Ken Rutherford (cricketer)

Kenneth Robert Rutherford MNZM (born 26 October 1965) is a former New Zealand cricketer who enjoyed a ten-year career with the national team, and was captain for a period in the 1990s. He is the 50th ODI cap for New Zealand.

Ken Rutherford
Personal information
Full nameKenneth Robert Rutherford
Born (1965-10-26) 26 October 1965 (age 54)
Dunedin, New Zealand
BowlingRight arm medium
RelationsHamish Rutherford (son)
Ian Rutherford (brother)
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 155)29 March 1985 v West Indies
Last Test22 March 1995 v Sri Lanka
ODI debut (cap 50)27 March 1985 v West Indies
Last ODI1 April 1995 v Sri Lanka
Domestic team information
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 56 121 220 248
Runs scored 2,465 3,143 13,974 6,888
Batting average 27.08 29.65 39.92 31.59
100s/50s 3/18 2/18 35/67 6/44
Top score 107* 108 317 130*
Balls bowled 256 389 1,729 862
Wickets 1 10 22 21
Bowling average 161.00 32.30 46.00 33.47
5 wickets in innings 0 0 1 0
10 wickets in match 0 0 0 0
Best bowling 1/38 2/39 5/72 3/26
Catches/stumpings 32/– 41/– 180/– 91/–
Source: Cricinfo, 4 April 2017


Rutherford's elder brother Ian also played first-class cricket as a batsman for Otago from 1974–75 to 1983–84.[1] The brothers played in the same Otago team in 1982–83 and 1983–84.

Rutherford's eldest son Hamish Rutherford made his Test debut for New Zealand against England in March 2013, scoring 171.

Domestic careerEdit

He made his debut for Otago in 1982–83 at the age of 17, batting at number six. Opening the batting in 1984–85 he scored 442 runs at 44.20, including his first century, 130 against Auckland,[2] and he was asked to open the batting for New Zealand in the West Indies at a time when West Indies were at the height of their powers.

Rutherford's highest first-class score of 317, scored playing for a New Zealand touring side against a D.B.Close XI at Scarborough in 1986,[3] achieved several records for New Zealand cricket. it contained eight sixes and 45 boundary fours, crossing the boundary rope a record 53 times. The runs were scored in a day – the most runs scored in one day by a New Zealand batsman, and 199 of the runs were scored in one session between lunch and tea. The match was something of a festival occasion, with some elderly players in the fielding ranks, and Rutherford had not played with great distinction in the test matches. It is the highest innings in the history of the Scarborough Festival, as of 2015.[4]

Upon being dropped from the New Zealand team in 1995, Rutherford moved to South Africa, where he played first-class cricket for five seasons, first for Transvaal and then for Gauteng (which replaced Transvaal in 1994), before finally retiring, scoring a duck in his very last game.

International careerEdit

Making his debut during New Zealand's tour of the West Indies in 1984-85 at the age of 19, Rutherford played in all four Test matches. Facing the West Indian pace attack, he endured a difficult time, scoring 0, 0 (run out without facing a ball), 4 (an edge through the slips), 0, 2, 1 and 5 in the series.[5][6]

He was not selected for the tour of Australia in 1985–86, but after scoring 638 runs at 53.16 with three centuries in the Shell Trophy[7] he returned to the Test team when Australia toured New Zealand early in 1986, this time in the middle order, scoring two fifties in the three Tests.

Rutherford was a steady feature of the side after his return. However he had a habit of not converting fifties into centuries in Test cricket though he clearly had the ability to do so, as shown by his 35 first-class centuries. He captained New Zealand's team for three years, with two Test wins in 18 attempts in what was a difficult tenure as New Zealand struggled to find a replacement for the retired Richard Hadlee and suffered the decline in power of their only world class batsman, Martin Crowe.

Arguably, Rutherford's greatest success came in One Day Internationals where he won ten matches as captain and made his highest international score, with 108 in a losing cause against India. He was a member of the New Zealand side which reached the semi finals of the 1992 World Cup,[8] their 2nd equal best performance in the tournament's history.

After cricketEdit

In the 1997 New Year Honours, Rutherford was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to cricket.[9]

Rutherford published his autobiography, A Hell of a Way to Make a Living, in 1995. With Mike Crean he wrote a book for young cricketers, Ken Rutherford’s Book of Cricket, in 1992.[10]

After retirement from the playing side of the game, he coached the Irish national cricket team.

After coaching the Ireland national team for two years he followed his interest in horse racing, returning home to work as head bookmaker for the New Zealand TAB and then filled a similar role in Singapore. Back in South Africa he then worked as chief executive of racing broadcaster Tellytrack. Since 2013[11] (and as of 2014) he is general manager of the Waikato Racing Club.[8] He is also a cricket commentator for Sky Network Television.


  1. ^ Ian Rutherford at Cricket Archive Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  2. ^ Auckland v Otago 1984–85. Retrieved on 27 May 2018.
  3. ^ DB Close's XI v New Zealanders 1986. Retrieved on 27 May 2018.
  4. ^ "North Marine Road, Scarborough – Double Centuries in first-class cricket". Cricketarchive. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  5. ^ "The New Zealanders in West Indies, 1984–85", Wisden 1986, pp. 953–66.
  6. ^ "A debut double". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  7. ^ Shell Trophy batting averages 1985–86. Retrieved on 27 May 2018.
  8. ^ a b Anderson, Ian (13 December 2014). "Ken Rutherford digs in on racing's sticky wicket". Where are they now?. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  9. ^ "New Year honours list 1997". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 1996. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  10. ^ National Library of New Zealand Catalogue[permanent dead link] Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  11. ^ Rodley, Aidan (26 April 2013). "Rutherford lands job at Waikato Racing Club". Retrieved 22 December 2014.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Martin Crowe
New Zealand national cricket captain
Succeeded by
Lee Germon