My corner of the oval

… thoughts from a Kiwi cricket fan

My very own meet & greet!

on February 14, 2013

Fresh off their history-making One-Day series win in South Africa …

Series winners over South Africa

Series winners over South Africa

… the New Zealand Black Caps hit the ground running on their return home, with a T20 series against the highly-favoured England side!

NZ v England 2013

NZ v England 2013

The first instalment of the T20 series, held at Eden Park in Auckland, didn’t quite go according to plan … in so far as victory for the home side goes 😉

However, it was still a fantastic spectacle of big-hitting cricket (the English hit 15 balls OVER the rather “postage stamp” sized boundaries of Eden Park!) … and reminded the New Zealand boys just what it takes to win at T20!

And win they did come round 2 in Hamilton two days later!

Batting first after losing the toss, Martin Guptill and new boy on the block, Hamish Rutherford combined to set up the innings nicely for master blaster extraordinaire, Brendon McCullum to smash 74 runs off 38 balls, including 5 sixes, and set the English a total of 193 to take the series.

Mitchell McClenaghan appeals for a wicket

Mitchell McClenaghan … appealing 😉

Enter Mitchell McClenaghan, Trent Boult and Ian Butler who, between them, knocked any impetus out of the English batting line up and ensured a, relatively, easy victory to New Zealand by 55 runs!

Ian Butler makes his return known in the team!

Ian Butler makes his return known in the team!

And so with the series tied at 1-1, the two teams head further south to my home town of Wellington!

Hoping for at least one chance to be able to say hello to any of the players and wish them well, you can imagine my disappointment when New Zealand Cricket announces the meet and greet/signing session would be held in Lower Hutt … some 20 kilometres away, during a work-day, so there would be no way I could get the time off to attend 😦

My disappointment soon turned to disbelief … and then delight when, walking through town on my lunch break a day after the teams arrival in the city, I spy directly in my path the man they call Mr February!

Don’t forget to vote (Cleo Bachelor of the Year!)

Also known as Mitch McClenaghan, which is how I got his attention to shake his hand as he stood in a queue for sushi on a busy Wellington street!

I guess that’s one thing my years of cricket watching and supporting have instilled in me – being naturally so shy and terrified of talking to anyone, let alone people I’ve never met before, I’ve found myself being a bit more confident and feeling able to do things like that (rocking up to a total stranger and saying hi, for example!) … of course, it helps that a couple of the New Zealand Black Caps have made themselves available to the fans on Twitter and I have been able to share a bit of “banter” and support with them there … and so as soon as I mentioned my twitter-handle, the recognition was complete!  (I hope I’m not really that infamous amongst the team – heh heh!)

Saying hello to Martin Guptill and Colin Munro who were also in attendance and not really wanting to whip my camera out in the middle of town during “rush” lunch hour and ask for a momento, I satisfied myself with a quick friendly chat … although, I wasn’t really much help when it came to confirming or denying the food quality of the chosen establishment; sorry about that guys!

So after being dejected about missing out on an official meet with the players earlier in the week … I ended up being totally blessed and overjoyed at a chance meeting … which, if you think about it, is probably better in a way 🙂

Hopefully I haven’t made myself too annoying to the team and I have the chance to add to my “meet and greet” hall of fame … following a New Zealand victory at Westpac Stadium against the English of course!  (They just have to play better than Tuesday night, that’s all 😉 – heh heh!)

Thanks again, Martin, Colin and Mitch for not only taking the time out to meet cricket fans in Lower Hutt … but for also making my year and not minding a fanatical cricket supporter interrupting your lunch break!

Oh, and go the Black Caps in the deciding T20 tomorrow night … I’ve been looking forward to this match since the schedule was announced months ago, and can’t wait to finally see BOTH teams performing to the peak of their abilities on the field in front of me!

More high fives and winning smiles please!

More high fives and winning smiles please!

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One response to “My very own meet & greet!

  1. Carm says:

    That is one specially looking trophy they won. 🙂

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