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Julien Wiener

(1955 - )

Julien Mark Wiener (born May 1, 1955, Melbourne, Victoria) is a former Australian cricketer who played in 6 Tests and 7 ODIs from 1979 to 1980. A right-handed opening batsman and a very occasional off spin bowler, he is the only Jew to have represented the Australian cricket team. He was a tall man, known for batting bare-headed showing his blonde hair.

Wiener’s mother and father, Vella and Sasha, were Polish and Austrian Jews respectively, and both escaped the concentration camps of Nazi Germany during the Holocaust. The surname Wiener came from Vienna, the home of Sasha. His parents were married in 1947 in Paris, before coming to Australia as refugees on the famous Dunera ship in 1947. Wiener’s father ran a successful textile business, which allowed him to send Wiener to the private Brighton Grammar School. Wiener’s father had early sporting success in table tennis, which Wiener applied to his cricket, playing for Prahran in Melbourne grade cricket. He subsequently completed his university education at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in business management, before moving to England to pursue his cricket career.

He made a century on his first class debut for Victoria against Queensland in 1977-78, scoring 106. Two strong seasons, including three further centuries, combined with the exodus of players to World Series Cricket, saw Wiener selected to make is ODI debut as an opening batsman in December 1979 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground against England and the West Indies. He struggled, scoring 7 and 27 respectively. Despite this he was selected to make his Test cricket debut against England at the WACA a few days later. He made 11 in the first innings before being run-out while batting with captain Greg Chappell, before scoring 58 in the second innings as Australia won the match. Despite scoring 40 and 24 in the Second Test at the MCG, he was omitted for the final Test, and was not recalled until the second Test of the series against England, at the Sydney Cricket Ground before being omitted for the rest of the series. Wiener played in five further ODIs in the Australian season, with his best performances being a 33 and 50 against the West Indies in Sydney in the final two group matches. Averaging only twenty, he was dropped from the ODI team for the finals and ended his ODI career with a slow strike rate of only 42.

He was named to tour Pakistan in early 1980, and was recalled to the Test XI for the second Test in Faisalabad. He made his highest score of 93 in the Third Test in Lahore, and was not selected again in the national team following his return to Australia, with the World Series Cricket players returning to selection. He had scored 281 runs at an average of 25.5 in his career.

He, along with Jeff Moss, had a partnership of 390 at the Junction Oval against Western Australia in 1981-82. This still stands as a record for the third wicket for Australians in first-class cricket. Wiener scored an unbeaten 221 in that innings, one of three centuries he produced in the season. Wiener played at the first-class level until retiring at the 1984-85 season, having scored seven centuries in 66 matches. He had also claimed 17 wickets with his off spin, although none of these came at national level.

Wiener is currently the national sales manager of Whirlpool Corporation.

Sources: Wikipedia