Brian Luckhurst the former England and Kent batsman died on March 1, 2005, at the age of 66. Luckhurst who was associated with Kent County Cricket Club for more than 50 years ended up as their president. He had been suffering from cancer of the esophagus for some time.
Brian William Luckhurst’s international career started with five of unofficial Tests against the Rest of the World XI in 1970. He made the first of 21 appearances for England against Australia on the Ashes tour of 1970-71. As Geoff Boycott’s opening partner, he marked the occasion with a lovely 74 in the first inning. Luckhurst debuted against Australia in 1970–71, scoring 455 runs at an average of 56.87.
He made this tour memorable by scoring two centuries and was named a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1971. He made four centuries in 41 innings including a top score of 131 against Australia in the second Test at Perth. Primarily he was a dependable batsman who knew his limitations and stuck to them. Luckhurst was also a part-time left-arm spinner whose solitary international wicket was the notable scalp of Gundappa Viswanath. He was also an excellent all-around fielder. His fleet footedness against spin earned him a century apiece in India and Pakistan in 1971.
However, he was unlucky to be omitted from the subsequent tour of the subcontinent in 1972-73. His final Test appearances came at the age of 35 against Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson in the ill-fated Ashes of 1974-75. After that, he concentrated his efforts on Kent’s fortunes. A club he had joined at the age of 15. Overall, he played in 335 first-class matches from 1958 to 1976 before retiring to become captain of the 2nd XI, club coach. Later on, he becomes the manager of the Ames Levett Sports Center.
In 1985, he made an unexpected return to first-team duty when Kent suddenly found themselves one short against the Australian touring team. The 2003 Canterbury Cricket week was the 50th he had attended, and to mark the occasion he was presented with an inscribed silver salver by the club’s chairman.
Brian Luckhurst has been at the heart of Kent Cricket for more than 50 years. Firstly he was an outstanding player and then a variety of administrative capacities and finally as an immensely popular president. Throughout that time he was always caring, loyal, and totally committed to Kent. In turn, he was loved, admired, and respected by everyone involved at the club.
Brian Luckhurst shrewdly worked out what he could and could not do. Thus, he would have had an even better Test average if the selectors had assessed his ability as thoroughly. He was robbed of one tour he should have made to India and Pakistan in 1972-73. Where his quick-footedness against spin and reliable close catching would have been invaluable. He was also chosen for one Australia in 1974-75 for which aged 35, he was ill-suited.
He was overwhelmed by the pace of Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson and never picked again. A well-built, square-shouldered figure always immaculately turned out his most productive stroke was the square cut. Luckhurst was hit with crippling force while his prime asset was unblinking concentration.
He played 21 Tests for England managing 1,298 runs with 4 hundred and 5 fifties with the highest score of 131 and held 14 catches. Brian Luckhurst also appeared in three one-day internationals by scoring just 15 runs at a mere average of five. His 27 years first-class career produced 22,303 runs in 389 matches. The highest score was 215 against Derbyshire at Derby in 1973, including 48 hundred and 115 fifties, held 391 catches with 64 wickets. He scored 1,000 runs in a season 14 times
In his List A career started from 1963 till 1976, he appeared in 173 matches, scoring 5,485 with a healthy average of 40.62 including 7 hundred and 39 fifties. His highest score was 142 along with 62 catches and 8 wickets. These records show he was a skillful batsman in all conditions but somehow could not utilize according to the talent he had.