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Eric Tindill
Personal information
Full name Eric William Thomas Tindill
Born 18 December 1910 (1910-12-18) (age 99)
Nelson, New Zealand
Nickname Snowy
Batting style Left-hand batsman
Role Opening batsman
Relations Paul Tindill
International information
National side New Zealand
Test debut (cap 5) 26 June 1937 v England
Last Test 21 March 1947 v England
Domestic team information
Years Team
1932/33–1949/50 Wellington
Career statistics
Competition Tests ODI FC List A
Matches 5 69
Runs scored 73 3127
Batting average 9.12 30.35
100s/50s 6/12
Top score 37* 149
Balls bowled
Bowling average
5 wickets in innings
10 wickets in match
Best bowling
Catches/stumpings 6/1 96/33
Source: Cricinfo, 23 December 2008

Eric William Thomas Tindill (born 18 December 1910 in Nelson) is a New Zealand sportsman. The oldest Test cricketer in history, Tindill is also the only person to play Tests for New Zealand in both cricket and rugby union, and is the only person ever to play Tests in both sports, referee a rugby union Test, and umpire a cricket Test.[1]

In cricket, Tindill played five Tests for the New Zealand cricket team as a wicket-keeper/batsman. He played domestic first-class cricket for Wellington from 1932–33 to 1949–50 and, in addition to his keeping, served as a left-handed opener. He toured England under Curly Page in 1937 and, in a match played in Adelaide to help cover the costs of the England tour, caught Don Bradman for 11 in his only appearance against a New Zealand team off the bowling of Jack Cowie in the opening over of the Saturday's play. Unfortunately this caused large numbers of spectators who were queuing to enter the ground to leave, costing the New Zealand team the gate money and defeating the purpose of the game. He was later an umpire, standing in one Test in 1959, and a Test selector. His son, Paul Tindill, also played first-class cricket for Wellington.[1]

In rugby, he alternated between half-back and first five-eighth for Wellington. The vast supply of midfield talent in Wellington during the 1930s made it difficult for him to get noticed, but the selectors for the All Blacks were remarkably thorough at seeking out talent—the trials for the team that would tour England in 1935–36 would see 188 players take part. He was selected for that tour and would play one Test against England in 1936, a match most famous for the two tries scored by England's Alexander Obolensky. Although this was his only rugby Test, he would play 16 matches in all with the All Blacks, and famed rugby commentator Winston McCarthy was certain that Tindill would have won selection for the 1940 tour of South Africa had it not been scrapped due to the outbreak of World War II.[1]

Tindill also refereed rugby at Test level. He was noted for his keen instinct of the game's progress; McCarthy would recall, "In one match in which six tries were scored I saw the six of them scored at Eric's feet as he waited for the player to ground the ball."[1] The pinnacle of his career as a rugby referee came in 1950, when he oversaw the first two Tests of the series between the Lions and All Blacks.[1]

He became the oldest living Test cricketer in February 2004, on the death of Don Cleverley. He is also the oldest living All Black, and the last surviving All Black who played a Test before World War II. On 8 November 2009, he surpassed Francis MacKinnon, who played one test for England in 1879 and lived to 98 years and 324 days, as the oldest Test cricketer in history.[1]

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c d e Richards, Huw (2009-10-31). "The oldest All Black in town". Retrieved 2009-30-31.  

External links



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