Carlsen played two Tests and four ODIs for Australia against England in the summer of 1978–79 during the height of the World Series cricket controversy. He was called up on his debut for the final two Tests of the six-match series, which Australia suffered a 5–1 loss to Australia due to the absence of players from the World Series.
Carlson scored a Sheffield Shield century for Queensland at the age of 18 in Australia’s home scene in 1969–70. He played his two best seasons for Queensland in 1977–78 and 1978–79 with the bat at an average of 45.46 and 40.33 respectively.
He scored 4167 first-class runs at 28.34, including five centuries. He also took 124 wickets with his medium-pace bowling at 24.96, including five five-wicket hauls and one 10 wicket haul. He was an excellent slip fielder claiming 59 first-class catches. He retired from first-class cricket in 1980–81.
Queensland Cricket President Chris Simpson paid tribute to Carlson.
“Phil made several outstanding appearances for Queensland, and was a popular and much-admired member of the cricket fraternity in his later playing life,” Simpson said.
“He was a great supporter of the game through positions with the Queensland Cricketers’ Club and it was a great pleasure to be associated with the country and leading cricket. We will mourn his passing and express our sympathies to his family and friends.”
He is survived by wife Sandy, children Candy, Stein, Kurt, Hana and nine grandchildren.