In Memory of Sam Loxton
by Arshad Chughtai
DateLine: 3rd September 2012
Sam Loxton was one of the last few surviving members of Sir Donald Bradman's invincible team that won 4 of the 5 Test matches and remained undefeated throughout the tour of England in 1948. He died at the age of 90 on 3rd December 2011.
In Pakistan there is a historic reference about Sam Loxton regarding his proposal for laying turf wickets. Sam Loxton had visited Pakistan in 1959 as manager of the Australian Team. Lt. Col (R) Shuja-Ud-din Butt in his book ‘Babes of Cricket to World Champion’ quotes that it were Sam Loxton and captain Richie Benaud who had successfully persuaded Field Marshall Ayub Khan, President of Pakistan, when he came to witness the second Test match of the series at the newly built Lahore stadium (now Gaddafi Stadium) to get rid of matting wickets in Pakistan in order to achieve further improvement of the state of the game in the country.
Loxton's career spanned four years (1947-1951). He appeared in 12 Test matches scored 554 runs (avg 36.93) with the help of one century (101 vs South Africa in Johannesburg in 1949-50) and three half centuries (80 vs India at Melbourne on debut in 1948, 93 vs England at Headingley Leeds in 1948 and 54 vs South Africa at Durban in 1950). Interestingly on all these occasions Australia had won by wide margins.
In the game against England at Headingley in 1948 England had scored 496 and 365-8 declared, Australia replied with 458 in the first innings and subsequently achieved the massive victory target of 404 for the loss of only three wickets.
In another thrilling encounter against South Africa at Durban in 1950, first South Africa notched up 311 and later bowled out the Aussies for a lowly 75, Australia fought back and dismissed South Africa for a paltry 99 which was followed by the superb Loxton performance of 54 to help achieve the victory target of 336-5. Loxton's performance was creditable in these matches.
Sam Loxton was also an Australian Test selector between 1971-1981, which is considered as one of the most successful eras of Australian Cricket and had produced such legendary cricketers like Dennis Lillee, Jeoff Thompson, Rodney Marsh and the Chappell brothers, Ian and Greg.
His contribution to Australian cricket is both memorable and valuable.
Career Record 1947-51
Matches: 12; Innings: 15; Not Out: 0; Runs: 554; Highest: 101; Avg: 36.93. 100s: 1; 50s: 3; Catches: 7.
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