McCaw Lewis Northern Maori to Face Bollywood Poverty Bay

Published on 19 Oct 2017

Article courtesy of Ben O'Brien-Leaf

This Sunday-Monday will see Poverty Bay - now Bollywood Poverty Bay - play the McCaw Lewis Northern Districts Maori at the Harry Barker Reserve. "It's awesome to have Bollywood expand their involvement with Poverty Bay Cricket: they're already sponsoring HSOB, and now they're the name sponsors of the men's senior representative side," said Poverty Bay district manager and women's development officer Mel Knight, who confirmed the deal with Bollywood Star Restaurant yesterday. 

 "Sunday-Monday will be the start of this group understanding team culture - playing for a rep side, that being the first step, is a hell of an honour," said Poverty Bay coach and former captain Lance Cairns. "Cricket is a team game played by individuals, so the best way a cricketer can help his team is to know his role in the side and how to go about handling pressure - I'll be talking to these guys one-on-one this week about what I expect from the individual and what their role in the team is."

 Cairns wants captain Danny Gibbs to anchor a capable batting line-up selected for players' ability in the shorter form of the game: the Bay and ND Maori will play a T20 game at 1.30pm on Sunday while Monday's fixture will be a 40 over-game set to start at 10am. "Our batting order will be flexible, especially in the first ten overs, as relates to anchors - Danny, Carl Shaw, Jonathan Purcell, Richard Mills, Drew Scott - and "go-to" players such as Scott Tallott, Craig Christophers, Thomas Hayes, Kieran Venema and Timoti Weir, who can be aggressive." Jak Rowe and Jimmy Holden will share the new ball for Poverty Bay, with Mills and Weir as supporting seamers while leg-spinner Gibbs and old hand Christophers plan to winkle batsmen out in the middle overs.

 Cairns said that at this stage of the season, nowhere else in New Zealand are teams playing on the quality of grass wickets that local cricketers have enjoyed for generations: the low-cut outfield ensures that batsmen get value for money runs-wise while the number one pitch traditionally offers consistent pace and bounce for what should be two keen contests between bat and ball.

 Cairns expects the home team to be athletic in the field, read the game and anticipate. Holden and Christophers have been brought into the squad for their experience and strong team values: the Bay has trained twice a week in the last fortnight, with a noticeable lift in practice intensity which Cairns as PBCA director of coaching sees as translating into better results over time. "The players want to show the public pride in their performance and that to represent Poverty Bay means a great deal to them." 

 24 year-old Bay captain Gibbs debuted for the senior side at 17; he and his Westbury & District Cricket Club teammate in the last English summer, Mills, will both turn out for Fraser-Tech against Morrinsville in round two of the Hec Holland Plate before returning to Gisborne on Saturday.

 "I want our guys to trust their ability as cricketers and have the confidence to play instinctively," said Gibbs, who made 59 for the ND XI against Zimbabwe at the Harry Barker Reserve in 2015. "These two games are about a foundation for the season: competing hard in all areas of the game and sustained discipline."

 Otorohanga's Leighton Parsons, ND District Association Player of the Year in 2010-2011 and Maori Player of the Year in 2015-2016, led the Maori in their first game against Waikato University in 2011 and is Maori captain again this long weekend. "The camaraderie in this team is unique," said Parsons. "The environment is relaxed, welcoming and inclusive of all players but with a number of guys being unavailable, we are proud to name two "Honorary Maori" in Waikato Valley's Andrew McLean and Englishman James Nixon."

 Maori opening bat Bayden Morey will look to set an aggressive tone with Nixon and 15 year-old strokemaker Cooper Robinson to follow. Seamer Lachie Holt will lead the bowling attack. Maori vice-captain and team manager Keith Vincent - a very good off-spinner - will give Parsons another genuine wicket-taking option with the accuracy to restrict. 

 ND Cricket development officer Cliff Dickeson said: "There's a bigger catchment of Maori in ND than in any of the other major associations - we want to engage this strong group of talented young players and promote cricket in that demographic." Current Northern Districts Plunket Shield representative Zak Gibson and NZ u19 batsman Katene Clarke have played for ND Maori - along with former Black Cap Darryl Tuffey in 2011.

 Both Thomas Hayes and Timoti Weir are past ND Maori representatives. Dickeson and ND chairman of selectors Pat Malcon see Poverty Bay's Thorn Parkes, Bay of Plenty's Ben Pomare and Ryan Neeves as three very good players who could represent ND Maori in the near future.

 Knight - who will take the Poverty Bay under 15 girls to play Bay of Plenty at Trident High School in two T20 games on Monday - said: "It's a privilege for Poverty Bay to play this ND Maori team and it'll be a treat for the public to see both homegrown talent and a talented all-rounder in Richard Mills, who's come over from the Westbury & District Cricket Club in Wiltshire with Danny. We're looking forward to hosting the fixture."


Leighton Parsons (captain), Keith Vincent (vice-captain), Bayden Morey, Chris Tupaea, Lachie Holt, Lui Love Parata, Sam Nowland, John Dolan, Cooper Robinson, James Nixon, Andrew McLean (wicket-keeper).


Danny Gibbs (captain), Scott Tallott (wicket-keeper), Craig Christophers, Richard Mills, Thomas Hayes, Drew Scott, Jonathan Purcell, Timoti Weir, Kieran Venema, Jak Rowe, Jimmy Holden, Carl Shaw.