Chris Duckworth


Chris Duckworth
Chris Duckworth
Personal information
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style -
International information
National side South African
Career statistics
Competition Tests First-class
Matches 2 77
Runs scored 28 2572
Batting average 7.00 22.96
100s/50s 0/0 3/10
Top score 13 158
Balls bowled - -
Wickets - -
Bowling average - -
5 wickets in innings - -
10 wickets in match - -
Best bowling - -
Catches/stumpings 3/- 91/13
Source: Cricinfo,

Christopher Anthony Russell Duckworth (born 22 March 1933 in Que Que, Rhodesia - now Kwekwe, Zimbabwe) is a former amateur South African cricketer who played in two Tests in 1957.[1] He also played hockey for Rhodesia, rugby for Natal U19 and league tennis in Johannesburg.

A fine free scoring right-hand stroke-maker, brilliant fielder and wicket-keeper, his brilliance in fielding extending to every position on the field (Rhodesia Cricket Association brochure), Duckworth was unfortunate to play his cricket at a time when South Africa had, in John Waite, one of the outstanding wicketkeeper-batsmen of the period. As a consequence he played only two Tests, these against the 1956-57 English cricket team, being selected as a batsman, with Waite keeping wicket. Both Tests were won by South Africa, the 4th at the Wanderers and the 5th at St. Georges Park, Port Elizabeth on an atrocious wicket of shooters and squatters, captain Clive van Ryneveld presenting him with a commemorative stump at the conclusion of each contest.

In first-class cricket, Duckworth played two seasons from 1952-53 for Natal, this while at University in Pietermaritzburg, scoring a century in his second match. In 1954-55 he returned to Rhodesia and in the mid-summer of '63, having earlier been unavailable for a season and a half, was asked by the Rhodesian Selectors, following his captaincy of Mashonaland B in ther passage and victory in the Logan Cup, to spearhead the National side, an honour he sadly declined having earlier resigned from Federal Educatiom in order to embark upon a business career in South Africa. There, in Johannesburg, at John Waite's invitation, he played for his Wanderers side in the '65-'66 season, during which there was a query as to whether he would be available for Transvaal, to which he replied in the negative, sighting business commitments.

He was reserve wicketkeeper on two overseas tours, both to England, in 1955 and 1960, but was not picked for any of the Tests on either tour. He hit his highest first-class score, 158, against Northamptonshire on the 1955 tour. Jack Cheetham, captain of the 1955 tourists in his book I Declare wrote: "Duckworth played some beautiful innings, the one at Northampton possibly the most correct of the tour".

In the 33 of the 77 first-class games he was selected for South Africa, he was on the winning side on 31 occasions, both defeats occurring on the 1960 Tour. Once at Northampton after scoring 51 not out in a second innings total of 101 for 7 before an adventurous declaration by McGlew. The other on a ghastly wicket at Bristol.

Personal life

With his ancestry recorded in Burke's Landed Gentry and historian Michael McGarvie's "Orchardleigh Park and the Duckworths", and married to his high school girlfriend following a Nuptial Mass at St. Mary's Anglican Cathedral in Salisbury on the 4th of May 1956, both committed to Our Lord's Commandments and particularly the two greatest... "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind"... And the second, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" - Matthew Chapter 22 v. 36 to 40 - he and Elizabeth have three children, Anthony, Penelope and Caroline... Additionally while at Chaplin, a co-educational school in Gwelo, Southern Rhodesia, now Gweru, Zimbabwe, educated by an outstanding staff of South African, Scottish, and English, Oxford and Cambridge, teachers, he was Captain of Sports House Athens in 1951, gained Colours for Tennis - In 1951 won the Mazoe Valley Junior Singles and Mixed Doubles Championships - Was also awarded Colours in Field Hockey in 1949, '50 and '51 - Captain in 1951 - Rugby in '51, the School Magazine critique quoting, "An elusive centre, with a good eye for an opening and a powerful tackle"... Cricket - The critique - "Duckworth - Vice Captain - Colours '48, '49, '50, '51 - Rhodesian Nuffield '49, '50, '51 - Free scoring batsman who uses his feet well. Powerful on both sides of the wicket. Good wicketkeeper."

He was also a School Prefect in 1950, Vice Head Prefect in '51, a House Prefect in '50 and the following year, as recorded in Dorothy Boothroyd's "Some Renowned Rhodesian Senior Schools - A Short History of Chaplin from 1900 to 1979", as Head Prefect of Duthie, the first Secondary School Hostel to be built in Rhodesia, (1911), he was party to a most unique situation, he occupied the self-same fire place study in which Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia and World War 11 Spitfire fighter pilot, had deliberated fourteen years earlier, a milestone in that it's the only know instance of a High School fireplace study having been separately resident to a future Prime Minister and a future International Sportsman.

In 1955, for various reason, he passed over, with thanks, a post-graduate scholarship to Oxford and two years later a Fulbright to U.C.L.A., additionally is listed in the "Chronology of Notable Births" and the 182 "Prominent Rhodesians from 1890 - 1979", is one of the ten of over four hundred South African Test Match cricketers who have played Rugby Union at either a National or Provincial level, was the second Rhodesian born cricketer to have been selected for South Africa, the first Denis Tomlinson twenty years earlier in 1935, a headmaster at 28, a successful businessman, currently managing his own consulting and courier service and writing, amongst which his voluminous "Ducks and Drakes", from which an assortment of information has been sourced, the epic being the over 3000 pages of history of the Duckworth family dating back to 1538.

He is also a grandfather of seven grandchildren - Trevor Anthony Duckworth, Alexandra Christodoulou, Catharine Fauve Duckworth, Michael Christodoulou, Ze'ev Oren Duckworth, Jayde Kahn and Jesse Kahn.

References


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