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Former SA cricketer dies

London: The first ever Test cricketer to be given out for handling the ball, South Africaís Russell Endean has died aged 79 at his home in England, it was announced on Tuesday.

Endean played 28 Tests between 1951 and 1958, recording his best series against Australia in the five Test series in 1952-53 when he scored 438 runs including a top score of 162 at an average of 48.66.

He was given out for handling the ball off Jim Laker in a Test against England in South Africa in 1956-57.

He will also be remembered for being involved in the first ever dismissal for obstruction which took place the only time he kept wickets against England in 1951.

Legendary England batsman Len Hutton swatted the ball away from his stumps and stopped Endean from catching it, which led to the Englishman being dismissed.

The Australian series though was free of such controversy as Endeanís batting went a long way in drawing the series 2-2 which was the first time the South Africans had avoided defeat against the Australians in eight series.

Endeanís wife Muriel died two years ago but he is survived by a daughter and two sons.

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