Born alongside the sparkling Semaphore coastline in 1944, Freeman would go on to light up cricketing fields across not just Australia, but the world from beneath the revered baggy green cap he so truly treasured.
A pivotal member of the South Australian squad between 1964-65 and 1973-1974, Freeman played 11 Tests between 1968 and 1970. He triumphantly toured New Zealand, England, India and South Africa during his time in the national fold, representing Australia with passion and a unique flair.
A thrilling batsmen, electric fielder and skillful medium-pace bowler, Freeman holds the distinction of being the first player in Test history to score the opening runs of his career with a six.
With a highest score of 116 and best bowling figures of 8/47 in first-class cricket, Freeman was a special talent who never failed to do South Australia proud.
Remarkably, Freeman was also an elite football player in his prime, representing Port Adelaide in 115 SANFL contests and kicking an average of 3.4 goals per game. He topped the Club’s goalkicking list in all five of his complete seasons and also has 13 goals in South Australian colours to his name.
Freeman was recognised in the 2002 Queen’s Birthday Honours by way of the Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to sport, particularly as a cricket player, administrator and commentator.
Remaining in Adelaide and staying well and truly involved in the great game of cricket following his playing days, Eric Freeman loved the game of cricket and he was loved by players, administrators and supporters alike.
SACA CEO Keith Bradshaw spoke of Freeman’s impact today:
“Eric Freeman was supreme talent, but it was his determination and spirit that saw him rise to the elite level in two sports and represent his state with pride.
We send our deepest sympathies to Eric’s wife Di and extended family."