Photo Credit: Queensland Cricket
Queensland Cricket has paid tribute to former Queensland player, selector and coach Ray Reynolds who passed away on Sunday at the age of 87.
Born George Raymond Reynolds, he was widely known as ‘Sugar’ Ray Reynolds, with the Bundaberg product well-regarded throughout the State for his skill as a player and later his knowledge and experience as a coach and selector. He was one of five boys, and also had a younger sister.
A product of the Anglican Grammar School, he made his first-class debut for Queensland in the 1955–56 season, batting at number seven after impressing for Western Suburbs.
A compact right-hander, he was promoted to the opening position during that season, which is where he played the bulk of his career. He missed the first two matches in 1956–57 but returned to the side to open the batting and finished the season with 371 runs at an average of 53.00, including his first century, (110 not out against South Australia after Queensland had followed on).
His reputation grew in 1957–58, leading Queensland’s batting with 698 runs at 63.45. His season included three centuries, carrying his bat for his highest score of 203 not out against South Australia, when he batted throughout the innings.
He formed a strong opening partnership with his Western Suburbs teammate Sam Trimble over the next three seasons; scoring 500 runs at 38.46 in 1958–59, 671 runs at 39.47 in 1959–60, and 549 runs at 36.60 in 1960–61.
A stint playing in England was followed by a final season with Queensland in 1963-64, producing 815 runs at 58.21, with four centuries, and an opening partnership of 256 with Trimble against South Australia.
He retired from the game, at the age of 27, to take up sugar cane farming near Bundaberg and later retired to the Gold Coast. He served as a Queensland selector from 1979 to 1985 and was a Queensland Sheffield Shield team coach for several seasons after his selection term had finished, including the 1988 Shield Final in WA that Queensland lost.
The Reynolds name has extended through the generations, with Ray’s son Dean a State squad member and Australian Under-19 captain during the 1980s, and his grandson Cody recently returned from playing for the Australian Under-19 team on its tour of England.
Queensland Cricket CEO Terry Svenson paid tribute to Reynolds on behalf of the Board and wider cricket communitiy: “Our sympathies are extended to the Reynolds family and the cricket fraternity in Queensland who knew him well.”