Brian Booth, who played for Australia at hockey in the Olympics and captained them at Test cricket, has died at the age of 89 ©Getty Images

 Australian cricketer and hockey player Brian Booth, who has died at the age of 89, was one of the few men to compete at an Olympics and also play Test cricket for his country.

Booth played in 29 Test matches between 1961 and 1966, as well as representing Australia in hockey at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne. 

"Brian’s record on the playing field and as a leader are well documented and the fact he was able to captain Australia and New South Wales in cricket, as well as play hockey for Australia at a home Olympics, shows just how special he was as an athlete," New South Wales Cricket chief executive Lee Germon said.

"Tt was his respectful, courteous and friendly manner off the field that will endure in the memories of all that he came into contact with."

Booth took part in the Opening Ceremony of the 1956 Olympic Games at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and as a New South Welshman, he later reflected "It was the only time that I was cheered in Melbourne."

He played in a 2-2 draw against Belgium and a 1-0 victory over New Zealand as Australia finished fifth overall in the tournament.

Booth honed his cricketing talent with the St George’s in the Sydney Suburbs playing Grade Cricket and remained closely involved with the club all his life.

The club pavilion bears his name in tribute to this day.

Booth played 93 matches for New South Wales in a first class career which lasted 15 years and scored 26 centuries with a top score of 214 not out.

His test debut came in the fourth match of the 1961 series against England at Old Trafford in Manchester, a match proved to be the decisive encounter.

He scored 46 in the first innings as Australia, captained by Richie Benaud, beat England to retain The Ashes.

Booth later made two hundreds in home Test matches against England and also reached three figures against South Africa.

Perhaps his finest achievement came at Port of Spain in 1965, when he scored 117 against a West Indies attack including the much feared fast bowlers Wes Hall and Charlie Griffiths.

Booth also captained Australia in two matches during the 1965-1966 Ashes series against England.

"Brian was immensely respected and admired throughout the cricketing community and beyond and we extend our deepest condolences to his wife Judy and their family and friends," Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley said.

Brian Booth scored five centuries and also captained Australia in his Test cricket career ©Getty Images
Brian Booth scored five centuries and also captained Australia in his Test cricket career ©Getty Images

Booth attributed his success to his strong faith.

"Now I sensed a greater purpose in living than success in cricket," he said.

Booth also authored a book about Christianity and sport.

At the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, he signed up as a volunteer and worked at the hockey.

"He may have been the most straightforwardly decent cricketer to hold the country’s highest cricket office," The Australian said in its tribute to Booth following his death last Friday (May 19).