Cricket: New Zealand great John R Reid dies, aged 92

One of New Zealand's greatest cricketers, John R Reid, has died in Auckland, aged 92.

During a career that spanned nearly two decades between 1949-1965, Reid was widely regarded as one of the world's best all-rounders and captained his country in 34 tests.

Reid captained New Zealand to their first three test victories - their first against the West Indies in Auckland in 1956, and their second and third during New Zealand's drawn series in South Africa in 1961/62.

During his 58-test career, he scored 3428 runs, while taking 85 wickets at an average of 33.35. Of his six test centuries, the highest was 142 against South Africa at Johannesburg in the 1961 Boxing Day test.

He made his test debut in 1949 and was the only surviving member of the famous '49ers', who drew 20 of their 35 first-class matches on a historic England tour, including all four tests.

Reid was also involved in the lowest innings total in tests, when New Zealand were dispatched for 26 by England at Eden Park in 1955. 

He played 246 first-class games, scoring 16,128 runs, including 39 centuries, while taking 466 wickets.

After retiring from cricket, he became a New Zealand selector, manager and an International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee from 1993-2002.

John R Reid.
John R Reid. Photo credit: Getty

"John R Reid was New Zealand cricket's Colin Meads," says NZ Cricket chief executive David White. 

"He was and will remain a household name in this country, having helped pave the way for everything that has come in his wake.

"Our thoughts and respect are with his family at this time - wife Norli, children Alison, Richard and Ann, and his grand-children, Oliver, Megan, Christina and Angus.

"NZ Cricket will acknowledge and mark John's wonderful life and career at an appropriate time."

ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney called it a sad day for cricket. 

"John was not only a top all-rounder of his time but a fine captain as well, leading New Zealand to their first three test victories," says Sawhney

"He continued to contribute to the game in various capacities after retirement and had an admirable stint as an ICC Match Referee.

"I extend my heartfelt condolences from everyone at the ICC to the family of one of the greats of the game and one whose career as a player, captain and match official will be long remembered."

A private family service will be held for Reid and a memorial service at the Basin Reserve in Wellington is being planned.