Don Cleverley in 1931
|Batting style||Left-hand bat|
|Bowling style||Right-arm fast-medium|
Born in Oamaru in Otago, he was a right-arm fast-medium bowler and left-handed batsman. Cleverley played domestic first-class cricket for Auckland over 21 seasons, from 1930/31 to 1951/52, before playing a final season in 1952–53 for Central Districts. He also played for Piako against the touring MCC side in February 1936, and for Taranaki against Nelson in the Hawke Cup in December 1952.
He first played in New Zealand's inaugural Test match against South Africa, at Christchurch in February 1932. Cleverley bowled 22 overs without success, and scored 10* and 7 with the bat, and New Zealand were beaten by an innings and 12 runs.
He also played in the notorious one-off Test against Australia at Wellington in March 1946, New Zealand's first Test against Australia. Electing to bat first on a rain-affected pitch, New Zealand were bowled out for 42 inside two hours on the first morning. Australia scored runs as the pitch dried out, and ended the day at 149–3, but lost quick wickets after they resumed on a damp wicket the next morning and declared on 199–8. This was more than sufficient, and New Zealand were bowled out for 54 inside another two hours, to lose by an innings and 103 runs. Cleverley bowled 15 overs without taking a wicket, and was the not-out batsman on one run in each innings. After this debacle, which highlighted the gap in quality between the sides, Australia and New Zealand did not play against each other in Test cricket until 1973.
On the death of M. J. Gopalan in 2003, Cleverley became the oldest living Test cricketer. He died in Southport, Queensland at the age of 94, and he was succeeded as the oldest living Test cricketer by his compatriot Eric Tindill, who also played in the Test match against Australia in 1946.
- Profile, CricketArchive
- Profile, ESPNcricinfo
- Beating up your neighbour, ESPNcricinfo, 16 June 2007
- Don Cleverley, oldest Test cricketer, dies aged 94, ESPNcricinfo, 16 February 2004
M J Gopalan
|Oldest Living Test Cricketer
21 December 2003 – 16 February 2004