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Mark Burgess (cricketer)

Mark Gordon Burgess (born 17 July 1944) is a New Zealand former cricketer who captained the New Zealand cricket team from 1978 to 1980. He was a right-handed batsman, and bowled right-arm off-breaks. He played in New Zealand's first One Day International (ODI).

Mark Burgess
Personal information
Full nameMark Gordon Burgess
Born (1944-07-17) 17 July 1944 (age 75)
Auckland, New Zealand
BowlingRight-arm off break
RelationsGordon Burgess (father)
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 112)15 February 1968 v India
Last Test26 December 1980 v Australia
ODI debut (cap 1)11 February 1973 v Pakistan
Last ODI3 February 1981 v Australia
Domestic team information
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 50 26 192 42
Runs scored 2,684 336 10,281 603
Batting average 31.20 16.80 35.82 17.73
100s/50s 5/14 0/0 20/62 0/0
Top score 119* 47 146 47
Balls bowled 498 74 2,328 217
Wickets 6 1 30 4
Bowling average 35.33 69.00 38.26 38.25
5 wickets in innings 0 0 0 0
10 wickets in match 0 0 0 0
Best bowling 3/23 1/10 3/23 2/28
Catches/stumpings 34/– 8/– 152/– 12/–
Source: Cricinfo, 17 April 2017
Mark Burgess
Personal information
Full name Mark Gordon Burgess
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
National team
1965–1967 New Zealand U-23 7 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

He was raised in the Auckland suburb of Remuera and attended Remuera Intermediate School. Between 1958 and 1963 he attended Auckland Grammar School, where he showed his talent as a natural sportsman by becoming a member of both the cricket and soccer 1st Elevens for several years.

During the 1970s, the decade when Burgess played most of his international cricket and before the advent of professional sport in New Zealand, sportsmen were required to support themselves and take unpaid leave to complete overseas tours. In the mid-1970s he joined the staff of a leading Auckland sportsgoods wholesaler, Brittain Wynyard & Co. Ltd. Beginning as a sales representative, he became promotions manager of the company.

His father Gordon Burgess played for Auckland between 1940–41 and 1954–55[1] and managed the New Zealand team that toured England, India and Pakistan in 1969.

Cricket career in the 1960sEdit

Burgess made his first-class debut for a New Zealand Under-23 XI against Auckland in 1963–64 at the age of 19. He played his first matches in the Plunket Shield for Auckland in 1966–67, scoring 270 runs at 33.75 in six matches. It was enough to secure his selection for the short non-Test tour of Australia in 1967–68, and the four Tests against India that followed in New Zealand, when he scored three fifties and was the second-highest-scoring New Zealander with 271 runs at 33.87.

He made his first first-class century, 102, shortly afterwards in April 1968 when he played two matches in India with several other international players to raise money for the Koyna Relief Fund. He made two more centuries for Auckland in the 1968–69 season, but was not successful in two Tests against the West Indies. Nevertheless, he was selected to tour England, India and Pakistan in 1969.

He had little success in England, and after the First Test in India he had played nine Tests for 368 runs at 21.65 and one wicket. But in the Second Test in Nagpur, on a turning pitch, he made 89 (the highest score in the match) and 12, and took 3 for 23 and 1 for 18, as New Zealand’s spinners (Burgess, Vic Pollard and Hedley Howarth) prevailed to take New Zealand to its first-ever victory in India, at the 11th try.

He hit his first Test century in the following series in Pakistan. New Zealand needed to win or draw the Third Test at Dacca to give the country its first overseas series victory against any opponent. Burgess hit 59 in the first innings. After losing eight wickets for 101 in the second innings New Zealand was only 84 ahead and apparently heading for defeat, but Burgess scored 119 not out, in an eventual total of 200, putting on 96 for the ninth wicket with Bob Cunis. According to Wisden Burgess "gave a magnificent display" over four and a quarter hours.[2]

Cricket career in the 1970sEdit

When he scored centuries against England in Auckland in 1970–71 and against the West Indies in Kingston in 1971–72 he achieved the rare feat of centuries in three consecutive Tests, even if they were spaced over two and a half years. He hit further Test centuries against England at Lord’s in 1973, and against Pakistan in Lahore in 1976–77.

Burgess captained New Zealand in 10 of his 50 Tests. During his term as captain, New Zealand only won one Test, his first as captain, in Wellington in 1977–78, but it was an important victory, the first ever by New Zealand over England, in the 48th Test between the two countries. He also captained New Zealand in the 1979 World Cup, when they reached the semi-finals but lost to England by nine runs.

He played his last Test against Australia at Melbourne in 1980–81, scoring 49 and 10 not out under the captaincy of Geoff Howarth, who had succeeded him. He hit 134 against Tasmania in the next match, and retired from first-class cricket at the end of the tour, at the age of 36. The highest of his 20 first-class centuries was 146 for Auckland against Central Districts at Auckland in 1971–72. Despite his success at Nagpur in 1969–70, afterwards he seldom bowled in Tests, and only occasionally in first-class matches.

Christopher Martin-Jenkins summed him up as "a fair-haired right-hander with a sound technique and some handsome attacking strokes, especially adept at driving", and says of his captaincy and overall attitude to cricket, "he was popular with both his own team and his opponents. Essentially a dedicated amateur cricketer in a professional age, his attitude was that winning or losing was not life or death."[3]


Burgess was named New Zealand Footballer of the Year in 1965. He played regularly for the New Zealand national under-23 football team from 1965 to 1967, scoring 1 goal in his 7 appearances[4] and played one game for the New Zealand national football team in an unofficial match against a touring Manchester United side in 1967.

He later served on the New Zealand Soccer council for over thirty years.[5] In 2013, Burgess became a founding committee member of the independent group Friends of Football.[6]


  1. ^ Gordon Burgess at Cricket Archive
  2. ^ Wisden 1971, p. 864.
  3. ^ C. Martin-Jenkins, The Complete Who's Who of Test Cricketers, Rigby, 1983, p. 378.
  4. ^ "New Zealand – U-23 International Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
  5. ^ "Soccer: Burgess keen to save goals". New Zealand Herald. 13 February 1999.
  6. ^ Friends of Football Committee. Friends of Football. Retrieved 31 December 2014.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Glenn Turner
New Zealand national cricket captain
Succeeded by
Geoff Howarth