John Reid during ODI action against West Indies at SCG in 1985. Photo / Photosport
John Fulton Reid, one of New Zealand’s best test hitters, died of cancer at the age of 64.
The left-hander scored 1296 runs averaging 46.28 from 19 tests between 1979 and 1986, second behind Kane Williamson among compatriots who played more than 20 innings.
The centuries-old conversion rate of half a century is 75 percent, completing six out of eight. That’s the best among New Zealanders, and higher than 69 percent of Sir Don Bradman – although The Don hit the three points on 29 occasions out of 42.
Reid was technically adept at folding, and exuded a special twist against the twist.
However, the pinnacle of his playing career arguably came in November 1985 during New Zealand’s round-and-41-run win against Australia in ‘Gabba pacy’. Reid and Martin Crowe combined to then record a third goal standing of 224 runs which helped their side to a declared 553 for seven. Sir Richard Hadlee did the rest with 15 goals for 123.
Reid made 108.
Speaking to the Herald on his 30th anniversary, the No.3 felt he proved a point after the first five of his six centuries came at home or away against India, Pakistan or Sri Lanka.
“To hit, when the goals are low, that’s special. It was not an easy, flat throw to start with and I proved that I can score a hundred strikes outside of sub-continents or round-dominated ones.
“Watching the Martin bat was incredible, and I pushed one and two at the other end made a fantastic platform.
“On the faster and harder throws, there are benefits to playing on the court. You are less prone to getting caught than playing cross-bat shots. It changed my game plan and I consciously told myself to hit right through the middle and the middle. . “
His former Auckland team-mates and Martin Snedden, now chairman of the New Zealand Cricket board, reflect on Reid’s contribution in 2015.
“You always hear the chatter in the back room skeptical about John’s ability to play fast bowling at that level, but take a look at his test record; it’s excellent against speed attack and good spin.
“That partnership [with Crowe] very important because, after bowling really well, it’s not uncommon for a New Zealand team to hit a shot. The two of them had just repelled the Aussies. “
Reid said the game – and Australia’s first and so far only series win – was the culmination of several years of changing New Zealand’s mindset.
“It sounds a little trite considering how professional the game is now, but we are seeing the emergence of those playing in an English county environment. John Wright, Geoff Howarth and Richard Hadlee bring a different sense of professionalism to the past.
“We tend to be weekend cricketers who happen to take tests and, to a certain extent, that’s how I see myself. We play some first-class matches in a season. Suddenly we are becoming more confident and confident on the world stage. .
“My main memory of that improvement comes from our internal meetings. It was pre-video analysis but we shared the knowledge the players had about other people. Glenn Turner went around to each player to talk about their strengths and what he expected of them. there’s no discussion about weakness; it’s just ‘do this because you’re good at it.’ I go to bed thinking about how I can strengthen it. “
In the amateur era, Reid also placed his earnings above international cricket glory. She turned down a tour of the Caribbean in 1985 so that she could prioritize her role as a teacher.
He went on to become director of operations for New Zealand Cricket, high-performance manager and interim coach of the national team in the centenary of the 1995 season.
Reid moved from Auckland to Canterbury in 1996 to take on his NZC role.
Recently, a section of the Selwyn Sports Center was named in his honor.
Selwyn Mayor Sam Broughton told the Otago Daily Times that the move recognized Reid’s work as a community sports champion in the district. He also spent nine years at Sport New Zealand (formerly SPARC) supporting that cause, and established a national program to identify and develop talented athletes.
Reid is survived by his wife Karen, daughters Amanda and Carolyn, and six grandchildren.