Western Australia opening batsman Laurie Sawle and the ex-chairman of Cricket Australia's selectors, has passed away at the age on 96 in Perth. The news was confirmed by Western Australia Cricket Association on July 26th, Tuesday.
He was commonly known as The Colonel, having served in the 7th Australian Infantry Battalion during the Second World War. He made his first-class debut for Western Australia at the age of 29 and turned out to score 1701 runs at 28.83 in 35 matches.
Laurie was the national selector of the Australian Cricket team for 13 years between 1982 and 1995. He handed over debuts to Steve and Mark Waugh, Mark Taylor, Ian Healy, Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Damien Martyn, Justin Langer, and Matthew Hayden, among others, shaping the golden generation of Australian cricket.
He was also the man behind the selection of Dennis Lillee and Rod Marsh in first-class cricket, two cricketers who went on to become legendary figures for the Australian team. In an official statement, Western Australia has narrated,
“WA Cricket is deeply saddened by the passing of Western Australian cricketing great Laurie Sawle AM and sends its heartfelt condolences to his family and friends,”
He is not the first Australian cricketer to lose life in the calendar year as Rod Marsh, Shane Warne and Andrew Symonds died, respectively, due to heart attacks and a car accident. Warne's death was shocking to all who mourned for his friend Marsh a day before his death, who also died of a heart attack.