From Australia’s Jewish Past: Leonard “Jock” Livingston  – some say he was the best ever Australian Jewish batsman

March 1, 2022 by Features Desk
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Jock was born on 3 May 1920 in Sydney’s Hurlstone Park.

Jock Livingston

He was a most talented cricketer as well as a rugby league player and spent three seasons playing with South Sydney Rugby League side from 1941 to 1943.

He played five times for New South Wales , as a hard-hitting left-handed batsman.  He was omitted from the 1948 Australian side to tour England, and turned instead to Central Lancashire Cricket League in England where he played for Royton Cricket Club.  He married a local girl and they settled in England.

In 1949–50, when England declined a cricket tour of India, the former England wicketkeeper George Duckworth assembled a Commonwealth side consisting of Lancashire League players, plus a handful of English and West Indian cricketers.  Jock was appointed captain of the side.  The tour was a great success, with the side playing five unofficial “Tests” against full Indian Test sides.

Jock’s value was not just in the runs that he scored, but also the style in which he scored them.  in a period when defensive batting was commonplace, he hit the ball hard and often, and was no respecter of reputations. His presence at Northamptonshire also attracted other talented players, including Australians.

At the end of this tour, he was signed as a batsman by Northamptonshire UK as part of the country’s policy to import talented cricketers.  He became an immediate success and over the next eight years was often near the top of the English batting averages.

He retired at the end of the 1957 season, following which he worked for the bat-making company Gray-Nicolls.

Jock died on 16 January 1998 and has sometimes been recognised as the best Jewish batsman Australia has produced.  


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