My corner of the oval

… thoughts from a Kiwi cricket fan

Reasons why the NZ World T20 campaign was a success

How can it be a success, I hear you say; our team failed. They were beaten in the semifinal stage.
Yes, they were.  And the team that beat them in the semifinal played better T20 cricket, and earned their place in the final of the tournament.  And naturally, as an ardent Black Caps supporter, one is always preferring to reach the ultimate goal in tournaments such as these.

However, if you take a step back from your disappointment for a moment, you will see several successes and hopes to build on in the future.
Well, my successes and hopes for the future, anyway …

Kane Williamson’s captaincy:
Some may criticise and deride Kane for calls he made in the semifinal, but for a young captain, leading a team for the first time in a major tournament, throughout the competition he gained praise from around the world about his confident and positive captaincy.  His fledgling captaincy shouldn’t be judged on this one game, and from what we have seen so far, he has the makings of yet another “great” NZ cricket captain!

Colin Munro:  Everyone (by that, I mean the usual keyboard warriors!) didn’t always give Munro the credit he deserved for his batsman ship and, while some of that may have been sometimes deserved in previous years, since being recalled to the national team, it is clearly evident that he has really worked on his game (anyone watching domestic cricket in NZ this season would agree too) and he seemed to take his promotion to number three in the batting order seriously, taking the time on many occasions to build an innings, and partnerships, to work towards the team totals.  And he hasn’t lost the flair and creativity that we love about him either!  One of my lasting T20 World Cup memories will be his audacious reverse late cut!

Ish Sodhi:  Okay, I make no secret of it – I’m a Sodhi fan-girl, but I have been for a while actually.  But when you watched a bowler develop his craft over the years, taking his chances in the national side when given them, it is immensely pleasing to see him being praised on the international scene after his efforts at the T20 World Cup!  And when he can, together with Mitchell Santner, out-spin the “spin kings” of India, the future for NZ spin looks bright, even with the retirement of Nathan McCullum!

Mitchell McClenaghan:  Another player who is often misunderstood by critics of NZ cricket, Mitch seems to have gone from strength to strength this year!  Self-confessed as wanting to be the number 1 T20 bowler in the world, Mitch steps up time and again in matches, this season in particular, with cunning bowling strategies and proving he is more than just the “bouncy and aggressive” bowler we’ve seen in the past.  If he keeps on this road, number one won’t be too far away, I reckon!

Well, that’s just four of my highlights and positives from the Black Caps World T20 trip … and I haven’t even mentioned Martin Guptill, or Mitchell Santner, or Nathan McCullum, among others!  All I can finish with is that it is so great to have a cricket team, enjoying playing all variations of cricket (ie  T20, ODI and Tests) and enjoying being part of this team, and improving as individuals and as a team while they do it; the future looks bright for us fans!

PS Thanks Mike Hesson and Mike Sandle, and the rest of the team, for once again bringing our team so well through a world tournament!

PPS Thanks Nathan McCullum for a wonderful limited overs cricket career for NZ; you will really be missed, but we thank you for passing on your knowledge and experience and leaving our spin bowling stocks in good shape!

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The legacy lives on …

As I sit and watch archive footage courtesy of Sky NZ of the “Max Blacks” playing Cricket Max cricket, with expert commentary from the man behind the idea, Martin Crowe, I wish I could find the words to express just how much I owe to New Zealand’s greatest batsman for just how much I appreciate what he meant to myself, and I’m certain many, many cricket supporters and players around the world. 
Instead, I think I’ll let pictures say thank you for me …

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The noticeboard of the Streetwise coffee cart on my roadtrip this week

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I will treasure this signed copy of Out on a Limb forever!

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The Rememberence Book at the NZ Cricket Museum that I could express my thoughts in

Thank you Martin Crowe for instilling a love of cricket in me and many others!
We shall keep the enjoyment and love going as you would have wanted us to.

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