For those who don’t get the Hawke’s Bay Today, here’s my letter to the editor that was printed in Wednesday’s edition in relation to “FindlayGate” – the CEO of HB Cricket scoring 307 against a team of schoolboys in a match last Saturday.
It has been very interesting listening to peoples opinions, which seem split pretty much 50/50 on whether his actions were correct. Here’s my opinion for what it’s worth:
(Note: while the grade they play in does have a “split-cricket” component, I discovered after writing this that that part of the competition actually finished at Christmas. This round is straight 45 overs each, but they still break at 20 overs and my opinion still stands that Tech should have declared at that stage when they were 300/1)
Grown man scores 307 against a team of young schoolboys. Nothing to be proud of there, really.
I was playing on the neighbouring pitch on Saturday, nearly got hit by a couple of the “towering sixes” and was getting quite thoroughly depressed for St Johns’ up and coming young cricketers watching the ever-increasing score line.
Tech and St Johns were playing in a grade that has a “split level” game – The team batting first bats for 20 overs, the two teams have a break and the batting side decide whether they will declare, or bat on. At 20 overs Tech were at around 305 for 1 – a massive score in any grade or competition and, in hindsight, around 125 more runs than their opposition would ultimately get.
We were watching their game between overs on our pitch and thinking Tech would rightfully and more importantly, SPORTINGLY, declare. But they didn’t and as reported went on to make a rather farcical 578 – a score which not even the Black Caps could make.
But then for man who made this publicity-worthy score and is also the same person who oversees the competition to say:
“St Johns bowling probably wasn’t up to senior grade standard and said the boys from the Hastings college will probably struggle in the association’s senior men’s club competition” just adds insult to injury.
Throughout New Zealand clubs and schools have a hard time attracting and keeping players, both young and old. The ultimate goal is to get them playing a sport, inspire them at a young age and help them develop into successful, young sportspeople. I didn’t see much for any Hawke’s Bay cricketer, young or old, to be inspired by in Tech’s tactics in that game.
The credit in this game really goes to the St Johns’ boys, who never gave up. They played on despite rather massive odds and took some stunning catches later in their fielding innings. From where we were playing, they looked like a very young, but commendably committed future stars of the game.
Secretary and Player
Napier Old Boys’ Marist Cricket Club