|Full name||Donald Derek Beard|
14 January 1920|
Palmerston North, Manawatu
|Died||15 July 1982
|Batting style||Right-hand bat|
|Bowling style||Right-arm medium|
|Test debut (cap 54)||8 February 1952 v West Indies|
|Last Test||9 March 1956 v West Indies|
Source: Cricinfo, 1 April 2017
Early life and career
Don Beard grew up in the country near Palmerston North, cycling 15 miles a day to attend Palmerston North Boys' High School. After teacher training in Auckland, he attended Victoria University in Wellington.
An accurate fast-medium bowler and useful lower-order batsman, Beard made his first-class debut for Wellington in 1945-46, but did not play again until the creation of the Central Districts team in 1950-51.
He was a stalwart of the Central Districts team until 1960-61, taking 15 wickets and scoring 255 runs at 51.00 in 1953-54 when Central Districts won the Plunket Shield for the first time. He hit his top first-class score of 81 not out against Wellington during the season. Dick Brittenden said Beard specialised in the sweep shot, and "would have made more runs in his colourful career had he not expended so much of his patience on bowling".
He topped the bowling averages in the Plunket Shield in 1955-56 with 28 wickets at 10.64, "and 110 of his 217 overs were maidens". After the visiting West Indies side won the first two Tests by an innings, they played Central Districts at Wanganui, where Beard top-scored in each innings, making 25 and 67, and took 3 for 52 and 2 for 59 (match figures of 50.1-20-111-5). He returned to the Test team for the last two Tests, and played an important role in New Zealand's first-ever Test victory in the Fourth Test, making 31 and 6 not out and taking 1 for 20 and 3 for 22. But that was his last Test.
His best innings and match figures came in 1956-57 against Otago in Dunedin, when he took 7 for 56 and 4 for 43 (match figures of 61.4-26-99-11) in a match that Otago nevertheless won.
In 1961 he became principal of Te Aroha College in Waikato, and played a few games for Northern Districts. In 1961-62 he took 5 for 70 and 6 for 71 against Auckland, and 5 for 60 and 3 for 36 in the next match against Wellington. He played his last game in the 1964-65 season, just after turning 45.
He also played Hawke Cup cricket for Wanganui, Manawatu and Thames Valley.
He died in 1982 while on holiday in England after retiring as principal of Te Aroha College.
- R.T. Brittenden, New Zealand Cricketers, A.H. & A.W. Reed, Wellington, 1961, p. 20.
- Bowling averages, Plunket Shield, 1951-52
- Batting averages, Plunket Shield, 1953-54
- Wellington v Central Districts, 1953-54
- R.T. Brittenden, Great Days in New Zealand Cricket, A.H. & A.W. Reed, Wellington, 1958, p. 179.
- Wisden 1957, p. 877.
- Central Districts v West Indians, 1955-56
- New Zealand v West Indies, Auckland 1955-56
- Otago v Central Districts, 1956-57
- Brittenden, New Zealand Cricketers, p. 23.
- Wisden 1963, p. 956.
- Brittenden, New Zealand Cricketers, p. 19.
- Dick Brittenden, "Don Beard", Cricketer, November 1982, p. 68.
- Brittenden, "Don Beard", p. 68.