A debonair, mischievous character who the great cricket writer Ray Robinson described as “Puck
in flannels” was a combination of impish prankster, skilled batsman, clever tactician and sparkling speaker.
He played with South Melbourne in 107 games between 1930/31 and 1953/54, with a minor interruption
of seven games with the Colts in 1933/34. A much-loved figure, he did much to boost sportsmanship in
all ranks of Australian cricket. He scored 4449 runs at an average of 43.19, with an unbeaten 152 the
highest of his 11 centuries in Premier cricket. He scored 122 in a losing final to Melbourne in 1948/49.
His first-class record was outstanding, scoring at an average of 58.24. He hit 59 centuries and took 170
catches. He had a copybook style and no weaknesses.
Sir Donald Bradman declared he played Bill O’Reilly better than any batsman, which was high praise as
Bradman believed O’Reilly the best bowler he had ever encountered.
He was a natural leader. He was only 167cm (5ft 6ins) and about 63.5kg (10 stone). Born in Geelong in
1913, he and his five brothers played for Newtown. One of them, Dick, later went to South Melbourne
and had eight games for Victoria.
Lindsay was captain of the Geelong College cricket and football teams and Victorian Public Schools
tennis champion. He played in the school’s First XI for five years, starting at 14. He joined South Melbourne
while still at school. He played football for Geelong in the Amateurs, winning the Woodrow Medal for
the best and fairest player in “A” section in 1935 and 1936.
He played one game for Victoria in 1932/33 but was not chosen again until 1935/36 and did not look
back. He joined the AIF for the war. He led Victoria to victory in the 1946/47 Sheffield Shield, leading
by example with an average of 141.75.
He retired from Test cricket in 1953. Despite the interruption of the war, he played 216 first-class games
between 1932 and 1953. In 43 Tests he scored 3073 runs at 46.56, including 10 centuries. He captained
Australia in 24 Tests. Almost all his Test cricket was played between the ages of 33 and 40 because of the war.
For many years he operated a sports goods store in Melbourne and was a revered commentator for the
ABC. He went to live at Batehaven on the NSW south coast in 1974, and died there in 1993.
In 1990, the VCA launched the Lindsay Hassett Club, a monthly luncheon club to raise funds for
the promotion of junior cricket in the state.
From "100 Not Out" by Rod Nicholson and Ken Williams.
|Innings||N.O.||Runs||Batting Avg||High Score||50s||100s|
|566||18||31.44||3/22|| || ||61 |