DateLine: 29th January 2006
Geoffrey "Geoff" Osbourne Rabone, who died on January 19, 2006 at the age of 84, was a forceful right hand batsman who bowled off-breaks and on occasion leg-breaks in a career which stretched from 1940-41 to 1959-60.
He went on two overseas tours - to England in 1949 and to South Africa as captain in 1953-54.
He also captained New Zealand in two Tests against Len Hutton's England team in 1954-55.
At Eden Park in Auckland that season the home team acquired an unwanted record - registering the lowest Test total of all time when they were dismissed for 26.
Rabone scored seven, second-highest to Bert Sutcliffe's 11 in what was to be his last Test match.
On the tour to South Africa he made a huge impact in the three Tests he was able to play before a broken bone in his foot forced him home early with Sutcliffe taking over the captaincy for the last two Tests.
At Kingsmead in Durban in the first Test he scored a patient six-hour 107 - his highest Test score - and at Newlands, Cape Town he captured his best bowling figures of 6-68 off 38.7 overs as New Zeland forced South Africa to follow-on after a John Reid century.
In 1951-52 he scored 125, his career-highest, for Auckland against Central Districts while his best bowling in first-class cricket was 8-65 for Auckland against the touring Australia B team in Auckland in 1956-57.
In 12 Test matches Rabone scored 562 runs (ave 31.22) with one century and two 50s, and captured 16 wickets (39.68) with a best of 6-68.
(Article: Copyright © 2006 Peter Martin)
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