SYDNEY: Australian cricket is mourning the loss of former Australian and NSW wicketkeeper Brian Taber, who passed away on Friday aged 83.
Taber played 16 Test matches for Australia between 1966 and 1970 and is widely regarded as one of the best wicketkeepers the country has produced. He is fondly remembered for his impeccable glovework and calm demeanour behind the stumps.
On Test debut against South Africa in Johannesburg, Taber claimed eight dismissals (seven catches and a stumping) – a mark that has never been bettered by a first-gamer and one which was only equalled among Australian debutants by Alex Carey in 2021. He went on to accumulate 56 catches and four stumpings and made 353 runs at 16.04 with a top score of 48.
Raised in Wollongong, Taber was a stalwart of the NSW team from 1964-65 to 1973-74, playing 73 first-class games, winning titles in his first two seasons, and claiming 242 dismissals. He captained the Blues on several occasions, recorded one first-class century and is a member of the NSW Cricket Hall of Fame.
After his playing career, Taber was a generous and widely popular contributor to Australian Cricket, filling many roles including as NSW coach and selector and manager of the Australian Under-19 men’s team.
The medal awarded to the Player of the Tournament at the National Under-19 Championship is named in his honour.
“We are deeply saddened by Brian’s passing and enormously grateful for his significant contribution to Australian Cricket,” said Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley.
“Brian’s vast popularity among former teammates, and all those fortunate enough to have known him, is just one indication of the impact he had on our game.
“Brian had a passion for the development of young players, and it is fitting that the Player of the Tournament at the Men’s National Under-19 Championships will continue to receive the Brian Taber Medal.
“Our deepest condolences to Brian’s family, former teammates and his many friends at this sad time.”