Service to Cricket
Brian richly deserved to receive the Queen’s Service Medal for contribution to cricket in the 2013 New Year’s Honours Awards.
Brian had a fine playing record as a batsman-keeper at senior club level for both Otago University and West Christchurch University (later to become Burnside West Christchurch University), as well as being part of the New Zealand Universities touring team (1965) and the New Zealand Ambassadors team (1970).
But it was in administration that Brian made his very considerable mark in New Zealand cricket.
At club level he served the Burnside West Christchurch University CC committee from 1968 to 1981 and was made a Life Member in 1980. He served the Canterbury Cricket Association from 1975 to 2011 with great knowledge and longevity in numerous roles including chairing grading, match, grounds, finance and cricket committees. He was selector and coach of various Canterbury Under 20 and Under 23 teams. He was Chairman of the Canterbury Cricket Association from 1985 to 1993. He was its President from 1993-1995 and, again, from 2002-2006; and he served on the Canterbury Cricket Board of Control from 2006-2011. He served on numerous review committees and remains the statistician for the Association (1983-2013). He also served on the Lancaster Park Board of Control from 1987 to 1995 and sat as its Chairman in 1993.
Brian was elected a Life Member in 1995.
During this outstanding service to his province, Brian also served on the New Zealand Cricket Council from 1988 to 1996, specifically in the areas of marketing and junior cricket.
Obviously this author could drill deeper into the extraordinary service that Brian his given to this sport in this province. It’s the more extraordinary that, along with his wife Anita, he raised a family and ran a highly-successful dentist practice during his professional working life! While he remains an avid follower of the game at all levels, he relaxes, between cricket matches, on the golf course.
We were delighted that Alby received the Queen’s Service Medal in the 2013 Queen's Birthday Honours Awards for service to cricket.
As a player, Alby played with distinction for Christchurch Boys’ High 1st XI in1949 before joining the Lancaster Park Cricket Club where he was a playing member from 1950 to 1969. During this time he played 139 senior games scoring 4,719 runs with one century and 26 fifties. He also took 460 wickets at 15.7 with 23 five-wicket bags. He was one of Park’s very best all-rounders as an attractive right hand batsman and a wily off spin bowler. He served the club as its Club Captain in 1957 and 1958 and was later to be made a Life Member.
Alby’s representative career for Canterbury started when he was selected for the Canterbury Brabin Under 20 team in 1950 as a 16 year old. He played in four National tournaments but missed one with his selection for the Canterbury first class team at the age of 18 years and 74 days in the 1951-52 season. He was the eleventh youngest player to debut at this level at that time. Despite taking 4-17 in his second appearance he was next selected in 1954-55 and for two matches in 1956-57. He didn’t gain a regular position until 1960-61.
Alby featured strongly in the area of cricket administration. He served on the Canterbury Cricket Association from 1962-63 to 1965-66 as a member of the coaching sub-committee. In 1969 he was transferred to Hamilton were he became sole selector for the Waikato Hawke Cup team. Upon returning to Christchurch he continued his association with the Lancaster Park CC playing in the lower grades. He was again a member of the CCA in 1977 until 1980 after which he became its Chairman for a five-year term. He became Vice President in 1985 to 1989 and took over as President in 1989 to 1991. In that year he was elected as a Life Member of the Association.
In addition, Alby was a Brabin selector from 1978 to 1980. He also served on the Victory Park Board which ran Lancaster Park from 1981 to 1991, and also served on the New Zealand Cricket Council from 1981 until 1988. Further, he managed the New Zealand team in 1983 and 1985.
Other interests saw Alby represent Canterbury and Waikato at badminton and he served as a rugby referee for a long time at Senior level and reached representative first class level.
Alby is regularly sighted around the club grounds and at the Canterbury Wizards matches.