TODAY |

New Zealand's oldest living cricketer passes three-figures on 100th birthday

New Zealand's oldest living cricketer is raising his bat tonight, reaching three figures on his 100th birthday today.

Alan Burgess began his playing career in Canterbury in the 1940s, a sturdy right hand bat and left-arm spinner.

However, not long after he had to put cricket on hold, fighting in World War II as a tank driver, part of Kiwi hero Sir Charles Upham's regiment.

After the war, Burgess was called up to play with the New Zealand forces team that toured England in 1945, able to play at the home of the game.

"That's the be all," he told 1 NEWS.

"If you played at Lord's you played cricket at the top rung. I drove Martin Donedlly's tank, so I knew him so well and he was such a great cricketer, brilliant."

It wasn't just cricket that saw Burgess ply his sporting talents either, a loose forward on the rugby field much like his great nephew, Canterbury icon Todd Blackadder.

Burgess himself missing out on the chance to wear the silver fern of the All Blacks.

"I didn't realise that they wanted me for the trials. I was up in Scotland I think."