'Dad' Weir, world's oldest Test cricketer, dies in Auckland
Lindsay Weir (centre) with Geoff Rabone and Jack Kerr
© Jack Kerr
The mantle of the world's oldest Test player now rests with MJ Gopalan of India, who played one Test in 1933-34. He is 94 years and 147 days old. The oldest surviving New Zealand player is now Don Cleverley, who played two Tests, the first against South Africa in 1931-32 and the second against Australia in 1945-46, the fifth longest interval between Tests.
Weir, who was never known as Gordon but always as "Dad" for reasons he never disclosed, was first selected for New Zealand's second Test, against the touring MCC team of 1929-30. A right-hand batsman and an occasional right-arm medium-pacer, Weir toured England with the New Zealand teams of 1931 and 1937. Both tours were a disappointment for him. Although he scored 1035 runs in 1931, it was only at an average of 25.87.
During the next few years he was a leading batsman on the New Zealand scene but went into sufficient decline to be dropped from the side for the 1935-36 series against the MCC. However, he recovered and was included in the team to tour England in 1937, where he scored 893 runs at 26.26. His highest Test score was an unbeaten 74 against South Africa in the first Test of the series in New Zealand.
Weir played 11 Tests overall, scoring 416 runs at 29.71. While by modern standards it represents only a few series, he played at a time when New Zealand had very few matches, often going two or three seasons without an official Test. He played 107 first-class matches, scoring 5022 runs at 32.19, including 10 centuries.
Like many New Zealanders of that time, he also played representative rugby, making nine first-class appearances for Auckland, mainly at fly-half. A schoolteacher, Weir taught at Auckland's Mt Albert Grammar School, and for many years was selector-coach of the Auckland Brabin Cup side, an annual tournament played between junior sides from the four major associations and which was later extended to include Central and Northern Districts, proving a significant stepping-stone for many players who went on to international cricket.
In more recent years Weir was one of the most venerated members of the band of former players who regularly gathered, as the guests of New Zealand Cricket, for major matches played at Eden Park.