NZ-OBITS-L ArchivesArchiver > NZ-OBITS > 2007-05 > 1178985155
From: "Peter McCrae" <>
Subject: [NZ-OBITS] MOTZ: Dick Charles Motz 29/4/2007
Date: Sat, 12 May 2007 16:52:35 +0100
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 07/05/2007
Dick Motz, the New Zealand fast bowler who died on April 29 aged 67, was the
mainstay of his country's attack during the 1960s, when he became the first
New Zealand player to take 100 Test wickets.
He was also a mighty hitter of the ball, albeit highly vulnerable against
pace. His feats as a slogger reinforced his immense popularity with crowds,
especially at his home ground, Lancaster Park, Christchurch.
Motz's batting, however, offered only occasional streaks of brilliance,
whereas his bowling never let anyone down. Capable of working up
considerable pace and hostility, he also had formidable stamina, which
enabled him to serve as both shock and stock bowler.
His mastery of the outswinger and his ability to move the ball off the pitch
made him a formidable proposition on helpful pitches.
Even Geoffrey Boycott's obdurate defence was tested to the full: in the
seven Tests he played against Motz, the New Zealander removed him six times,
and twice for a duck. Whether in the torrid heat of Calcutta or in the
freezing cold of Edgbaston, Motz could always be guaranteed to bowl his
"He was a great fast bowler who never knew when to stop," remembered Graham
Dowling, who captained New Zealand in the 1960s. "Although he had back
trouble, he kept on going. Sometimes after he came off the field at a break,
I'd jump on his back, and he'd get going again." Motz was probably at his
peak on the New Zealand tour of South Africa in 1961-62, when he claimed 81
wickets, including 19 in the Tests.
New Zealand drew that rubber 2-2. Motz's career, however, was the more
remarkable in that he was nearly always bowling in adversity; indeed, after
that South African tour, he would only twice more be on the winning side in
a Test match.
On both those occasions he played a crucial part. At Christchurch in
February 1968 he took six for 63 in India's first innings to set up a
six-wicket victory. Against the West Indies at Wellington in March 1969, he
returned figures of six for 69 and two for 44, as New Zealand again won by
In 1968 and 1969 (it was afterwards discovered) Motz was bowling with a
displaced vertebra. Nevertheless he undertook his second tour of England in
1969, and at the Oval that August took his 100th and last Test wicket. After
that even he had to accept the inevitability of retirement, although he was
still only 29.
Richard Charles Motz was born in Christchurch on January 12 1940. His
father, while more interested in harness racing, encouraged the boy's
interest in cricket; and at North New Brighton primary school, Dick Motz won
a reputation both for huge hitting and fast bowling.
At Linwood High School his achievements began to attract wider attention. He
captained the cricket XI for two years, and in his last four innings for
Linwood scored three centuries and 76 not out. He also played rugby and
tennis for the school, won the Canterbury junior badminton title, and
acquired a low handicap at golf. He continued with his rugby after leaving
school, playing two seasons at full-back for New Brighton in the Canterbury
Motz was still only 17 when, at the end of 1957, he was called up as a
replacement in the Canterbury side which was facing Northern Districts in
the Plunket Shield. He took a wicket in his second over, two more in his
third, and finished with four for 40. Then he shared in a ninth-wicket stand
of 67 which won the game for Canterbury.
Motz came close to being selected for the New Zealand tour of England in
1959. In February 1960 he played for New Zealand in an unofficial Test
against Australia. In January 1961, for Canterbury against a strong MCC side
captained by Dennis Silk, he returned figures of five for 34. Two weeks
later, when New Zealand took on MCC at Dunedin, he scored 36 and 60, hitting
David Allen for three massive sixes in an over. Later that year he made his
Test debut against South Africa.
After a dull tour of India and Pakistan early in 1965, when only the last of
the seven Tests produced a winner (India), the New Zealanders went straight
on to England where Motz took 54 wickets in 14 matches, earning himself
selection in 1966 as one of Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Year.
He never played in a Test against Australia, though two of his most notable
performances were against Australian sides. When, in February 1967, a
powerful Australian team began their tour of New Zealand at Christchurch,
Motz bowled Canterbury to victory with figures of three for 72 and seven for
56. In the second innings he dismissed Brian Booth, Ken Cunnigham, Norman
O'Neill, Peter Burge and Paul Sheehan in 26 balls.
At the end of 1967 a New Zealand party visited Australia. Against South
Australia at Adelaide, Motz arrived at the crease in the second innings with
his side at 38 for six, needing 188 to win. He proceeded to plunder 62 off
three overs from Ian Chappell, and struck six sixes and 10 fours before
being dismissed for 94. Even so, South Australia squeaked home by 24 runs.
In January 1968, for Canterbury against Otago at Lancaster Park, Motz
produced a still more startling innings, when he hit 103 not out in 53
minutes, including seven sixes and eight fours. At international level he
was less destructive with the bat, though he did score three half-centuries
against England: 60 at Auckland in 1963; and in March 1966, in successive
Tests, 58 at Christchurch and 57 at Dunedin.
In his 32 Test matches, however, Motz made only 612 runs, at the lowly
average of 11.54. His 100 wickets cost him 31.48 each. In all his 142
first-class matches between 1957 and 1969 he made 3,494 runs at 17.12, while
his 518 wickets were taken at an average of 22.72.
Particularly impressive was his economy rate per over, 2.68 in Tests and
2.37 in first-class cricket. His best bowling analysis was eight for 61 for
Canterbury against Wellington in January 1967.
After retiring from cricket Motz ran a sports business and then kept a pub
in Timaru, which did nothing for his health. He had always had trouble with
his weight, tending to bowl himself into fitness over a season. In Timaru,
however, his bulk began to cause concern.
He returned to Christchurch and continued in the drink trade, with spells on
the west coast of South Island, and in Melbourne. Then he managed the
Rangiora Town and Country Club in the north of Canterbury.
In 1989 Motz suffered a terrible blow when his son Wayne was shot dead by a
madman in Christchurch Square. In later years Motz's weight ballooned
alarmingly to nearly 30 stone. He remained a popular figure, always eager to
talk about cricket. In 1997 he was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall
of Fame, an honour he shares with such cricketers as Stewart Dempster,
Martin Donnelly, Walter and Richard Hadlee, Bert Sutcliffe, John Reid and
Dick Motz's first marriage, dissolved in 1987, was to Loretta Todd, in her
youth a fast bowler and a fine striker of the ball for Canterbury Woman's
team. He married, secondly, Josephine Cole. Two daughters from his first
marriage survive him.
|[NZ-OBITS] MOTZ: Dick Charles Motz 29/4/2007 by "Peter McCrae" <>|