REpublished From outright #45
Sir Graham Henry is a name synonymous with Rugby, he coached Wales and The British and Irish Lions in the late nineties being nicknamed The Great Redeemer after The Welsh won eleven consecutive matches in 1999, in 2011 he won the IRB World Cup with the All Blacks, and Henry has been named IRB Coach of the year on five occasions. However, many cricket fans would be forgiven for not knowing that Ted (as he is affectionately known) also played first class cricket for Canterbury in 1965-66 and Otago in 1968.
“I was just like every other kid growing up, playing cricket in the summer and rugby in the winter. You would see me chasing players with my autograph books just like all the other kids, I just loved it.” Recalls The former Auckland Grammar and Kelston Boys’ High School Principal.
Henry continued to play cricket through high school making the First XI at Christchurch Boys High and then joined the old boys club, as he puts it “I got involved with some pretty good cricketers, guys like Alan Hounsell, David Trist, Dayle Hadlee and Robert Anderson.” Hadlee and Anderson going onto to represent New Zealand. Names such as Charles Baker a left arm spinner who batted, John Christensen who was in the Gold medal Olympic team in Montreal, and John Ward roll off his tongue.
It was Ward who indirectly gave him first opportunity at first class cricket. “John broke his thumb and Robert Anderson’s dad Mac was the coach of Canterbury, he had seen me wicket keep at school when watching Robert, so he gave me a go. I was first year out of school and quite fortunate really, I loved it we had Dick Motz, Bruce Taylor, Gary Bartlett, John McIntyre, and Brian Hastings was the Captain.”
He played for a year in Canterbury and then moved down to Otago to attend university, where he got to play just a couple of matches, “one was against Fiji believe it or not” Henry recollects. Upon his return to Canterbury the Former Blues coach couldn’t make the team “When I thought I was much better at the keeping game I just couldn’t get in, that’s the way it was back then, Ken Wadsworth was the New Zealand Keeper. Then when I moved to Auckland for a job at Auckland Grammar School under John Graham, Ross Dykes was the keeper.” Henry played for Suburbs and Cornwall until the rugby coaching started to get serious and as a result something had to go.
He kept an interest in Cricket and coached the First XI as well as the First XV at Auckland Grammar. Henry Jokes “probably managed the first XI is a better way to describe it, I had Mark Greatbatch and Jeff and Martin Crowe in the team and the Crowe boys were of course very well coached by father Dave.”
Henry continued to share stories of his playing days in the quick-witted delivery style we have become accustomed to after watching him in many media appearances over the years. In one such yarn Henry tells the anecdote of coming into to bat at eleven with David Gallop who was sitting on 90 runs. “We had a 70-run partnership for the last wicket, Davie got to 144 against Auckland and I think I got 2 or 3 not out. They hit me more than they hit the bat, it was a well compiled two, a gutsy effort!”
He also shared tales of practicing in the nets out the back of the Hadlee residence, or the time he played with a then fifty-year-old Walter Hadlee as a teenager for old boys. Hadlee scoring over 150 and as Henry put it “I nicked 30.” When asked if he has any ‘what if’ moments when it comes to the sport, he replied “my only regret is limited overs cricket didn’t exist when I was playing, I feel I might have been really suited to that form of the game.”
Perhaps this intrigue with the short form of the game is the reason why Henry put his hand up to coach Team Rugby in the T20 Black Clash. All three matches have gone down to the wire, including a victory for Team Rugby in the inaugural match, and if Henry has got anything to do with it, despite having the odds stacked against them there will be many more to come for his side.
By margot butcher - republished from outright #47
When the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup plays out in New Zealand this summer, for a generation of women there will be a circuitous, reflective feeling. The memory of a life marker being placed in the mind.
Twenty-one years ago New Zealand hosted the 2000 Women’s Cricket World Cup — and won it. The first time that had happened. Aimee Mason (as she was then) was watching the Final live on TV. Oath, we all were. It was the most exhilarating finish of the year — the White Ferns defending 184 against usual suspects Australia in a nail-biting, last-over, four-run win. If you haven’t seen the scenes, look it up on YouTube.
“I was right at the end of my last year of high school,” recalls Aimee, “and I was going to Lincoln University to take up an NZC Academy scholarship in the coming year, so that World Cup Final in Lincoln was doubly of interest to me. I looked up to Debbie Hockley, Emily Drumm, Rebecca Rolls, Catherine Campbell — all those people. I knew that being in the White Ferns was where I wanted to be.”
Watkins didn’t have to wait long. After a wave of retirements, she made the team the very next season — initially selected for a tour to India that was then cancelled due to 9/11, before debuting in Adelaide at the end of the summer, alongside Nic Browne and Anna Corbin in a largely new-look team. The start of a significant career of a future New Zealand captain. She would play 141 matches, including a century of ODI caps and two Tests, and two ODI centuries among her 1189 ODI runs.
Domestically the allrounder also led the Central Hinds to a ground-breaking double in 2009/10 and today she is a life member of Central Districts Cricket Association.
“The whole story of the Hinds — I was 16 when I started, to 14 years later when I finished up — was one of massive change,” she recalls.
“When I started, we would have just the leftovers of the men’s clothes, polos that were XXL and warm-up T-shirts that were like tents, it was just ridiculous. And, the Hinds always got a hiding. I finished in my time with us being consistently in finals, and winning both titles in one season. So that was pretty cool, but the friendships you have within the team are still the most ensuring things you treasure.”
She was just 28 when she retired. “Not over the hill — but it was a pretty strong feeling of being done, of not wanting to do it anymore. It had been brewing for 18 months. I knew it was time to move on into the next part of my life which was having a family and getting my teaching career going, having done Teacher’s College and then managing to piece together two years’ worth of classroom experience whilst I was playing, in order to become fully registered. I was able to step into a full-time job which helped make the transition to life after sport easy. [Her husband] Jamie and I also had a goal of wanting to build a house, so other things just took over the space and time that cricket used to consume.”
Jamie Watkins was playing for Taranaki while Aimee was a White Fern. Today he’s the one immersed in Central Districts cricket — coaching his wife’s old team and developing women’s cricket across the whole region in a full-time role for CDCA.
“Cricket is his passion. He’d always also be down on a Saturday watching his club team, and he’ll probably still be doing that when he’s 80. Once we had kids, we just had to figure out how to juggle all that and I’ll generally pop along to Pukekura Park with the girls when he’s there with the Hinds on game day.”
They had known each other pre-cricket, then Jamie went on his cricketing OE to Scotland for some six northern summers in a row. “Once he came back full-time, he was at Taranaki Cricket, and I was coaching and doing some pieces there through the summer. We got married in 2009.”
With Aimee still playing, Jamie developed a strong appreciation for the challenges facing female cricketers — even at the international level. “He’s very passionate about it, and I’m sure that comes across in his coaching.”
Meanwhile, Aimee was ready to step away from cricket entirely. “I didn’t follow it at all. It was a complete break and, in some ways, I still feel like I’m going through that ‘detox’ — which is weird, after 10 years, but I think I was just so immersed in it during my career that now it was time for everything else. I do follow domestic cricket a bit through the Hinds now — but Jamie’s the one who’ll turn on the TV to watch the cricket or White Ferns.”
But she’s sure she will be tuning into the home World Cup, one of the box office events of the national sporting summer.
“It’s been 21 years, so it will be pretty special if the White Ferns can pull that one out of the hat. And, it will be a major event, this time. The profile is much higher. The domestic doubleheaders have been good for shining a light on the women’s game. The chit-chat in the staffroom these days is what happened in the women’s game, and then, what happened in the men’s. That just never happened 20 years ago.”
Aimee played in two ODI World Cups and two T20 World Cups — captaining the latter. In her last, the 2010 Final in Bridgetown, Australia won by just three runs.
“With World Cups, we had a pretty good run. We didn’t win during my time, but were making finals, and runners-up just about every blimmin’ tournament. It was always heart-breaking at the time, but I look back and think it was quite an achievement by a small country with a very small pool of female players. Frankly, we were very amateur then compared to England, Australia and India, so we were punching well above our weight.
“Now the landscape has changed so much — West Indies, South Africa, all the other countries have poured resources into women’s cricket and it’s obvious how much better they are now. It’s made it tougher for New Zealand.”
Several of Watkins’ contemporaries — Amy Satterthwaite, Sophie Devine, Suzie Bates, the youngster whom she used to open the batting — will at least get another shot.
“We always knew Suzie would go on to be a significant player. Even as a 16-year-old coming through from Otago, she was a standout. For her to have maintained the drive and the intensity throughout what’s become a lengthy career, I think, ‘good on her’ and I wish the White Ferns all the best.”
In the meantime, there’s plenty else to be getting on with. For the past eight years she’s been teaching at New Plymouth’s Francis Douglas College — an all-boys’ Catholic school that’s best known as the alma mater of the All Black Barrett brothers. Full-time for the last three years, now that daughters Olivia and Izzy are both in school. The family is living the dream on a lifestyle block just outside town, with chickens and sheep, lambs, cats, guinea pigs and actual pigs.
“I grew up similar and it was awesome, so it was an experience I wanted my kids to have as well. We had it good during lockdown. Always something to do. Plenty of space to run around. It’s a lot of work, but it’s good fun for us all. We worked really hard to make it happen.”
17 November 2021
FICA Stands Against Discrimination of Any Form in Cricket
FICA Executive Chairman Heath Mills said:
"FICA has been disturbed to hear of players being subject to instances of racism and discrimination in recent months around the world."
"It’s clear our game needs to continue to do more to create a safe environment for people to participate, and also to speak out on discrimination. FICA commends the bravery of those who have shared their experiences and encourages any player who has suffered any form of discrimination, bullying or harassment, to contact their players' association. FICA will continue to support the important work of its member players' associations in this space."
“The game's leadership must continue to listen and learn, and to do everything to ensure the rights of people in cricket are upheld. There can be no excuses, we must all come together, stand up and ensure all our people are safe."
FICA Board Member Wavell Hinds said:
"Many of the issues that have come to light around the world recently demonstrate the lack of a coherent approach to issues of discrimination, and human rights issues, in cricket. They also demonstrate that players, collectively and individually, can be a powerful voice to change sport for the better."
"FICA will be continuing to engage with the ICC and urging it to work with players, including through FICA, to imbed internationally recognised human rights frameworks in cricket. Players' associations continue to play a critical role in ensuring player rights are protected, and ensuring that players in all countries are provided with a safe space to form and join players' associations remains key to enabling this."
"It’s time now for more action and less words.”
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Episode 8 of the NZCPA podcast Through the Pickets with guest Amy Satterthwaite is out now. In This Episode Amy chats to us about travelling the world in a covid bubble with her Partner and toddler Grace, growing up in Culverden North Canterbury on a farm, and her love of animals. She talks of her time in The White Ferns not to mention the 2022 ICC Women’s World Cup.
Available on all your favourite podcast apps.