Brian Booth Obituary, Death – Brian Booth, 89, Australia’s 31st Test cricket captain, died. Booth played 29 Tests for Australia and achieved five Test century in the 1960s. He played hockey at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. He became famous for his 1773 Test runs at 42.21. Aussies will miss Jofra Archer in the Ashes. Booth, a brilliant middle-order bat, scored a century in his maiden home Test against England in 1962, then another at the MCG.
He averaged 50.5 as Australia reclaimed the Ashes at home before dominating South Africa with two Test tons the following season. After Australia won the Ashes again in 1964, the right-hander captained two matches in 1965-66 with Bob Simpson absent. But his own batting faltered, and when the hosts were thrashed in the second match, Simpson returned to the team and Booth was dropped, never to play for Australia again.
A philosophical Booth told Cricket Monthly in 2013 that captaining Australia was a privilege. Captain Bobby Simpson broke his arm before the first Test. He came back for the second Test in Melbourne and on the eve of the third in Sydney, Sir Donald Bradman approached me at practice and said, ‘Bob has chicken pox, Brian. Tomorrow’s captain.”
Bradman wrote to Booth, saying he and his teammates “disliked” having to go from making him captain to dropping him in three matches. Booth stated he had never written to a player before. I knew why. I scored poorly. I got out most innings after reaching double figures. I knew I would lose out to a better performer. Ian Chappell and Keith Stackpole joined and had tremendous careers.”