Louis Duffus

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Louis Duffus

Louis George Duffus (13 May 1904 in Melbourne, Australia – 24 July 1984 in Johannesburg, South Africa) was a South African cricketer who became the country's most respected writer on the game.

He was educated in Johannesburg, being awarded a Bachelor of Commerce degree. He was a fine athlete and baseballer, as well as a cricketer. He was a right-handed batsman and occasional wicketkeeper, who played in five first-class matches for Transvaal between 1923/24 and 1934/35. Meanwhile, he had established himself as a cricket journalist, accompanying the South African national side on their 1929 tour of England and supplying copy for a number of British papers. Thereafter, until South Africa were barred from Test cricket some forty years later as a result of apartheid, he hardly missed a Test match in which they were involved. He covered more than one hundred in all. His Wisden obituary described him as "conscientious, generous and very fair, with a delightful manner and a nice turn of phrase".[1]

During the 1935 South African tour of England he was summoned from the press box to field as a substitute against Glamorgan. He caught Dyson at slip, which helped in ensuring the tourists' victory in front of a large Swansea crowd. He was proud that Wisden mentioned this in its match report. He had not been far from selection for the touring party, having played in a trial match in the previous December.

He compiled and edited Volume 3 of the official history of South African cricket, covering the years from 1927 to 1947. He also wrote on rugby union and was a war correspondent during World War II. He was also the sports editor of the Johannesburg Star.[1]

He achieved a degree of fame in the medical world in 1970 when, though a haemophiliac, he had a hip operation in Oxford.[2]


  • Cricketers of the Veld, Sampson Low, Marston and Company Ltd, 1946.
  • Beyond the Laager, Hurst & Blackett. Published just after World War 2, it describes South African's experiences during the war.
  • South African Cricket 1927-1947, Volume 3, The South African Cricket Association, 1948.
  • Springbok Glory, Longmans, 1955.
  • Champagne Cricket (the Australians in South Africa, 1966-67).
  • When Springboks Leap the Net: The Dramatic History of South Africa in Davis Cup Tennis, Privately Published, 1968.
  • Play Abandoned: An Autobiography, Timmins, 1969, ISBN 0-561-00077-8.


  1. ^ a b Wisden 1985, p. 1192.
  2. ^ The Cricketer, Winter Annual, 1984, pp. 56-57.

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