Brian Booth

Brian Booth (1933 – ) cricketer
A committed Christian, Booth is an Anglican lay-preacher, and often invokes religious and ethical arguments while talking about issues such as sportsmanship. He co-authored Cricket and Christianity. In 1998 he wrote Sport and sportsmanship: a Christian perspective towards 2000 for the Australian Christian Forum on Education.

Booth had a reputation for walking when he knew that he was out, without waiting for the umpire’s decision, and he was regarded as a player and leader of the highest principles. He was known for his record of instilling high standards of conduct into his players and prevented them from showing dissent towards unfavourable umpiring decisions. Robinson said that “if a prize were offered for fairplaymanship among Australia’s post-war cricketers Brian Booth ought to win it hands down”. Lawry regarded Booth as one of the most gentlemanly cricketers that he knew.

A committed Christian, Booth is an Anglican lay-preacher, and often invokes religious and ethical arguments while talking about issues such as sportsmanship. Booth became intensely religious in the 1950s after befriending Pastor Roy Gray, a colleague in district cricket and a classmate at Sydney Teachers College. Gray challenged his friend’s faith, and Booth reflected that “Until that point, sport had really been my God”. During Booth’s career, the media made much of his religious convictions. After scoring his maiden Test century, Booth was asked whether he felt that God was with him. He replied in the affirmative, and the next day, a newspaper printed the headline “England can’t win. God is on Brian Booth’s side.”

Booth co-authored Cricket and Christianity with Paul White and wrote Hockey Fundamentals and Booth to Bat. In 1998 he wrote Sport and sportsmanship: a Christian perspective towards 2000 for the Australian Christian Forum on Education. He believed that the foundations of sport were courtesy and fairness, and he condemned the prevalence of verbal jousting in the modern game. During his career, Booth often spoke at religious functions in combination with other Christian cricketers. He appeared with the English Test opener Reverend David Sheppard at Sydney Town Hall and preached with Conrad Hunte in the West Indies.

Despite Booth’s views being more genteel than that of most of his teammates, there was minimal friction or disconnect. Early in his state career, Booth declined to join a Melbourne Cup gambling sweep organised by captain Keith Miller. However, Miller included Booth in the event by assigning him to look after the money. Booth said “That was typical of Keith. That he was able to turn something that might have been a problem into something positive, giving me a responsibility, making me feel part of the team.” He added “The boys just accepted me for what I was. If they didn’t share the strength of my convictions, they were quite happy for me to hold them.” Simpson said that Booth never attempted to impose his worldview on his teammates and never gave any inkling that he disapproved of their behaviour.
Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Booth

Brian Booth represented Australia in two codes of sports, in 29 tests in cricket and at the 1956 Olympics in hockey. During his cricket career he captained the Australian several times as well as being vice captain. During this time his Christian faith was paramount writing two books with Paul White, Booth to Bat with a foreword by Sir Donald Bradman and Cricket and Christianity to “help you live with a straighter bat and to maintain a better line and length”.

He also wrote Hockey Fundamentals and could have also represented Australia in athletics, his times were so good especially the 400 metres in 50.8 seconds without any coaching! Brian Booth was a devout Christian and an Anglican lay-preacher, described by one journalist as “if a prize were offered for fairplaymanship among Australia’s post-war cricketers Brian Booth ought to win it hands down”
Source : http://www.chr.org.au/schools-content/Brian-Booth.pdf
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One Response to Brian Booth

  1. Ramon Williams says:

    Photo by Ramon Williams: Brian Booth MBE

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