Australia’s ‘invincibles’ opener Arthur Morris dies aged 93
LONDON – Arthur Morris, one of Australia’s finest opening batsmen and a key member of Don Bradman’s ‘Invincibles’ side, has died aged 93.
Left-hander Morris scored 3,533 runs in 46 tests at an average of 46.48 and was named in Australia’s team of the century in 2000.
It was the 1948 tour of England where Morris had his crowning moment, scoring the most runs as the “Invincibles” went unbeaten throughout.
The 196 he scored at The Oval, in the fifth and final test of the Ashes series, was famously overshadowed by Bradman’s second ball duck in his farewell innings.
Morris was at the non-striker’s end when leg-spinner Eric Hollies bowled the Australian great, who needed only four runs to finish with a career batting average of 100.
“We have sadly lost a cherished link with our past,” Cricket Australia chairman Wally Edwards said in a media release on Saturday.
“Arthur Morris was a great man and one of the true greats of Australian cricket who until now had been a treasured connection to an extraordinary era of the game.
“When Australia’s best openers are discussed his name will always be one of the first mentioned.”
Morris was the oldest of the two surviving members of the ‘Invincibles’. Neil Harvey, 86, another brilliant left-handed batsman, is the only remaining player from that tour squad.
Born in Sydney’s renowned beachside suburb of Bondi, Morris was the first batsman to score centuries in both innings of his first class debut as an 18-year-old for New South Wales.
His international career was stalled by the outbreak of World War Two but after the resumption of cricket in 1946, he made his test debut against England in Brisbane and would score his first century in the third match of the series in Melbourne.
That breakthrough was followed by twin centuries in the next match in Adelaide. Morris, who captained Australia twice, would finish with 12 tons in his career, including an imperious 206 against England in the Adelaide test of the 1951 series. -Reuters