New Zealand's oldest cricketer Tom Pritchard has passed away. He was 100.
Pritchard claimed 818 wickets 23.30 across 200 first-class games, including 695 during a decade of service at Edgbaston. He, however, never played Test cricket.
The right-arm pacer came close to a call-up at the age of 20 in 1937, but a combination of the Second World War, which coincided with his mid-20s pomp, and a desire not to undermine his professional contract in county cricket, meant that he opted out of selection for New Zealand's Test tour of England in 1949, and the call did not come again, reports ESPNcricinfo.
His best year was 1948 when he took 172 wickets at an average of 18.75. In 1951, his bowling, by now fast-medium rather than outright fast, played a big part in Warwickshire's unexpected County Championship success.
He took three hat-tricks for the county during his career, as of 2016 still a record for the club.
In March 2017, Pritchard became only the third New Zealand first-class cricketer, after John Wheatley and Syd Ward, to reach 100 years of age.