Vale Eric Freeman
December 15, 2020
Cricket Australia is mourning the loss of Test all-rounder Eric Freeman, who passed away on Monday at the age of 76.
Freeman became Australia’s 244th men’s Test cricketer when he made his debut against India at the Gabba in 1968, removing both openers in the tourist’s first innings with his right-arm fast-mediums.
His finest series in the baggy green came against the West Indies in 1968-69, where he scored 183 runs at 30.50 – including two powerful half-centuries – and took 13 wickets at 30.07.
Freeman was a prolific performer with ball and bat during his 83-game first class career with South Australia.
His best figures for his state of 8-47 came against the New Zealanders in the second innings at the Adelaide Oval in 1967, however arguably his greatest moment came in 1971 when he was instrumental in guiding South Australia to the Sheffield Shield title with 13 wickets in the final match against NSW, including 8-64 in the second innings off a shortened run-up due to a hamstring injury.
In the off-season, Freeman was an outstanding footballer for Port Adelaide throughout a SANFL career that spanned 116 games, highlighted by a premiership in 1965 and the Ken Farmer Medal in 1966 as the league’s leading goal-kicker (81). Freeman also represented South Australia on six occasions.
Freeman received the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2002 for “services to sport, particularly cricket as a player, administrator and commentator.”
“Eric will forever be remembered as one of the greatest athletes South Australia has ever produced,” said CA chair Earl Eddings said. “He was an all-rounder in every sense of the word – powerful with both bat and ball in cricket and a prodigious goal-kicker with the Magpies in the winter months.
“He remained a popular member of the cricket family after his retirement as a player with commentary roles on the ABC and junior development positions with West Torrens.
“On behalf of everyone within Australian cricket, we pass on our sincere condolences to Eric’s family.”