It’s Not About Me

The Brian Taber Story

When one thinks of New South Wales and Australian players who have given their all for the team then Brian Taber’s name is high on the list. Born in Wagga Wagga and brought up in Wollongong, the player called Mr Taber, Brian, Herbie or Tabsy has contributed much to the game. A one-club man in Sydney Grade cricket, Brian played for the Gordon club. He appeared in first grade as a wicket-keeper aged 16 and went on to play 20 seasons for the club, only interrupted by tours to South Africa and India in the Australian domestic season.

When Doug Ford retired as New South Wales ’keeper Brian Taber stood behind the stumps from the 1964-65 season until the close of the 1973-74 season. During those years he captained New South Wales, toured England twice (1968 and 1972), India in 1969 and South Africa in 1966-67 and 1970. He played 16 times for his country at a time when ’keepers were truly ’keepers. Taber’s legacy to cricket is enormous. New South Wales selector over two periods totalling 23 seasons (the most of any New South Wales selector) including seven as chairman, New South Wales coach, the National Director of Cricket Coaching, an Australian selector of Under 19 teams and the manager of numerous Under 19 teams both in Australia and overseas.

Recognition of his achievements has never been sought by Taber, hence the title of the book. Ian Chappell in his foreword says that “Hedley Brian Taber is one of the most popular cricketers I know … he was a fine wicket-keeper; excellent footwork and had very good hands”. Richie Benaud pays Taber a compliment by saying “I have the highest possible regard for the manner in which he handled all aspects of imparting a love and knowledge of cricket at every level”. Close friend and long-time cricket mate Doug Walters says ”Herbie cared about cricketers … On the field he was an outstanding captain who understood cricket … As a wicket-keeper he was one of the best ’keepers to spin in the world.”

There is a statistical section detailing the career of Brian Taber together with details of the New South Wales players with whom he played during his career.

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