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Australian cricketer Vale Bill Watson passes away aged 87

Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, Australia

Cricket Australia and Cricket NSW have paid tribute to former Australian and New South Wales cricketer Bill Watson, who has passed away aged 87.

The right-handed batsman made his Test debut against England at his home ground, the Sydney Cricket Ground, in February 1955.

During that match, Watson played alongside some of the all-time greats of Australian and NSW cricket including Richie Benaud, Neil Harvey, Alan Davidson and Ray Lindwall.

Watson played four Tests for Australia in 1955 and, during a First Class career that spanned eight seasons between 1953-54 and 1960-61, he made 1,958 runs including six centuries and five fifties.

He made five of his six First Class centuries for NSW. Twenty-nine of his 41 First Class matches were played for his state. His highest First Class score was 206 playing for NSW against Western Australia in Perth during December 1956.

From 1949 to 1972, he played 22 seasons in the Sydney First Grade – now Premier Cricket – competition with Waverley and, then St George, where he spent the majority of his career. He played 18 seasons with the Saints and became a legendary figure of the club.

In 258 First Grade matches, Watson scored 10,757 runs at an average of 43.20 including 16 centuries and 70 half-centuries.

Watson made his maiden First Class century, in just his second match against the touring English team of 1954-55.

He posted 155 during the first innings of a tour match at the SCG in November 1954.

Cricket Australia CEO, Kevin Roberts, said:

“Our thoughts are with Bill’s family at this time, and all the friends he made throughout his time in cricket,” Mr Roberts said.

“Bill made his Test debut in the 1954-55 Ashes Series, before playing in three matches in the team’s series victory against the West Indies in the Caribbean in 1955.

“He also made a valuable contribution to NSW cricket and was regarded as a legend of the St George club. We pay our respects to Bill and we are grateful for his deep involvement in all levels of the game.  He will be sadly missed.”

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