David Boon :: Biography

Possibly Tasmania's all-time favourite cricketing son, David Boon was a pugnacious right-handed batsman who served his state and country with enormous distinction. He was not always the most stylish player, but for what he lacked in fluency he more than compensated with his ardour for occupying the crease and accumulating runs when they were most needed. A right-handed batsman and a very occasional off-spin bowler, he played First-class cricket for both his home state Tasmania and English county side Durham.

Known for his portly figure and distinctive moustache, Boon scored over 7,000 runs at Test level, and made over 100 appearances for both the Test and One Day International Australian side. After leaving the international game he went to England to captain Durham before retiring to become a national selector.

Boon was born in Launceston on 29th December, 1960. His father Clarrie was a respected sports administrator and a strong supporter of his son's career. His mother, Lesley, played hockey for Australia. Boon was educated at Launceston Grammar School where he excelled at cricket, Australian football and swimming. His cricket career gained impetus when the Lancashire professional Jack Simmons was coaching in Launceston and predicted the lad would play for Australia. Simmons was captaining Tasmania when Boon began his first-class career as a 17-year-old. Years later Boon formally recognised his debt to Simmons by naming his son after him. Boon's achievement in becoming a fine Test player from a state which at that stage was still to enter the Sheffield Shield is strong evidence of his singular determination.

As an 18 year old, Boon played a starring role in Tasmania's history-making Gillette Cup win in 1978-79, the state's first interstate one-day title, and he never really looked back over the course of an elite-level career which spanned 17 years.

Boon made his international debut in the third final of the 1983–84 World Series Cup between Australia and the West Indies. He scored 39 from 71 balls for the losing team and had to wait almost twelve months for another opportunity. A good performance for the Prime Minister's XI in 1984–85 led to Boon's Test debut, against the West Indies at Brisbane. He stood up well to the pace of the West Indies' bowlers and scored 51 in the second innings, batting at number six. After the match, Kim Hughes resigned the captaincy of Australia. Boon played two more Tests in the series, and was then trialled as a middle-order batsman in eight ODIs during the World Series Cup. His top score was 55, and he was omitted from the team for the finals.

Selected for the Ashes tour of England in 1985, Boon's batting disappointed. He struggled to cope with spin bowling due to slow footwork and passed fifty only once in the first four Tests. He was subsequently omitted from the side for the last two Tests in the series. Australia lost the series 1–3.