Tributes to Scottish cricketer John Wilson

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THE former Ayr cricketer John Wilson, who has died at the age of 69, was rated as one of the best players of his generation never to earn a Scotland cap.

Wilson played for the ­Cambusdoon club in the 1960s and 70s, and was also a keen curler and a first-class golfer who was a former Turnberry Club Champion. The pinnacle of his cricketing career came in 1974 when he played for the Western District against MCC.

He also scored a century against the East District in a match which many thought would seal his dream of playing for ­Scotland.

Former Ayr team-mate Iain Johnstone declared: “Unfortunately they found an excuse not to pick him – it was all down to politics.

“John’s only regret was that he never got capped for Scotland and there were many at the time who thought he should have been.

“He was such a skilful ­batsman that he was feared by many bowlers and, at his peak, he was as good as any in the ­country. John was certainly the best batsman of his generation not to play for Scotland.”

Keith Graham, Wilson’s ­captain and opening partner at Ayr, added: “John was a joy to play with and we put ­together many good opening ­partnerships.

“The difference was that he often went on and made ­hundreds and I didn’t.

“He had strokes all around the wicket and, as a small guy, was a particularly good hooker and puller.

“He was the best batsman I ever played with who never got a cap.”

After retiring from cricket Wilson was a successful ­businessman who remained a popular figure at Ayr CC, where his quiet generosity helped the club flourish.