Former Australia pacer Eric Freeman dies aged 76

Eric Freeman passed away aged 76
Eric Freeman passed away aged 76

Former Australia fast bowler Eric Freeman died of c at the age of 76. Freeman suffered a heart attack last weekend, after which he was taken to a hospital, where he passed away on Monday. Eric Freeman, who was also a handy batsman down the order, made his debut in 1968 against India at the Gabba.

Speaking after the news of Eric Freeman’s demise came to light, Cricket Australia chair Earl Eddings paid his condolences, calling the late cricketer one of the best South Australia has ever produced.

"He was an all-rounder in every sense of the word - powerful with both bat and ball in cricket and a prodigious goal-kicker with the Magpies in the winter months," Eddings said.

A look at Eric Freeman’s memorable debut against India

Eric Freeman, a right-arm fast-medium bowler, grabbed headlines instantly after dismissing both Indian openers during his Test debut in 1968. Freeman went on to pick another wicket in the first innings later on and helped Australia win the closely fought Test match by 39 runs.

Although Eric Freeman didn’t pick a wicket in the 2nd innings, his exploits with the bat set a special record as well. Coming in to bat in the first innings, Eric Freeman hit a six of the very first ball he faced, becoming the first player to achieve the feat.

Eric Freeman was also an elite footballer

The Australian all-rounder ended up playing 11 Tests for Australia, picking up 34 wickets at an average of 33.17. Eric Freeman also notched up two Test fifties during his time with the national side.

His best performance came against the West Indies in 1968-69, where Eric Freeman shone with both the ball and the bat. The all-rounder scored 183 runs at an average of 30.50, including two half-centuries, while also picking 13 wickets at an average of 30.07.

Eric Freeman’s cricketing career came to an end in 1970, when the Australian team toured South Africa. Apart from a memorable cricketing carer, Eric Freeman also represented Port Adelaide, finishing at the top of the club’s goalkeeping list in all the five seasons he completed with the team.

The cricketer’s other achievements include serving as an administrator, coach and broadcaster after he retired. Eric Freeman was also honoured with the Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to sport in 2002. After Eric Freeman’s death, many members of the cricketing fraternity, such as former fast bowler Jason Gillespie and South Australia CEO Keith Bradshaw paid their condolences.

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Edited by Deepit Magee
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