John Reid a Cricket Player of Uncontested Standing
“[Auckland-born] John Reid, who has died aged 92, was in large part responsible for establishing New Zealand as a respected force in world cricket. A superb all-rounder who was the captain and mainstay of his national side in the 1950s and 60s, he managed through great skill and sheer force of personality not only to lead New Zealand to their first Test victory, in 1956, but to maintain his team’s competitiveness at international level thereafter,” Peter Mason writes in an obituary for The Guardian.
“The extent of that achievement can be gauged by the fact that when Reid arrived on the world stage in 1949 many felt that New Zealand, with a population of less than two million and a largely amateur domestic set-up, hardly deserved their Test status at all. Most of the team’s players were barely up to the mark and Australia refused even to play them on an official basis,” Mason writes.
“The only other New Zealand player of uncontested world standing during Reid’s era was Bert Sutcliffe, and in 58 Tests, 34 of which he was captain, Reid often felt as if he were propping up the side. ‘It was hard work, you had a lot of responsibility,’ he said. ‘You knew jolly well that if you didn’t get runs then nobody else would.’
Reid was appointed OBE in 1962 and made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2014.
Original article by Peter Mason, The Guardian, October 14, 2020.