Vale Ian Craig

Former Australian Test Cricket Captain and Primary Club of Australia honorary Vice President, Ian Craig, passed away this weekend aged 79.

Ian Craig at the Bradman Museum in Bowral.

Ian Craig at the Bradman Museum in Bowral.

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Mr Craig was just 17 when he was called in to the Australian Test squad in the 1953 season, having made his debut as a 16-year-old during the 1951-52 season.

He was Australia’s youngest state cricketer, the youngest Australian player, NSW’s youngest captain and the youngest Test captain when, at 22, he led the 1957-58 tour to South Africa.

Mr Craig led a team that contained the likes of Richie Benaud, Alan Davidson, Neil Harvey and Bob Simpson.

Cricket Australia chairman Wally Edwards, Cricket NSW chairman John Warn and SCG Trust Chairman Tony Shepherd paid tribute to the former Australian captain.

Mr Edwards said: “We were very sad to learn of Ian’s passing and on behalf of Cricket Australia, I extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and former teammates at this difficult time.

“Ian earned a very special place in the proud history of our game as the youngest Australian to make a first-class double century, gain Test selection and captain his country.

“Beyond those remarkable achievements I will always remember him as a true gentleman. I thoroughly enjoyed his company and views on the game over many years.

“He will be sadly missed and will forever be remembered as one of the elite few to have captained his country in Test cricket.”

Mr Warn said: “Ian Craig was a childhood hero to many after becoming the youngest Australian to play for his state and country.

“A peerless captain for NSW, he was fondly regarded by his former team mates and all those who knew him.

“Ian was a warm, gentle and modest man who will be greatly missed.”

Mr Shepherd said: “Ian Craig made a huge contribution to Australian cricket as a player and then a Test captain.

“One his retirement from cricket, he chose to continue that commitment to the sport by serving on the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust for 18 years in all.

“When Ian was appointed to the Trust in 1968 to replace Stan McCabe, he became the youngest Trustee, just as he was NSW’s and Australia’s youngest player when he first earned his caps.”

Mr Craig is the 88th Trustee and served two stints, the first from September 30, 1968 to July 13, 1978 and the second from July 14, 1988 to July 13, 1996.

He also served on the Bradman Foundation, including the role of chairman and ultimately became a life member, and as a board member of the New South Wales Cricket Association.

The flags atop the Members Pavilion were flown at half mast today in tribute to Mr Craig.

He is survived by his wife Ross and children Andrew, Jonathan and Alex.



Youngest to play state cricket (NSW): 16 years, 249 days
Youngest to play for Australia: 17 years, 239 days
Youngest Australian men’s Test captain: 22 years, 194 days
Test captaincy record: Played 5, won 3, drew 2
First class captaincy record: Played 48, won 28, drew 17, lost 2, tied 1


Tests       11 matches, 358 runs,  Highest score: 53;   Average: 19.88        with 2 fifties