Richard Owen Collinge (born April 2 1946 in Wellington) was a New Zealand cricketer. The 6 foot 5 inch Collinge bowled left arm fast medium with a vigorous action, at the end of a long run with both arms stretching upwards. Despite his height and powerful build he was a swing bowler, as opposed to a genuinely quick bowler in the mould of Dennis Lillee.
He pitched the ball up and relied on late movement, his forte being accuracy rather than hostiliy, a style ideally suited to New Zealand's slow low pitches and often overcast conditions. He was a good foil for the often wild express pace of the young Richard Hadlee and was instrumental in helping Richard Hadlee bring New Zealand's first Test victory over England in 1977-8, with figures of 3-42 and 3-45. The fast inswinger with which he bowled Geoff Boycott at Wellington began England's awful collapse to 64 all and brought the crowd to fever pitch.
His Test and One Day International best bowling figures were both against India in 1975-76, with 6 for 63 and 5 for 23 respectively. A calm and modest man, he was sometimes at odds with the requirements of his trade, a committed family man who found it hard to spare the time away that frequent foreign tours demanded. At the time of his retirement, he was New Zealand's greatest wicket-taker, with 116 wickets at 29.25 each, despite missing many matches during his 13 year test career. The figures have long since been eclipsed but his memory remains.
He was as determined with the bat as he was with the ball, if rather less talented. At Auckland in 1972-73 however, Collinge scored 68 not out for New Zealand against Pakistan; this was the highest score ever made by a number 11 in a Test match at the time, though it has since been surpassed by India's Zaheer Khan. That innings also formed part of the record last-wicket stand in Tests: 151 put on with Brian Hastings.
He played domestic cricket for three different sides. He made his first class debut for Central Districts in 1963/64 and played for them until 1969/70 before moving to Wellington from 1967/68 to 1974/75) and finally Northern Districts till 1977/78. In 163 first class matches he took 524 wickets, with a best of 8-64, at the excellent average of 24.41. He made his test debut in 1965 and played his last match at Lords in 1978.