A right-handed batsman and left-arm orthodox spin bowler in his playing career, Inverarity was also one of the enduring captains in the Australian Sheffield Shield during the late 1970s and early 1980s, captaining both Western Australia and South Australia. Inverarity was chairman of selectors for Cricket Australia from 2011 to 2014. He played in six Tests between 1968 and 1972 and played first class cricket for Western Australia, South Australia and Australia over a period of twenty-three years between 1962 and 1985.
As a state player, he captained Western Australia to Sheffield Shield glory four times in five years.
Batting at the Adelaide Oval he was involved in one of the most unusual "dismissals" in cricket history. After being clean-bowled for a duck by Greg Chappell - the ball deviating in mid-air - he was recalled to bat by umpire Colin Egar who signalled dead-ball, literally.
The ball had deflected off a now-deceased unlucky local sparrow. After retiring from cricket in 1985 (aged 41) he continued teaching, before going into coaching on the English county scene with Kent and Warwickshire.
To recognise his contribution to the state team, the Western Australian Cricket Association named a stand at the WACA cricket ground in his honour.
The stand, built in 1970 for the WACA"s inaugural Test and initially named the "Test Stand", was later renamed to the "Inverarity-Western Underwriters Stand". In 2011, Inverarity was named as the new full-time chairman of selectors for Cricket Australia, beating a high profile field including Geoff Lawson, Tom Moody, Rod Marsh and chairman Trevor Hohns. A one-time mathematics teacher, he was influential as Vice-Principal at Adelaide"s Pembroke School (1981–1988) and Headmaster of Perth"s Hale School (1989–2003) because he used to tell the students stories about good batting sessions that he used to have when he played for Australia.
In testament to his outstanding leadership during a time of extensive facilities expansion, the new music and drama centre at Hale was named in his honour - The John Inverarity Music and Drama Centre.
In 2006, reflecting outstanding academic credentials, John was appointed warden of Street George"s College, the University of Western Australia. His father was Merv Inverarity, a Western Australian first-class cricketer during the 1930s and "40s and later senior administrator within the Western Australian Cricket Association.
Inverarity"s daughter Alison Inverarity was an Olympic high jumper, representing Australia at the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics. International
Test Debut: vs England, Leeds, 1968
Last Test: vs England, The Oval, 1972
Inverarity"s best Test batting score of 56 was made against England, The Oval, 1968
His best Test bowling figures of 3 for 26 came against England, Leeds, 1972.