Jack Rutherford (cricketer)
Rutherford (right) with Colin McDonald in 1953
|Batting style||Right-hand bat|
John Walter Rutherford (born 25 September 1929, Bruce Rock, Western Australia) is an Australian cricketer who played in one Test in 1956-57. Although Ernest Bromley was the first Western Australian to play test cricket, Rutherford was the first Western Australia cricketer to be picked for a "major" cricket tour and the first to win a Test cap for Australia while playing for his native state.
A science and mathematics graduate from the University of Western Australia, Jack Rutherford was a right-handed opening batsman, inclined to be defensive, and an occasional leg-break bowler who played for Western Australia from the 1952-53 season. Until 1956-57, Western Australia played the other Sheffield Shield state cricket teams only once a season, so Rutherford's record of five first-class centuries in his first four seasons was notable enough to win him selection for the 1956 Australian tour to England. In a damp summer, though, he was not a success, scoring only 640 runs at an average of fewer than 23 runs per innings. Only fleetingly, early in the tour, did he look likely to break into the Test team: against MCC at Lord's, he scored a dour 98 and shared a second wicket partnership of 282 with Neil Harvey, who scored 225. But when the team was announced for the first Test, the Australians reverted to the first-choice opening pair of Colin McDonald and Jim Burke.
On the way back to Australia from England, the team stopped in Pakistan for one Test match and in India for three games: in the second Indian match at Bombay (Mumbai), Rutherford won his solitary Test cap, replacing McDonald. He scored 30 and also took the wicket of Vijay Manjrekar, but McDonald returned for the third match and Rutherford never played Test cricket again.
He played state cricket for three more seasons, but after top-scoring in the match and achieving his career-best bowling performance for Western Australia against the 1958-59 MCC touring side, he was not selected for the Tests that season and retired at the end of it. He played as a professional with Rishton in the Lancashire League in 1959, scoring 831 runs and taking 52 wickets. He reappeared in first-class cricket in 1960-61, when he captained the state team to victory over the visiting West Indians, but he suffered a mild heart attack during the match and never played first-class cricket again.
- "Jack Rutherford". www.cricketarchive.com. Retrieved 2012-02-15.
- Gideon Haigh, The Summer Game, Text, Melbourne, 1997, p. 210.
- "First-class Batting and Fielding in each Season by Jack Rutherford". www.cricketarchive.com. Retrieved 2012-02-15.
- "Scorecard: MCC v Australians". www.cricketarchive.com. 1956-05-26. Retrieved 2012-02-15.
- "Scorecard: India v Australia". www.cricketarchive.com. 1956-10-26. Retrieved 2012-02-15.
- Wisden 1960, p. 738.
- The Oxford Companion to Australian Cricket, Oxford, Melbourne, 1996, pp. 458-59.