Former First Grade cricketer for the St George Cricket Club and Sydney University, John Cope, has passed away aged 81.

Mr Cope played two seasons with St George from late 1956 to early 1958 before moving to University for the next two campaigns.

He played three matches for the Under 23 NSW Colts between October 1958 and December 1959 including a top score of 65 against Victoria.

Mr Cope was also selected as 12th man in two Sheffield Shield matches for New South Wales at the SCG during 1958/59.

While playing in Canberra during 1961, he was selected in the Prime Minister’s XI to play the West Indies alongside NSW and Australian greats Richie Benaud, Ray Lindwall and Norman O’Neill.

From 33 First Grade matches, in what is now known as the NSW Premier Cricket competition, Mr Cope scored 879 runs at an average of 31.39.

His only century came during 1958/59, when he amassed 510 runs at 46.36. Mr Cope made 123 not out in 127 minutes against old club St George, late 1958, that resulted in his selection for New South Wales.

He moved to Canberra in 1960 and went on to play for Kingston, now known as the Eastlake Cricket Club.

Mr Cope was also an author who wrote the book ‘Cricket Continues on the Limestone Plains’ which chronicles the history of ACT cricket between 1993 and 2015.

Cricket NSW sends its condolences to the Cope family.