Former NZ skipper Walter Hadlee dies
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Former NZ skipper Walter Hadlee dies

Walter Hadlee, the father of bowling great Sir Richard Hadlee, dies at the age of 91.

india Updated: Oct 09, 2006 14:30 IST

Former New Zealand cricket captain Walter Hadlee, the father of bowling great Sir Richard Hadlee and two other Test players, died on Friday aged 91.

Hadlee, who passed away in Christchurch after suffering a stroke, played 11 Tests for his country between 1937 and 1951 in a career interrupted by World War II.

He was a popular captain with a keen strategic sense in an era when New Zealand had yet to win a Test.

The tall, bespectacled batsman Hadlee played 19 innings, scoring 543 runs at an average of 30.16. He was never dismissed for single figures, although he scored only one Test century.

His career peaked with the 1949 away series against England when New Zealand under his captaincy drew all four Tests with a lineup which included batting stars Bert Sutcliffe and Martin Donelly, and all-rounder John Reid.

"Hadlee was a courageous and enterprising batsman, a popular and successful captain who played his cricket in the sporting manner usually associated with his country," English writer John Woodcock said.

After retiring from Test and first-class cricket - he continued playing club cricket into his early 50s - Hadlee turned to administration. He was a national selector, a New Zealand team manager, and a leading cricket board member until 1983.

Three of his five sons - Barry, Dayle and Richard - represented New Zealand. Richard Hadlee retired in 1990 with 431 test wickets which at the time was a world record.

First Published: Sep 29, 2006 12:55 IST