Tom Bockenham Reddick

Based on obituary in Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack of 1983

 

Tom Reddick died in Cape Town on 1 June 1982, aged 70. Born in Shanghai, China on 17 February 1912, he had a varied and unusual career as a player and coach, spread over half a century.

Reddick was a right-hand bat and a leg break bowler. After showing unusual promise as an all-rounder while on the staff of G A Faulkner’s cricket school in London, he appeared twice for Middlesex in 1931, while still in his teen. Although his championship appearances extended over nearly two decades he had only two full seasons of county cricket; both were for Notts who he joined in 1946 as player-coach after war service with the RAF. He made his debut versus Kent at Trent Bridge in May 1946.

One of the mainstays of a weak side he scored more runs (994 @28.40) in 1946 than anyone except Keeton and Harris, playing one specially good fighting innings of 131 against Lancashire. In the following year, he made 1,231 runs; captaining the side for the first time, against Kent, he scored a career best 139, sharing a fifth-wicket partnership of 244 with Harry Winrow. In 50 games for Notts he scored 2,225 runs @31.78 and took 5 wickets @81.80.

After leaving Trent Bridge, he spent almost all of his cricketing life in South Africa, appearing for Western Province in the Currie Cup and forging a great reputation in the coaching field. After returning to England for two summers as chief coach to Lancashire, he settled permanently in the Cape, where his flair as a teacher of the game unearthed and developed the talents of countless young players who later made their mark, Basil D’Oliveira among them. A main reason for Reddick not having played more first-class cricket for England was his engagement by Sir Julien Cahn, for whom he played from 1930 to 1939, scoring over 1,500 runs in each of three successive seasons in a competitive enviroment. His total first-class career consisted of 62 games scoring 2,688 runs @30.54 and taking 6 wickets @78.00.

A man of charm, modesty and wit, Reddick for many years wrote a weekly column for the Cape Times. In 1979 he had published an autography, Never Cross a Bat.

April 2020