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Tal Austin

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Tal Austin
Birth nameThomas Talbert Leon Austin
Date of birth(1857-03-09)9 March 1857
Place of birthMelbourne, Victoria, Australia
Date of death11 February 1941(1941-02-11) (aged 83)
Place of deathRussell, New Zealand
SchoolOtago Boys' High School
Notable relative(s)Gerald Austin (brother)
Clara Bertha Westwood (m. 1893)
Occupation(s)Warehouseman, orchardist
Rugby union career
Position(s) Forward
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
1879–1883 Otago 5 ()
Cricket information
Domestic team information
Career statistics
Competition First-class
Matches 9
Runs scored 186
Batting average 12.40
100s/50s 0/0
Top score 36
Balls bowled 862
Wickets 17
Bowling average 17.82
5 wickets in innings 1
10 wickets in match 0
Best bowling 6/63
Catches/stumpings 5/0
Source: CricketArchive, 29 January 2021

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Thomas Talbert Leon Austin (9 March 1857 – 11 February 1941), commonly known as Tal Austin, was a New Zealand cricketer and rugby union player. He played nine first-class matches for Otago between 1877 and 1889, and made five appearances for Otago rugby union team between 1879 and 1883.


Born in Melbourne, Victoria, on 9 March 1857,[1] Austin was from a well-known cricketing family in Dunedin.[2] Along with his three brothers—Gerry, Ernest James ("Tern"), and Bob—he was a member of the Carisbrook cricket club in Dunedin for many years from the early 1870s.[2] He moved with his family to Dunedin while a young boy, but was sent to school in Hobart, Tasmania, before completing his education at Otago Boys' High School.[3]

Remembered as a "fine all-round player",[4] Austin made his cricketing debut for Otago playing against the touring England side in 1877.[3] The following year, he was a member of the Otago XXII that played out a draw against the visiting Australian team at the Caledonian Ground.[3] During a career that stretched over 12 seasons from 1877/78 to 1888/89, Austin played nine first-class matches for Otago, scoring a total of 186 runs, at an average of 12.40 and with a high score of 36.[1] As a bowler, he took 17 wickets, with an average of 17.82 and best bowling figures of 6 for 63.[1] In the field, he took five catches.[1] Austin captained the Otago side in one first-class match, against Canterbury at Carisbrook in the 1885/86 season,[5][6] and played as wicket-keeper in the first innings of a first-class game against Canterbury in 1883/84, taking three catches.[7]

Austin was a member of the Dunedin Rugby Football Club, and played five matches as a forward for the Otago provincial team from 1879 to 1883.[8][9]

On 15 November 1893, Austin married Clara Bertha Westwood at St Mark's Church, in the Auckland suburb of Remuera.[10] After working as a warehouseman in Dunedin, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch for many years,[8] in 1911 Austin took up a 20-acre (8 ha) block at Tasman, between Mapua and Motueka, and planted 15 acres (6 ha) of apple and pear trees in the first year.[11][12] He was the inaugural president of the Hills Fruitgrowers' Union, and a founding member and secretary of the Bluffs Fruitgrowers' Company Limited.[8]

Austin died at his daughter's home in Russell on 11 February 1941, and he was buried at Russell Cemetery.[8] His wife, Clara, died in 1954.[13]

See also[edit]

  • List of Otago representative cricketers


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Tal Austin at ESPNcricinfo
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Death of Mr E. J. Austin, well-known cricketer". Evening Star. 24 July 1947. p. 6. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Obituary: Mr T. T. L. Austin". Evening Star. 15 February 1941. p. 12. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  4. "Cricket: notes and comments". Evening Star. 2 January 1942. p. 8. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  5. "Cricket: Canterbury v. Otago". Otago Daily Times. 30 December 1885. p. 3. Retrieved 30 January 2021.
  6. "Otago v Canterbury: first-class matches in New Zealand 1885/86". CricketArchive. Retrieved 30 January 2021.
  7. "Otago v Canterbury: other first-class matches in New Zealand 1883/84". CricketArchive. Retrieved 30 January 2021.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 "Obituary: Mr T. T. L. Austin". Nelson Evening Mail. 5 April 1941. p. 7. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  9. "The football tour". Evening Star. 23 September 1882. p. 2. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  10. "Marriages". Auckland Star. 1 December 1893. p. 4. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  11. "Breaking in a waste". The Dominion. 24 February 1912. p. 15. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  12. "Tasman". The Colonist. 15 April 1913. p. 6. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  13. "Record of interment". Far North District Council. Retrieved 29 January 2021.

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