Former Otago cricketer, club stalwart dies

Wayne Blair
Wayne Blair
Former Otago cricketer and North East Valley Cricket Club stalwart Wayne Blair died late last week.

Blair played 81 first-class games for Otago during a  career for the province which spanned four decades.

A left-handed batsman and wicketkeeper, Blair (70) scored 3654 runs at an average of 26.10, including two centuries and 15 half centuries.

He made his first-class debut in 1967 and played until February 1983.But he answered an SOS from Otago cricket when he was in his 40s and played three more first-class games for the side in January 1991.

He also played one first-class game for a New Zealand under-23 team and 31 one-dayers for the Volts during a celebrated career.Blair’s father Roy Blair and his great uncle James Blair also played for Otago, as did his younger brother Bruce Blair.

North East Valley Cricket Club chairman Bryan Johnston said Blair was a "club legend" who scored more than 12,000 runs for the club in "over 30 seasons".

Johnston said many former players at the club remembered Blair fondly as a cricketing mentor and also valued "his influential role in their lives as a teacher at DNI [Dunedin North Intermediate]".

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