Norman Gordon on his hundredth birthday © Getty Images
Norman Gordon on his hundredth birthday © Getty Images

 

With Madhav Mantri’s sad demise Pananmal Punjabi becomes India’s oldest surviving Test cricketer. Shiamak Unwalla looks at some of the cricketers who have lived through the great depression, a World War (both in the case of one of them!), and been a part of history most of us only know about through textbooks.

 

As of May 23, 2014 there are only seven living nonagenarians to have played Test cricket for their countries. A special note must be made of Norman Gordon, who at 102 years and 289 days at the time of writing, is the oldest living Test cricketer of all time. For someone who was born only toward the end of the twentieth century, these incredible statistics are hard to wrap ones head around.

 

To think that there are those alive who must have played opposite — or at least seen — legends like Sydney Barnes, Sir Don Bradman, Wally Hammond, Jack Hobbs, CB Fry and KS Ranjitsinhji is mind-boggling. Especially considered that a number of cricket fans have never had the privilege of watching these great men play.

 

It is somehow comforting to know that the exploits of some of them, though not recorded for the less fortunate of us, still live on in the 21st century in the minds of some cricketers.  Below is a list of the oldest living Test cricketers. May their wealth of knowledge be passed on for future generations.

 

Player Name Career Span Matches Born Current Age
Norman Gordon (SA) 1938-1939 5 06-Aug-1911 102
Lindsay Tuckett (SA) 1947-1949 9 06-Feb-1919 95
Andy Ganteaume (WI) 1948-1948 1 22-Jan-1921 93
Pananmal Punjabi (Ind) 1955-1955 5 20-Sep-1921 92
Arthur Morris (Aus) 1946-1955 46 19-Jan-1922 92
John Cecil Watkins (SA) 1949-1957 15 10-Apr-1923 91
Donald Smith (Eng) 1957-1957 3 14-Jun-1923 90
Fred Ridgway (Eng) 1951-1952 5 10-Aug-1923 90

 

(Shiamak Unwalla is a reporter with Cricket Country. He is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic who likes to pass his free time by reading books, watching TV shows, and eating food. Sometimes all at the same time. You can follow him on twitter at @ShiamakUnwalla)