Queensland Cricket: Vale Phil Carlson

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Queensland Cricket has paid tribute to former Australian and Queensland allrounder Phil Carlson, who passed away on Friday after a long illness.

Carlson was a crowd -pleasing allrounder who mixed athletic talents with a strong technique.

He played two Tests for Australia against England in 1978-79 and was 12th man for two more Ashes Tests, as well as four One Day Internationals against the tourists, his brief international career high point coming at the height of the World Series Cricket schism.

His overall first-class record was one to admire, stretching from his debut as an 18-year-old for Queensland in 1969-70 through to his final games for Queensland in 1980-81.

Queensland Cricket Chair Chris Simpson expressed condolences to Carlson’s family on behalf of the cricket community.

“Phil provided many outstanding performances for Queensland, and in his post-playing life was a popular and much-admired member of the cricketing fraternity,’’ he said.

“He was a great supporter of the game through positions with the Queensland Cricketers’ Club and took much pleasure in being associated with Country and Premier Cricket. We will mourn his passing and offer our sympathies to his family and friends,” Simpson said.

A significant part of his playing career saw him represent Queensland as a regionally based player who commuted to Brisbane from Childers in the central Burnett region for his Shield and One-Day games.

He was informed of his initial National selection while captaining Queensland Country in Bundaberg against England, as part of their Ashes tour schedule in November 1978.

Carlson and current Queensland Country Cricket President Kev Maher shared in a solid third wicket stand against the tourists that day, although England was too strong on the way to winning the 35-over a side match.

He was 12th man for the first two Tests, omitted for the third and fourth, before replacing State teammate Geoff Dymock to become the 300th Australian Test player.

He played the final two Tests of the Ashes series, won 5-1 by Mike Brealey’s English team that featured modern-day greats such as Graham Gooch, David Gower and Ian Botham.

Carlson claimed the wickets of both Gooch and Brearley during his baggy green stint, and for good measure took Gooch’s wicket in each of his ODI matches.

That six-Test series also marked the debut of Queensland and Australian legend Allan Border.

A superb fielder, especially in the slips cordon and at gully, Carlson enjoyed some outstanding all-round performances at first class and one-day level for Queensland.

Originally a wicket-keeper where represented his State at Colts level, he was prompted to try his hand at bowling more regularly after coming to the attention of the State selectors following his initial efforts in first grade for Northern Suburbs.

He quickly developed his bowling prowess during State and club training and while initially picked as a batsman, soon assumed an all-rounders place in the team.

He scored his first century and took his maiden five wicket haul in 1971-72, the first of five career hauls of five-wickets and one of 10-wickets in a game.

He also snared a five-wicket haul in a one-day game for Queensland.

Carlson was the first Queenslander to score a century and take ten wickets in a match, with this feat coming against New South Wales in 1978–79.

It came in one of his strongest summers, scoring 545 runs and taking 31 wickets for Queensland, and featuring his national Test and ODI debuts.

In all he played 89 first class games for Queensland, scoring 4144 runs at 28.97 and taking 122 wickets at 24.56.

He also took 23 wickets in 21 games of One Day cricket for Queensland.

Carlson was 70. He is survived by his wife Sandi, children Kandy, Steen, Kurt, Hana and nine grandchildren.

A celebration of his life will be held on Thursday at the Queensland Cricketers’ Club from 11am.


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