Martin Donnelly, a graceful left-handed batsman, became one of New Zealand's most admired cricketers although his service to his country of birth was far less than it might have been. An old boy of New Plymouth Boys High School, he played only 13 of his 131 first-class games in New Zealand and none of his seven tests. These were all played in England. Picked for the New Zealand team's 1937 tour of England after only one first-class match, he scored a half-century in their test at the Oval. War duties halted his career, although he scored a famous century in the Dominions' victory over England in 1945. He then went to Oxford and scored prodigiously for the university, and also played rugby for England. Picked for New Zealand's 1949 tour of England, he scored 462 runs at an average of 77 in the tests and at Lord's scored 206. Soon after he retired and moved to Australia. His first class average was 47.43, and his test average 52.90 – considerably higher than the test averages of Martin Crowe, Glenn Turner and Bert Sutcliffe.
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Private collection, Don Neely
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