Eric William Thomas Tindill
December 18, 1910, Nelson, Nelson
August 01, 2010, Wellington, (aged 99y 226d)
Also Known As
Left hand bat
Umpire, Administrator, Selector
Eric Tindill is one of seven players to have represented New Zealand at both rugby and cricket (the others are Bill Carson, George Dickinson, Brian McKechnie, Charlie Oliver, "Curly" Page and Jeff Wilson) and the only one to have appeared in Test matches in both. Tindill also refereed rugby and cricket Tests - he was an umpire in the Christchurch Test against England in 1958-59.
"Snowy" Tindill played for Wellington between 1932-33 and 1949-50 as a lively left-hand batsman - he often opened the innings - and a more than competent wicketkeeper. In rugby he represented Wellington as a half-back from 1932 to 1945. Tindill toured England with the All Blacks in 1935-36, making his only Test appearance in the famous `Obolensky match' at Twickenham when New Zealand lost 0-13. He returned to England 18 months later with the New Zealand cricketers, making his [cricket] Test debut at Lord's and playing in all three Tests on the tour. He also toured Australia twice, with the cricket side in 1937-38 and with the All Blacks six months later.
Although his rugby career ended in 1945 (by which time he was 35), he continued playing cricket and played in the one-off Test against Australia in 1945-46. Also in that side was Don Cleverley - Tindill became the oldest living Test cricketer on Cleverley's death in February 2004 (he is also the oldest survivng All Black). The last of his five Tests was against England in 1946-47. Tindill's Test average - 73 runs at 9.12 - did not do justice to his batting, and his career figures - 3127 runs at 30.35 including six hundreds - paint a truer picture.
After retirement he continued his involvement with sport as a referee and administrator, and was a selector for Wellington and New Zealand. Tindill also represented Wellington at table tennis and, with fellow tourist Charlie Oliver, wrote a best-selling book - The Tour of the Third All Blacks - about the 1935-36 trip.
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