Sydney, Mar 3 : Former Aussie Test batsman Norm O'Neill, a prolific batsman during the 1950-60s, died here after a long illness. He played 70 First Class matches for NSW between 1955/56 and 1966/67, scoring 5419 runs at an average of 52.61.
His entire first class career spanned 188 matches for 13,859 runs at 50.95.
In his 42 Test matches O'Neill scored 2779 runs at 45.55. He made six centuries and 15 half-centuries with his high score of 181 coming in the first innings of the Tied Test against the West Indies in 1960.
Cricket NSW Chief Executive David Gilbert remembered him as one of best ever Aussie cricketers. "Norm O'Neill was one of NSW's and Australia's best ever cricketers. He will be remembered as a dashing stroke maker who was a crowd favourite. He will be sadly missed," he said.
Warren Saunders, who played with O'Neill at his club St George and for NSW, said that he was something more than his statistics.
"I've got beautiful memories of Norm O'Neill he was a sensational cricketer. He was a sensational sportsman, actually he was also a top-class baseballer as well as a cricketer," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted him as saying.
Saunders added: "He was a wonderful fellow to play with in every respect, a great team man, a champion batsman. He's got a great Test record but that doesn't really tell the story it was the way he got his runs that excited everybody. He was a beautiful thrower with a very strong arm and a handy change bowler: he was the complete package."
Story first published: Monday, March 3, 2008, 14:50 [IST]
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