Former South Africa allrounder, John Watkins, the oldest Test player alive passed away aged 98 in Durban. Watkins was an attacking middle-order batsman and a medium pacer who made his Test debut after World War II and played in 15 Tests before ending his career in 1957 with 612 runs and 29 wickets.
The oldest Test player alive, John Watkins, passed away aged 98 in Durban after being infected with the Covid-19 virus 10 days ago. Watkins made his debut in 1949 against Australia in Johannesburg and ended up playing 15 Test matches to claim 612 runs and 29 wickets. Watkins was very impressive during the 1952-53 season against Australia as he scored 486 runs and scalped 16 wickets.
The former South Africa cricketer was known for his slip fielding and stroke play with the bat. He scored two consecutive fifties against Australia in the MCG Test during the 1952-53 season and guided South Africa to a famous victory over the Kangaroos. The series ended up in a draw, and it was the first time Australia did not win a series against South Africa. Watkins's best bowling performance came in the same year against New Zealand in Wellington as he clinched four wickets by conceding 22 runs.
Cricket South Africa extended their condolences to Watkin’s family on Monday.
"On behalf of the CSA Family I extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends and cricketing colleagues," commented CSA Acting Chief Executive Pholetsi Moseki.
Watkins finished with 2158 runs and 96 wickets in first-class cricket from 60 matches in his career.