Table Of Contents

South Australian Cricket Legend Neil Dansie Passes

Charlotte Wilson
by Charlotte Wilson
South Australian Cricket Legend Neil Dansie Passes

The world of cricket has been in mourning this week, as it was revealed that Neil Dansie had sadly passed away. He was a pioneering star of cricket in South Australia and was one of the most beloved characters in the sport.

He encapsulated the sport throughout his life and ensured new eyes were brought to cricket with his passionate personality and love for the game. As well as being beloved by all those that played, and watched him do his thing on the cricket field, he was best known for his dominant on-field links with the legendary Sir Donald Bradman.

Early Life

Dansie was born in Nuriootpa, South Australia, in July 1928. From an early age, he was nicknamed ‘Noddler’ due to his habit of nodding when others were speaking in conversation with him. Cricket was in his blood from birth, as he was the grandson of the great Sam Dansie, who was a leading cricketer at Broken Hill. From an early age, he showed excellent sporting prowess, and that was evident throughout his childhood spent in Adelaide, as he was highly coveted in a number of sports aside from cricket, including baseball and Aussie Rules.

However, cricket was always his dream, and he made his first-grade debut at the age of 15, representing Kensington Cricket Club in the South Australian Grad Cricket League. Away from the cricket field, he continued to excel in other sports, as he made his Aussie Rules senior debut for Norwood in 1946. During his time playing Aussie Rules, he played 39 games for the same team, before retiring in 1949 to focus on playing cricket.

One of his greatest honours in cricket came just a few months later, as he was officially the last player to bat alongside the great Don Bradman in his final innings for Kensington against Port Adelaide.

Cricket Career

In January 1950, Dansie made his first-class debut in cricket against Western Australia, making 36 runs in the first over, before scoring 13 in the second. He quickly made a name for himself as a hard-hitting batter and a player that could be relied on to make big shots when they were netted. It was in his local area of South Australia that we would experience all his success, and he would become one of the area's most beloved characters. This was evident during his cricket career, as he was awarded the tag of the ‘world’s fastest eater’.

His best scoring performance with the bet came against Queensland in January 1951, as he scored an incredible 185. As well as that, he would also excel with the ball against the same opponent nine years later by taking five wickets for 61 balls. His final Sheffield Shield season would come in 1966, and he showed an excellent all-round ability to carry his team to victory by scoring 405 runs.

He was also celebrated during that final season, as he became only the second player on the team to reach 100 appearances for the Shield. His run with South Australia was also legendary, as he scored 6692 runs. His record with the team also puts him firmly inside the top ten batters for South Australia in Sheffield South history. However, despite all his success, he never received an international call-up, despite being touted as a possible option throughout the entirety of the 1950s.

Career After Cricket

Dansie retired from first-class cricket after 124 matches in 1967 and accepted an honorary membership at South Australian Cricket Association. However, his life would remain in the sport, as he turned his hand to coaching and administration. He would first coach Norwood Reserves, before later taking on South Australia’s amateur side Payneham. His love for the sport, in general, was evident throughout his career, as he and his wife founded the Newton Jaguars Netball Club.

His opinion on emerging talent was also hugely important, and that was evident in 1976, as he was made a selector for the South Australia senior side. He would be in control of selecting players from all age groups, as well as the women’s side. He would continue with this position for 30 years after retiring from the sport. Dansie was later also positioned on the SACA board for the City of Campbelltown; a position that he would serve for 25 years. Despite all the work and positions following his career in cricket, he also worked at the South Australian Education Department at Norwood Morialta High School for many years.


It was a sad day on May 23, as the world lost one of the great cricketing legends in history. Dansie was a beloved star on the cricket field, but his dedication to the community away from the sport was one of the key factors that made him stand out from the crowd throughout his life.

more Articles

Weekly Online Casino Offers, Right To Your Inbox

Don’t be the last to know about latest bonuses, new casino launches or exclusive promotions. Join us today!

By subscribing, you confirm that you are 18+