of the great mystery players of the age – he promised everything and achieved almost nothing." [6] It was widely felt that he lacked the discipline to make the most of his talents. [1]

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  1. 1 2 Wisden 2001, pp. 1575–76.
  2. Wisden 1955, p. 800.
  3. Wisden 1957, pp. 837–38.
  4. John Beck batting and fielding by season
  5. Canterbury v Wellington, 1955–56
  6. Brooke, p. 36.