New Zealand cricket August 2, 2010

Oldest Test cricketer Eric Tindill dies

Cricinfo staff

Eric Tindill, the former New Zealand cricket and rugby international, died on Sunday, August 1, at the age of 99 years and 226 days. Tindill was the oldest Test cricketer of all time as well as the oldest surviving All Black.

Tindill had become the oldest Test cricketer on November 8 2009, when he overtook Francis MacKinnon's record of 98 years and 324 days. He played 69 first-class matches for Wellington and five Tests for New Zealand on either side of the Second World War. Tindill also went on to referee in rugby Tests and was an umpire in a cricket Test between New Zealand and England in Christchurch in 1959 alongside Jack Cowie, with whom Tindill had combined to dismiss Don Bradman in his only match against a New Zealand side.

A left-hand opening batsman and wicketkeeper, Tindill toured England with Curly Page's team in 1937. On the way home he had the distinction of catching Bradman off Jack Cowie's bowling. The match, between New Zealand and South Australia, was played in Adelaide to help cover debts incurred in England. Cowie and Tindill were delighted with their prized wicket, but others reckoned they cost New Zealand Cricket a fortune. Bradman was dismissed for 11 in the opening over on a Saturday morning and thousands of spectators, queuing for entry, simply turned around and left.

Tindill also played football and table tennis for Wellington and after retirement he became secretary of the Wellington Cricket Association and a selector for both Wellington and New Zealand. He was inducted into New Zealand's sports hall of fame in 1995.

"Eric was a great servant to sport in this country - and as a double All Black, reached the very pinnacle of sporting performance in this country," Justin Vaughan, New Zealand Cricket chief executive, said. "His achievements as a player in many sports, umpire and referee, as well as other amazing deeds reads like a Boys Own story. We are unlikely to see the likes of Eric Tindill again, and he leaves behind a very special legacy."

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