KEN WADSWORTH-A PRODIGIOUS TALENT TAKEN IN HIS PRIME

Today we remember a very fine New Zealand cricket star, the late Ken Wadsworth.

Ken passed away on this day in 1976 from melanoma at just 29 years of age at the height of a cricket career which had the potential to turn him into one of the games greats. His death came just six months after he played his last test match. 

Today we remember a very fine New Zealand cricket star, the late Ken Wadsworth. Ken passed away on this day in 1976 from melanoma at just 29 years of age at the height of a cricket career which had the potential to turn him into one of the games greats. His death came just six months after he played his last test match.
ONE OF THE BEST

Born in Nelson, Ken was a talented wicket-keeper batsman and played rep cricket for Nelson and Central Districts before moving to Canterbury.

I had the privilege of getting to know Ken. We both played for the Lancaster Park cricket club, of course Ken was in the champion senior team and later another famous Nelson man joined us, the New Zealand captain Bevan Congdon.

I also worked with Ken at Daily Freightways in Moorehouse Ave then and he was a very popular man always up for a good time and a laugh and a very very good cricketer.

Myself and most of Ken’s club-mates were in the grandstand at Lancaster Park when he scored a brilliant one day ton against Australia in the 1973/74 season, the first wicket-keeper/batsman to do so in international cricket in what was just the sixth One-day international played to that stage.

We were all there as well to watch him score the winning runs in the test match against Australia in 1974, a match in which Glen Turner scored a century in each innings.

At one stage Ken held the record with Bevan Congdon for the highest sixth wicket partnership in ODIs for New Zealand, 130 runs against the Aussies.

In test matches, Ken’s highest score was 80 made against the West Indies at Kingston Jamaica on the 1971-72 tour, sharing in a stand of 220 runs for the sixth wicket with Glen Turner during a five match series that ended with neither team winning a test.

OUTSTANDING BOTH BEHIND THE WICKETS AND WITH THE BAT.

In March 1976, Ken played his final first-class match, making a brilliant 117 for Canterbury against Otago in the Shell Trophy final, an innings which helped Canterbury to a thumping nine-wicket win.

Ken played 33 tests and 13 ODIs for New Zealand and 118 first-class matches over-all and in 1973 he was a New Zealand cricket Almanac Player of the Year.

RIP Ken Wadsworth- Gone way too early but never forgotten

Interview & Story by John Alexander | Supporting Images sourced by Absolutely Famous.

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