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Bill Brown; OBITUARY.

HE WAS one of the "Invincibles", but he was also a modest man of slight stature with a wry view of the world, rooted in his love of cricket, a game whose duration allows for a little philosophy as well as supreme dedication.

Before Australia played England at the Oval in 2001, he advised televiewers to look at the patch of ground at short fine-leg.

Why? Well, he was fielding there in 1938, when Len Hutton "batted and batted and batted" on his way to a Test record of 364.

Brown was convinced that his footprints would mark that patch forever - or so he said, with a knowing smile.

This was the quiet charm of a man who played in what some regard as the finest team ever assembled.

Inevitably, he will be remembered as a member of Donald Bradman's Invincibles, who toured England in 1948.

But the glorious moments in his own career as an opening bat came before that. He played in 189 firstclass games, scoring 13,840 runs at an average of 51. He played in 22 Tests, making 1,592 runs at an average of 47.

H is delicacy of touch, epitomised in his perfectly timed leg glances, gained the admiration of purists, including the great Neville Cardus, who judged him to be "immaculate, calm and old-headed".

William Alfred Brown, son of a dairy farmer, was born in Queensland, but spent his childhood in Sydney, making his debut for New South Wales in 1932.

Excellent form led to him being selected for the Australian team which toured England in 1934. Despite a century in Australia's first innings at Lord's, he was not at his best.

However, he was the only Australian to shine in the Hutton Test 70 years ago, when England made 903 for seven. Brown contributed 69 to Australia's meagre reply of 201 in a match which England won by an innings and 579 runs.

Brown served as a flightlieutenant with the Royal Australian Air Force in the Pacific campaign during the Second World War, marrying Barbara Hart, with whom he had three sons.

After the war, he played in five Tests, captaining Australia in two matches against New Zealand in 1946. He retired in 1950, becoming a selector and administrator, occasionally expressing his disapproval of excessive displays of emotion.

Bill Brown, cricketer; born July 31, 1912, died March 16, 2008
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Article Type:Obituary
Date:Mar 27, 2008
Words:397
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