Former Test quick and WACA chairman Sam Gannon has died suddenly. He was 73.
A fast and highly-aggressive left-armer with a classical action, Gannon played three Tests in 1977-78 more than 10 years after the first of his 32 Sheffield Shield matches for WA.
A WA regular in the late 1960s, he did not play for the State for five seasons until 1977-78 when he returned to help fill the vacancies created by World Series Cricket.
Gannon made his Test debut against India at the WACA Ground that summer, claiming seven wickets in the match in which Tony Mann became the first nightwatchman to score a century.
“I got seven wickets and my good mate Tony Mann got a century and to do it in front of a home crowd was fantastic,” Gannon said in 2000.
“The public response was outstanding and people would stop you in the street to wish you well.”
Gannon only played two more Tests and finished with 11 Test wickets at 32.82.
He had an even greater impact as a businessman, becoming one of the wealthiest people to ever play for Australia, and a generous benefactor to several private causes.
Gannon moved into cricket administration at the start of the century and was WACA chairman in 2014 when the association abandoned the Ascot Capital apartment project and started its ambitious plan to redevelop the ground.
Gannon was made an OAM in 2017 for services to cricket and business.