BLUNT, ROGER CHARLES, who died in London on June 22, aged 65, played in nine Test matches for New Zealand between 1929 and 1931, seven against England and two against South Africa. Beginning his career as a leg-break bowler, he developed into a very fine batsman. Against A. H. H. Gilligan's England team in New Zealand in 1929, he headed his country's Test bowling averages with nine wickets for 19 runs each. In the opening Test of that tour, which marked the entry of New Zealand into the top rank of cricket, he not only gained a match analysis of five wickets for 34 runs but, with 45 not out, was top scorer in first innings of 112.
In England in 1931, his 96 helped New Zealand to a highly creditable draw with England at Lord's after being 230 in arrears on the first innings. Until B. Sutcliffe surpassed his 7,769 runs in 1953, he was the highest-scoring New Zealand batsman in first-class cricket. In a dazzling display for Otago against Canterbury at Christchurch in 1931-32, he hit 338 not out, then the highest score ever achieved by a New Zealand cricketer, though Sutcliffe many years later made 355 and 385. Well-known in business circles in England and New Zealand, he was awarded the M.B.E. in 1965.