Jack Cheetham in 1952
|Full name||John Erskine Cheetham|
26 May 1920|
Cape Town, Cape Province
|Died||21 August 1980
|Batting style||Right-hand bat|
A middle-order batsman, Cheetham captained South Africa in 15 Test matches, and led the side to a drawn series in Australia in 1952-53, victories away and at home to New Zealand in the 1952-53 season and the 1953-54 season, and a narrow 3-2 defeat in England in 1955.
He played for Western Province from 1939-40 to 1954-55. Playing against Orange Free State in December 1951 he scored 271 not out, which was the highest score ever made in the Currie Cup. Five days later Eric Rowan took the record from him, with 277 not out for Transvaal against Griqualand West.
Rodney Hartman said of him: "Cheetham, the archetype gentleman, embodied the best virtues of sportsmanship and human endeavour, and was always held up as the ideal kind of man to captain his country."
He served in the Middle East during the Second World War. He graduated from the University of Cape Town and worked as an engineer for the construction company Murray & Roberts and later as a director. After he died, the company instituted the Jack Cheetham Memorial Award to recognise those who have done outstanding work promoting sport in disadvantaged communities.
- Caught by the Springboks (1953) (about the South African tour of Australia and New Zealand, 1952–53)
- I Declare (1956) (about the South African tour of England, 1955)