Photo: John R Reid is presented with his 50 Test milestone cap (v India at Eden Gardens, Kolkata in 1965) at his Auckland home last month.
One of our greatest living cricketers John R. Reid has received the country’s second highest honour – becoming a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year’s honours.
The 85-year-old, who captained New Zealand to our first ever Test victory against the West Indies in 1956, currently lives in Auckland and has been battling bowel cancer.
The dynamic all-rounder was the backbone of the New Zealand side during the 1950s and early 1960s, and when Reid retired in 1965 he had scored more runs, taken more wickets and made more catches than any other New Zealand Test player. His 58 Tests in succession was also then a world record.
With the bat, the stroke maker and hard-hitter was at his peak on the 1961-62 tour of South Africa scoring 1915 runs and reaching seven centuries.
Reid was worth his place in the team as a bowler alone, with his figures as good as any current BLACKCAP. He could bowl as quick as anyone or mix it up with medium-paced off-cutters.
And to wrap up Reid’s all-round ability he was a brilliant fielder at gully or cover.
In the 1962-63 season he made 296 for Wellington against Northern Districts at the Basin Reserve hitting 15 sixes in the process (a world record at the time). Reid was caught on the boundary going for another six and his triple ton. All Black Don Clarke was one of the bowlers to suffer that day.
Reid later became a New Zealand selector and had a long career as a match referee.