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Oldest Test Cricketer passes away

Published: Monday, August 2, 2010, 11:14 [IST]
 
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Oldest Test Cricketer dies

Eric Tindill, one of New Zealand's most unique sportsmen has died aged 99 years 228 days. Tindill was the oldest Test cricketer of all time as well as the oldest surviving All Black.

He died in his home town of Nelson.

A double international in rugby and cricket, he was also a double referee having officiated in both sports as well.

A left-handed batsman and wicketkeeper in cricket, he was a halfback-five-eighths in rugby and played his sport in Wellington where he lived all his life.

Tindill had become the oldest Test cricketer on November 8 2009, when he overtook Francis MacKinnon's record of 98 years and 324 days.

Tindill toured Britain and France with the 1935-36 All Blacks under the captaincy of Jack Manchester and then returned in the 1937 cricket team skippered by Curly Page.

In a manner befitting his sports career Tindill marked his first-class cricket career with a century on debut for Wellington against Auckland. In the second innings in the same match, he suffered a duck.

His second match was against Douglas Jardine's bodyline team of 1932-33 for Wellington. In the rain affected match, Tindill had the satisfaction of stumping the controversial England captain, Jardine, from the bowling of a future Governor-General of New Zealand Denis Blundell.

When he was chosen for the 1937 cricket tour he made the occasion of the team's departure memorable by getting married between the end of the day's play between MCC and New Zealand and the departure of the ship carrying the team to England.

One of his most famous cricketing moments occurred as the team worked its way home across Australia, stopping in Adelaide, to play Sir Donald Bradman's South Australia team. It was the only time Bradman played a New Zealand side.

In his rugby career Tindill's only Test was against England on the 1935-36 tour. New Zealand lost the game 13-0.

The oldest living Test cricketer now is former South Africa fast bowler Norman Gordon, aged 98 years and 361 days as of today.

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