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Badcock, Clayvel Lindsay (Jack) (1914–1982)

by Ric Finlay

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 17, (MUP), 2007

Clayvel Lindsay (Jack) Badcock (1914-1982), cricketer and farmer, was born on 10 April 1914 at Exton, Tasmania, second of three children of Tasmanian-born parents Lindsay Badcock, farmer, and his wife Lily May, née Cox. By the time `Jack’ left the local state school at 13 to work on the family farm, he was playing cricket for Exton, in the Westmorland association. Coached by his father, who had built a concrete pitch in the backyard of their home, in 1927-28 he attained the highest batting average in the association. He agreed two seasons later to play on turf for the Esk club in the Northern Tasmanian Cricket Association but, before he appeared for the club, he was selected in December 1929 for North (of Tasmania) against South. In February 1930 he joined the State team for a mainland tour. That month, aged 15 years 313 days, he played against Victoria at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Resuming his Tasmanian representation in 1931-32, Badcock experienced his best season in 1933-34, scoring 803 runs in five matches. In one innings, against Victoria at Launceston, he made 274 while severely bruised after falling off his motorcycle the day before. In March 1934 he was selected for an Australian second XI for a short tour of New Zealand, which was subsequently cancelled. To enhance his chances of playing for Australia, he moved to Adelaide in June and played first-class cricket for South Australia until 1941, while working in a furniture factory. Encouraged by (Sir) Donald Bradman, he soon ran up some large scores, including 325 against Victoria at the Adelaide Oval in February 1936.

Short and thickset, and possessing exceptionally strong wrists, Badcock excelled at playing cut and hook shots. He made his Test debut against England at Brisbane in December. At the MCG in February 1937 he scored 118 in the last Test of the series, and was selected to tour England in 1938. Although he enjoyed considerable success against county sides, he made only 32 runs in four Tests. In the seven Tests he played for his country he inexplicably averaged only 14.54, compared with a first-class average of 51.54 (97 matches, 7371 runs) over his career. Popular with his team-mates, he possessed an infectious laugh. He compiled a substantial record of the overseas trip with a movie camera.

Badcock continued to score heavily for South Australia, including 271 not out against New South Wales in December 1938 and 236 against Queensland in December 1939. After the Sheffield Shield competition was suspended in 1940 he participated in several first-class matches staged to raise money for the war effort. Suffering increasingly from sciatica, he returned permanently to the farm in Tasmania. On 6 April 1942 at St Matthew’s Church of England, Prahran, Melbourne, he married Carol Dawn Cramond, a forewoman. He was a man of simple tastes who enjoyed fishing, shooting and playing golf. Survived by his wife, and their daughter and two sons, he died suddenly on 13 December 1982 at Exton and was cremated.

Select Bibliography

  • R. Finlay, `Jack Badcock (1914-1982)’, Tasmanian Cricket Yearbook 1983/84, p 52
  • Examiner (Launceston), 6 Dec 1929, p 3, 30 Dec 1933, p 7, 14 Dec 1982, p 39
  • Mercury (Hobart), 14 Dec 1982, p 36
  • Sunday Tasmanian, 22 Oct 1989, p 7
  • private information.

Citation details

Ric Finlay, 'Badcock, Clayvel Lindsay (Jack) (1914–1982)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/badcock-clayvel-lindsay-jack-12160/text21789, published first in hardcopy 2007, accessed online 24 April 2018.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 17, (MUP), 2007

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