John Waite, one of South Africa’s greatest wicketkeepers, died at the age of 81 here on Wednesday.
Waite was famous for being the first player to complete 50 Test matches for South Africa, reaching the mark in his last Test, in 1965.
He held the record for most dismissals (141) by a South Africa wicketkeeper for several decades, till he was overtaken by Dave Richardson and subsequently by Mark Boucher. Waite still holds the joint-record for most dismissals by a South Africa keeper in a Test series — at 26 during the 1961-62 series against New Zealand. Boucher equalled that record in 1998.
In a career from 1948 to 1966, Waite represented Eastern Province, Transvaal and South Africa.
He made his Test debut as a No.3 batsman during South Africa’s tour to Australia in 1952-53 and also kept wickets. He batted in the top order for most of his career, scoring four Test centuries and had a Test average of 30.44.
Waite was picked in ESPNcricinfo’s all-time South Africa XI ahead of Richardson and Boucher.
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