Former SA keeper John Waite passes away

John Waite held the Test record of most dismissals for SA as keeper in the pre-apartheid era Getty Images

Johannesburg: Jun 23, 2011

Former South Africa wicketkeeper batsman John Waite died here at the age of 81, Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced today.

Waite, who played his last Test in 1965, was famous for being the first cricketer to play 50 Test matches for South Africa, scoring 2,405 runs at an average of 30.44, with four centuries.

He also held 141 dismissals, which was a Test record for South Africa till it was broken by Davie Richardson and subsequently by Mark Boucher.

“It is always sad to hear of the passing of one of our legends of the game for that he truly was,” CSA chief executive Gerald Majola said in a statement.

“We will always treasure his great contribution in many different ways to the game we all love,” he added.

Waite represented Eastern Province, Transvaal and South Africa during his cricketing career that spanned from 1948 to 1966.

Waite still holds the joint-record for most number of dismissals by a South African wicketkeeper in a Test series, with 26 during the 1961-62 series against New Zealand.

It was Boucher, who finally equalled that record in 1998.

A dependable batsman, Waite scored an elegant 76 on his Test debut at Trent Bridge and then hit a ton against Lancashire on the same tour.

He quickly cemented his place in the national team as a regular wicketkeeper, forcing his contemporary Russell Endean to go back and reinvent himself as a specialist batsman.