by Rachael Comer
Timaru has lost a cricketing great.
Former representative player and coach Murray Jack died on November 26, and was farewelled at Betts Chapel on Thursday. He was 84.
A life member of the South Canterbury Cricket Association since 2000, Jack was an advocate of women’s cricket and coached the Timaru Girls’ High School cricket team between 1995 to 2000 when they won the national championship four times and were runners-up twice.
Many of the girls he coached went on to reach higher honours, notably Haidee Tiffen, who played and captained the New Zealand women’s team and is now their coach, Maria Fahey who represented New Zealand, and Selina Charteris, who played for Canterbury and later managed teams.
Tiffen said Jack had “a big influence” on her career and others in her team. She played cricket for Timaru Girls’ High School from 1993 to 1997.
“He was so passionate about cricket and encouraged many talented sports girls to take up cricket,” she said.
“His influence on our TGHS team at the time led to national titles and many players to go on to play for New Zealand and domestic women’s teams.”
She said she still used many of his cricket philosophies today.
“He was so very caring, loving, had a great sense of humour and was supportive of the entire team. We owe a great deal to Mr Jack.”
Jack also played three seasons in first-class cricket for Canterbury in the mid-1950s and as a bowler returned his best first-class figures of 5-57.
After his debut for South Canterbury on December 17, 1950, Jack would play more than 50 matches and had his best return against Southland in 1960 taking 6-19.
On another occasion, he took five wickets for one run against North Otago in 1955.
He had seven wicket bags of five-plus for South Canterbury.
by Rachael Comer