Tom Pritchard, New Zealand’s oldest first-class cricketer turns 100 today.
New Zealand Cricket would like to congratulate Mr Pritchard on this tremendous milestone.
The fast bowler played 200 first-class matches and took over 800 wickets in a career that included representing Wellington, Warwickshire and Kent. Taranaki born Mr Pritchard also played one first-class match for a New Zealand team against a touring XI in Wellington prior to the Second World War.
He first started playing cricket in Taranaki at the age of 11 before going on to a first-class playing career that spanned three decades starting in Wellington in the 30s and finishing in England in the 50s. Prior to his first-class career Mr Pritchard also enjoyed success for Manawatu contesting the Hawke Cup.
Described as one of the fastest bowlers in his era, Mr Pritchard was renowned for his pace and wicket taking ability. He played a key role in success enjoyed by Warwickshire in the late 40s and early 50s including winning the County Championship in 1951. He was consistently among the top wicket takers in English cricket, claiming 48 five wicket hauls in his career. His action has been likened to that of current New Zealand pace bowler Lockie Ferguson.
Mr Pritchard’s military service also saw him play cricket for the New Zealand Army team and in invitation XIs with other servicemen in several countries. His play in these matches led to him being scouted by Warwickshire.
Mr Pritchard returned to New Zealand in 1986 and currently resides in Horowhenua with his daughter and continues to enjoy watching cricket on television.
To mark the special occasion of reaching 100 not out New Zealand Cricket will be gifting Mr Pritchard a special commemorative presentation cap.