Former New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman Jock Edwards passed away on Monday, aged 64. He represented the Black Caps in a total of eight Tests and 6 One-Day Internationals. Unlike his international career, he enjoyed a prolific first-class career while playing for Central Districts.
He made his Test debut against Australia in 1977 as a specialist batsman. In the following season, New Zealand recalled him as a wicketkeeper-batsman and he impressed by scoring 55 and 54 in his comeback match against England at Auckland.
That performance helped him retain his place in the team for the tour of England in 1978. However, he failed miserably in England and was widely criticised. One member of the BBC commentary team had infamously said that Edwards was “the worst wicketkeeper I’ve ever seen … he’s made mistakes you’d have the 3rd XI `keeper at school running round the pitch for”.
Jock Edwards was also a part of New Zealand’s home Test series against India in 1980-81. But he never really made a big mark in international cricket and the emergence of Ian Smith ended his career with the Black Caps.
“All the team at CD extend our heartfelt condolences to the family of Jock Edwards. An absolute legend of Nelson Cricket who played 8 Tests & 6 ODIs for NZ [Blackcaps]; represented CD [Central Stags] in 67 first-class matches & 31 one-dayers in the 70s & 80s, Jock was also a mainstay of one of Nelson’s great Hawke Cup eras, the 14-match tenure that spanned 1979 to 1983 – among many other fine achievements in his career. Rest in peace, Jock,” wrote Central Districts in a statement on Facebook.
For New Zealand, Jock Edwards scored over 500 runs with the help of three fifties. In first-class cricket, he scored 4,589 runs with the help of 5 centuries and 25 half-centuries. With the wicketkeeping gloves, he took 126 catches and had 16 stumping.