DateLine: 2nd May 2007
One of New Zealand's finest fast bowlers, Richard Charles "Dick" Motz, died on April 29, 2007 at the age of 67.
He was the first New Zealand bowler to capture 100 wickets in Tests, finishing with exactly 100 victims (at 31.48) in a 32-Test career which ended at The Oval in 1969.
Barely 21 when he made his Test debut against South Africa at Durban in 1961/62, he formed a fine, dependable pace attack with Frank Cameron and Gary Bartlett, grabbing 19 wickets in the series, and two Tests were won on the tour - New Zealand's first overseas successes in a drawn series.
Motz later toured India and Pakistan and England in 1965, with a further tour to England four years later. However, he suffered from back injuries which hastened his retirement at the early age of 29.
Motz took five wickets in an innings five times in Tests and as a hard-hitting lower-order batsman with a penchant for hitting huge sixes, he scored three half-centuries, all against England. New Zealand won only four of the 32 Tests in which he played. He was named as one of Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Year in 1966.
In all first-class cricket Motz took 518 wickets (average 22.71) with a best of 8-61, and scored 3,494 runs (17.12) with one century. In Tests he scored 612 runs (11.54) with a highest of 60.
In recent years he became a popular taxi driver in Christchurch, ever ready to talk about his cricket days.
(Article: Copyright © 2007 Peter Martin)
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