UP WITH THE PLAY

Get the word straight from our players, coaches and supporters as we keep you up to date with what's happening in cricket


Margot-Butcher
  • GPSS - Three scenarios

    By Niall Anderson. The SKYCITY Northern Knights are still sitting in a strong position atop the Georgie Pie Super Smash ladder as the final regular season weekend approaches. With three teams making the finals weekend held from next Friday to Sunday at Seddon Park in Hamilto...

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  • GPSS - Five key performers

    By Niall Anderson.New season. New sponsor. New format. Same Northern Knights. A year removed from triumphantly claiming the HRV Cup, the pink-clad Knights have carried their class through to the newly-formed Georgie Pie Super Smash, sitting atop the ladder with 22 points. Five wins f...

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  • Coach Chat with JP: 16 Nov

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  • Coach Chat with JP: 13 Nov

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  • Coach Chat with JP: 8 Nov

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  • Coach Chat with JP: 2 Nov

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  • Coach Chat with JP: 1 Nov

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  • Meet Bharat Popli

    To mark the first day of the new #PlunketShield season, let's step inside the mind of a player who's scored a power of runs for Bay of Plenty over the last few years - earning his chance to prove himself in first-class cricket. Bharat Popli won his first SKYCITY Northern Knights profess...

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  • Biggest Season Ever Begins!

    Time to polish the sunnies and dust off the cap: New Zealand's earliest start to a domestic season sees cricket underway already. Today the SKYCITY Northern Knights are in action against Cricket World Cup side Ireland at Hamilton's Seddon Park.  The daynighter is a warm up for Irelan...

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  • Into The Main #CLT20 Draw!

    Mission One has been accomplished in India: the Northern Knights have blitzed their three Qualifier tournament games to muscle their way into the main draw - as top qualifier!Not only that, but in the process the Knights elbowed out the defending champions, the Mumbai Indians - rock stars who als...

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  • NDTV: Flynny Ready For #CLT20

    The team is counting down the days now, the first Champions League qualifier game just over a fortnight away. Our final Champs Camp in Mt Maunganui ends tomorrow and the boys are all looking forward to coming together as a team in India, from all parts of the globe. As captain, it's ...

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  • Coach JP: CLT20 Scouting Has Begun

    With the announcement on Friday of our final contracted SKYCITY Northern Knight for the new season - our congratulations to Tony Goodin on being recontracted - it's a reminder that things are coming round fast now. In under a month's time, the team will find itself on the cusp...

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  • Champions League Countdown - Dates Confirmed

    Time to get the kit on because all of a sudden it's all been happening here in the big ND world of cricket. First up, after great anticipation we're excited to finally have dates and venues confirmed for the SKYCITY Northern Knights at the Champions League (#CL2014) -a...

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  • NDTV - 2014 Awards Highlights

    NDTV: 2014 AWARDS HIGHLIGHTS With five SKYCITY Northern Knights in the Test XI today the Blackcaps kicked off their series against the West Indies with a bang. First test, first day, first innings and Kane Williamson cracks his first century in the Caribbean and the sixth of his s...

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  • THE ND FAMILY UPDATE

    Closing in on birthday number 39, it's nice to feel you're still wanted - and with oodles of experience, game intelligence and that powerful 'boom' factor, Scott Styris is still wanted in the world of Twenty20.This week, Scotty joined the Leicestershire Foxes as an overseas player which...

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  • Meet Our New Maori Women’s Team

    Proving that not even a chilly weather system can stop us thinking about cricket for too long, Northern Districts will be setting the pace again as we debut our first Maori women's T20 side this Saturday 3 May. The invitational Northern Maori Women's team, captained by Auckland ...

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  • On Awards, Blackcaps and Beige Vests!

    Airports, visas, weddings, gear bags stuffed full of dubiously scented, yet-to-be-laundered cricket gear and a few well-deserved sleep-ins. It must be the end of the season! While some Kiwi cricketers have already headed godwit-style to the northern hemisphere to take up club contrac...

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  • Game Over for 2013-14

    All good things must come to an end and so we close the door on a memorable season. The one in which the SKYCITY Northern Knights won their first HRV Twenty20 title.  www.Photosport.co.nz The one in which they nearly, almost, not quite, just about, could have had the F...

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  • ONTO THE FINAL!

    For the second time this season the SKYCITY Northern Knights are in a New Zealand domestic final -one of the major preseason goals of this team. Not only that, but it's the second time that Northern Districts has hosted a final this summer: we nailed the HRV Twenty20 finals...

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  • An Unbeaten Season

    Seven games for no loss: that was McCaw Lewis Northern Maori's winning record for the 2013/14 season. But of most significance, it was with genuine pride that ND was part of the very first official Maori cricket domestic fixtures in New Zealand, against Wellington Maori (includi...

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  • Ford Trophy On Track

    Six of the eight rounds of the Ford Trophy are now behind us with the SKYCITY Northern Knights remaining at the top of the points table despite Wednesday's loss to the Firebirds. The team is very well placed for the playoffs, with our home games set for Mount Maunganui's Blake ...

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  • Meet Nic Browne

    After clean-sweeping the West Indies, the White Ferns are on their way to Bangladesh this weekend to start their World Twenty20 campaign. We caught up with our very own White Fern legend Nicola Browne at Mount Maunganui to find out how the team is travelling -and why she's got a ...

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  • Awards, Trophies and Loads of Runs

    Last night was the season wrap as far as the Blackcaps' summer goes -capped off with the annual cricket awards at Auckland's Langham hotel. Congratulations to all the recipients who shone through that extra bit in an outstanding summer and a big ND shoutout to Tim Southee, who edged our o...

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  • Bring On The Ford Trophy!

    After a tough Plunket Shield summer for our new-look first-class side, this weekend sees the SKYCITY Northern Knights switch back to coloured gear and white ball in what should be our forte: one-day cricket.  The first two Ford Trophy rounds, starting with an away...

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  • Video Blog: Playing For Keeps

    "I had to take a few risks...but there's not much point in leaving anything behind, you may as well go for it." That's our latest SKYCITY Northern Knights keeper Rory Christopherson explaining the drive that has finally landed him in first-class cricket, after our young con...

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  • COBHAM OVAL CALLING

    We're down to the last two rounds of the Plunket Shield and earlier this week that was cause for alarm bells. Yes, not only were the Wellington Firebirds 21 billion points behind the leaders -but they still managed to be ahead of us!!! Obviously that was the work of a scoreboard gre...

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  • Pivotal Plunket Push

    Just when things were starting to look a bit grim, the SKYCITY Northern Knights delivered what may prove to be their most important first-class win of the season, http://www.blackcaps.co.nz/match-report/rain-robs-contest-of-momentum/1763/report.aspx in Gisborne earlier this week. ...

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  • Corey Rockets To More Records

    So much has been going on around ND, where to begin this week? Let's start with Northern Maori. The big news is that the first domestic representative Maori cricket match in New Zealand history, certainly so far as we know, will be taking place in March! Northern Maori, unb...

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  • HRV Twenty20 Champions!

    The pink champagne has finally flowed. (Photo: Photosport)After being written off as the perennial early leaders/lame finishers of the HRV Twenty20, this summer the SKYCITY Northern Knights silenced the knockers and nailed the big one.  We backed up on consecutive nights at Seddon P...

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  • Video Blog: Meet Tim Seifert

    Meet one of ND's New Zealand Under-19 players, wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert. Tim is one of three ND players off to the ICC World Cup in early February, along with Kurtley Watson and Luke Williamson and of course head coach Grant Bradburn. 

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  • A Change Of Pace

    Trust. That's the key word as the SKYCITY Northern Knights transition from red ball to Twenty20 with just three days to switch cricket modes. As everyone knows, there is so, so much more to it than simply swapping the white gears for the pink: the rules, fields, mindset, pace, i...

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  • Test Week At Seddon

    How hot are these two right now? Boulty's career best blinder at the Basin last week - 10 wickets in the test - was a delicious entree to playing on his home turf at  Seddon this week to hopefully cement a fantastic ANZ International Series win for the Blackcaps. Obviously it's excit...

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  • Volts Unplugged At Cobham

    I'd quite like 10 cents for every person who commented that our round three Plunket Shield match in Whangarei was a strange little game.  For the first two days there was nothing to see but rain and the outfield was so soaked - with water seeping under the covers ...

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  • Big Win At Seddon

    After two rounds of Plunket Shield it's a healthy start for our new coach-captain combo of James Pamment and Daniel Flynn and team. Despite an initially bleak forecast for the four days of our most recent match - a massive weather front and thunder and rain predicted for all four day...

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  • Top Of The Table

    The SKYCITY Northern Knights have completed their pre-Christmas phase of the HRV Twenty20 exactly where they wanted to be: at the top of the HRV table after three solid wins from their opening four rounds. Even better - we got to overtake the defending champs in the process! But...

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  • Counting Down

    Spring Camp 2013 is at an end and tomorrow we name the first SKYCITY Northern Knights Plunket Shield squad of the season. The final week of preparations saw the wider ND/Knights squad focus on red ball preparations at the Mount, where the deck was in the batsmen's favour and the...

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  • NDTV IS BACK!

    We're back: welcome to the first NDTV video of the season. What's spring training camp all about for the SKYCITY Northern Knights? Here's a look behind the scenes as we hit our marks for summer.

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  • Northern Maori rock Rarotonga

    In the last few days we've had a few cricketers around Northern Districts (and beyond) with a serious dose of the post-tour blues. Northern Maori got back from their inaugural tour to the Cook Islands on the weekend and captain Leighton Parsons says the whole week was "magi...

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  • Exclusive: Chatting With New Blackcap Devvy!

    A week doesn't go by without more good news for the SKYCITY Northern Knights and yesterday we were all thoroughly rapt for Anton Devcich, who's received his maiden call-up to the Blackcaps' ODI and T20i squad for the upcoming tour to Bangladesh after great form on the NZA tour of India....

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  • We're The Blackcaps Factory

    The countdown has started, the pre-race manoeuvring has begun and, to borrow some more America's Cup parlance, it's a split start to our SKYCITY Northern Knights preseason this year.  A good bunch of the lads are looking forward to the first preseason camp in Whangarei earl...

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  • An Unlikely True Story

    There are times when you hear the words falling out of your mouth before you have a chance to catch them. Four little words, embedded with so much potential to bring me to rack and ruin, escaping from the zip-lock of sanity: "Why don't I play?" The last time I played a proper ga...

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  • DATES WITH THE KNIGHTS

    Hot off the press, here are the dates to make a date with the Knights this summer - plus, come what may, glorious Seddon Park will be hosting the HRV Twenty20 finals!SKYCITY NORTHERN KNIGHTS 2013/14 fixtures Oct 31-Nov 3, 10.30am, v Aces, Plunket Shield, Hamilton  Nov 9, 7....

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  • Exclusive NZA-Volts Video

    How good is it to be able to play a decent game of cricket outdoors in August?That's what was on the menu in Mount Maunganui this week as players from two  squads about to head off on big adventures - the Otago Volts, who are counting down to the Champions League; and the NZ A boys, who leav...

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  • Goff And We're Off

    Just a few days now until we announce the final few players to be offered SKYCITY Northern Knights contracts for the coming season. ND was the only Major Association to name just 11 players in the first round, so we have three names to announce this Friday. A number of...

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  • It's Captain Flynny

    The announcement of ND's first batch of contracts today came with a cherry on top: the very cool news that Daniel Flynn is stepping up to captain the SKYCITY Northern Knights this summer. Flynny has represented ND ever since he was starting out, is as solid as bedrock when it comes t...

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  • Skipping Away

    Mathew Sinclair has been a royal pain in the butt for most, if not all, of his cricket career. I say that on behalf of all bowlers. And fielders. For the last 18 seasons. You'd hate to count up the total hours that this lifelong Stag has occupied the crease.  Yesterday morn...

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  • Ash's Ashes

    Two days into The Ashes and it's already gone down in history. Nineteenyear-old spinner Ashton Agar's selection ("Takes us back to when the Kiwis played Dan Vettori," said Australian journo "Crash" Craddock of its boldness) was already a warm fuzzy story. Now he's been upgraded to fairy-tale...

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  • The Future Starts Now

    It's all happening this winter Wednesday. The New Zealand A team gets named with top news and a great tour coming up for five of our SKYCITY Northern Knights; Chris Martin retires; the NZ U-19s have had their first win on tour; Ashes fever is building; AND New Zealand is going to be hosting ...

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  • Midwinter Moving Time

    The shortest day has been and gone: we're officially counting down to next season now. And while the Blackcaps are winding down their tour in England on the playing field, behind the scenes the business of 2013/14 contracts is well underway. Next season's NZC contracts were...

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  • That's The Story Corey

    A game hasn't gone by on this Blackcaps' UK tour without a Knight making a big impact.  Deeply frustrating though it may be that the side has now been squeezed out of an erratic Champions Trophy (the first time in the last five World Cups/Champions Trophies that New Zealand hasn't be...

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  • Bye Bye B.A.

    The Year Of Humungous Change continues for ND today with the bittersweet news that we're bidding adieu to our Northern Districts Cricketer of the Year Brent Arnel.                          A solid servant for so many seasons...

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  • The Tim And Trent Show

    Nothing leaves a hollower feeling for a bowler than having a blinder with the ball and then seeing his batting guru team-mates drop like flies. The mood in the dressing room changes faster than Auckland weather and the advantage gained - both in the match scenario and confidence wi...

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  • Lord's, Leeds and a Laugh

    On account of our cricketing emotions having been to all sorts of extremes in the last few days (and some of us oldies still feeling well munted and sleep-deprived) here's an easy-going entrée to this week's Blackcaps bloggery. Yep. Sometimes you just have to laugh, which might...

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  • Congrats JP!

    Lord's fever is building steadily today with the showcase match of the Blackcaps' series in England set to begin tonight. Congratulations to our ND players Trent Boult, Kane Williamson, BJ Watling and Tim Southee, all of whom are in the XI.  Tim played at Lord's in 2008 - it was...

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  • Bring On Those Lions

    With the first test against England at Lord's drawing ever closer, we're sticking mainly with a Blackcaps theme this week.  The guys are about to play the England Lions in a four-day match, which Kane Williamson warns will be a step up compared to the three-dayer they comfortably won...

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  • London Calling

    I did laugh. The Blackcaps have arrived in England, and here they are at their first training in....team issue beanies. This is what 11 degrees Celsius at 9am in Derby looks like - good to see the team management was prepared. Nothing like a brisk start to wash off some jet...

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  • Women's Business

    Most of the time, media coverage of women's cricket is more splutter and puff than hiss and roar. It's covered as a sidebar to the men's game, if they've been lucky enough to make the papers and bulletins at all. The past week should have been one of those rare weeks (although, ...

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  • ND Awards Video Special

    Catch all the highlights from our 25th Northern Districts Annual Cricket Awards, hosted by SKYTV presenter Laura McGoldrick at SKYCITY Hamilton.

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  • Season Wrap And Party Time!

    This week it's the last act of the 2012/13 Northern Districts cricket season with our annual awards gala and, though neither the SKYCITY Northern Knights nor Northern Spirit managed to bag silverware this summer, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate. (This is our cue to say... go the Haw...

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  • Kia Kaha Jesse

    There was going to be a whole heap of cricket in this week's blog.  A tribute to James Marshall. A thank you to Grant Bradburn. Ford Trophy stats, our Final preview and the wash-up from our last game in Welly. A look back over highlights of the season. A dozen or so "wows" about...

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  • Back On The Horse

    After a brief interruption by those ratbag Stags and upstart Wizards, the SKYCITY Northern Knights have resumed their winning ways with a 92-run thumping of the Volts in the latest round of the Ford Trophy. This is very good, of course. Good because with two regular comp rounds remaining, o...

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  • A Match Like No Other

    The same day that drought was declared in Waikato, another one was broken at Seddon Park. After a list of batting and innings records as long as my arm, one stat that almost slipped under the radar on Wednesday was that Jamie How's magnificent 222 was his first Ford Trophy centu...

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  • NDTV With Daryl Mitchell

    With the SKYCITY Northern Knights unbeaten in the Ford Trophy, he's the player of the moment. Last summer Daryl Mitchell was the SKYCITY Northern Knights' Young Player of the Year. This season he's picked up right where he left off, having scored his maiden first-class century and averagi...

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  • Statistically Speaking: The Plunket Wrap

    Well that's that then. The strange feeling of the first-class cricket season being over in February and the doubly strange feeling of not having "Plunky" in all its intricate, silvery glory hanging on our boardroom wall.  Well done to new holders the Stags on an impres...

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  • NDTV: Meet Ish Sodhi

    Before the boys hit the road for their most recent Plunket Shield rounds we thought it was about time we introduced you properly to our hot young leggie Ish Sodhi. Twenty-year-old Ish joined the SKYCITY Northern Knights squad ahead of this summer after learning his cricket in Auckland and represe...

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  • NO DROUGHT AT SEDDON!

    They went 10 years without a Plunket Shield win at Seddon Park. Now there's been two in the space of two summers after the SKYCITY Northern Knights pummelled the injury-blighted Auckland Aces last week. I almost felt sorry for the Aces. So much so that I didn't call them the Stinky Ace...

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  • Our HRV Cup Wrap

    The wheels fell off our race car! That pretty much sums up the back end of the HRV Cup for the SKYCITY Northern Knights who are gutted to miss out on the finals this year. Although equal-third on the points table, the Auckland Aces - whose midseason form fell away...

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  • Video - Meet Steven Croft

    He's proved himself one of the best pros in the HRV Cup competition this summer and we've been delighted to have him in pink - with red shoes, of course. We caught up with "Crofty" - who made England's T20 World Championships wider squad last year - to find out a little more about his cri...

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  • Return Of The Tower

    Out of the blue and in the pink! Yep, a surprise twist - and very exciting news for the SKYCITY Northern Knights - as Daryl Tuffey steps back into the fray tonight to play for his old side in its hour of need. Former Blackcap "Tower" has been on loan to the Auckland Aces for the previous ...

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  • Video: Meet James Foster

    After playing on Boxing Day and New Year's Day, the SKYCITY Northern Knights finally had a few days to kick back and relax this week at sunny Mount Maunganui, ahead of this Sunday's key clash with the Auckland Aces.  The team's been relishing having not one but two top-drawer English...

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  • Interview With The Devi-Stator

    What can we say but - wow! Yesterday at Mount Maunganui Anton Devcich and Brad Wilson utterly pulverised the old Northern Districts T20 partnership record as they plundered a beautiful 165 runs in their opening stand. It was a devastating reply to a more than handy effort by the Firebirds...

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  • A 2012 Video Medley

    We couldn't let 2013 debut without taking a backward glance back over the season to date. While the first Plunket Shield win took its time coming (but hey, it was one worth waiting for) the SKYCITY Northern Knights have had a tremendous start to the HRV Cup and finished 2012 on ...

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  • T20 - SKYCITY Knights v Aces

    Arch rivals in New Zealand domestic cricket as two of the most organised teams around, the SKYCITY Northern Knights and Auckland Aces nevertheless actually help each other. Yes, strange but true - we even talk to the stinky Aces, sometimes!Here's highlights of our T20 match with the defending HRV...

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  • Tim For A Ton!

    The neighbours were hanging out the washing while Tim Southee was scoring his maiden first-class century at Karori Park. Not quite Lord's, it’s likely Tim's ton is the most showstopping innings ever to have been played at the sweet little suburban venue.  In all honesty a...

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  • Tim Southee Interview

    The HRV Cup competition-leading SKYCITY Northern Knights are fortunate enough to have some of their star Blackcaps back for both the fourth round HRV Cup match tonight versus the Otago Volts AND the Plunket Shield round in Wellington this coming week - so we grabbed the chance to catch up...

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  • Congratulations Cozza!

    At 21 Corey Anderson has today been named in the Blackcaps' Twenty20 side to South Africa. He's a bolter and we're thrilled for him, because even in the short home summer so far our skilful young all-round leftie been going from strength to strength. He may have played only 18 HRV Cup ga...

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  • Opening Up: Joey Yovich

    Now you wouldn't have called this one. Top of the HRV Cup - unbeaten, leading the field by a country mile - and bottom of the Plunket Shield table as the only team yet to get a win. It's certainly been a frustrating start to the cricket season for the defending Plunket Shield ch...

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  • Scott Styris - Captain's Interview

    The SKYCITY Northern Knights are two from two heading into tomorrow night's HRV Cup clash with the Canterbury Wizards - the third of four home games on a roll. This week we go inside the Knights' camp with Scott to talk about what's behind the team's flying start and how he an...

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  • Daz's Day

    Before I get onto the subject, let me first change the subject. Take a look at this:  HRV Cup Twenty20 Points Table Place Team Played Won Lost No-Result Abandoned Total Points Net Run Rate 1 SKYCITY Northern Knights 1 1 0 0 0 4 1.200 2 Auckland Aces 1 1 0 0 0 4 1.016 ...

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  • Handled Ball - The Video

    Remarkably, within the space of three weeks we've seen two rare "handled ball" dismissals in New Zealand domestic cricket. Yesterday, 20-year-old Canterbury debutant Will Williams was dismissed handled ball by the Otago Volts in their tense Plunket Shield match in Dunedin. Apparently Willi...

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  • On Toughness & Tailenders

    Blessed are the tailenders, for they shall do the dirty work.  You won't officially find that line in Don Bradman's How To Play Cricket, but you know what I'm talking about. It's a rough life being a bowler, sometimes. You bust your boiler trying to take wickets, the other team...

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  • Tons of Class

    One of my favourite all-time cricket matches was a draw. New Zealand versus Australia, one-off test match at the WACA, 1989. You could count the Kiwi spectators who were there on your hand, but those of us who were can, to this day, recount what happened on each of the five day...

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  • Cricket In The Hood

    If you've been in Hamilton over the last few days chances are you've tripped over a sportsperson. They're everywhere. One moment I spotted the beautiful Laura Langman gliding through Centre Place mall, next minute one of my fave South African kiwis Leana de Bruin came strolling by. Congratula...

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  • Knights T20 Video Special

    The teams south of the border are all underway in the Plunket Shield and it's been a cracker start to the domestic season. Jesse Ryder has continued the hot form he showed against the Knights in our practice T20, cracking a ballistic ton off 101 balls against the Dirty Stags. Craig Cacho...

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  • Lights, Camera, Action!

    Not long to go now. Club cricket is already underway and so is the Northern Knights' build-up to their HRV Cup opener under lights in Hamilton next week. So today we've got a trio of videos to show you what the team gets up to as they count down to the bizzo. First up is some exclusive a...

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  • NZC Awards Dinner (with pics)

    From Martin Crowe's lymphoma diagnosis to the Stinky Aces over there in South Africa doing a great job of representing New Zealand at the Champions League, along with Justin Bieber, it's been an eventful week for New Zealand cricket - topped off last night by the 2012 ANZ New Zealand Cri...

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  • Karapiro Capers

    It's the first week of the Northern Knights' 2012 spring camp when the guys come together for the season for the first time - a time to bond as a team through fresh challenges and adventure. And just look what happened when they tried their hand at rowing!!

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  • Brisbane Heat

    There must be something magic about maroon and gold because it's tops on both sides of the Tasman. Just as the Northern Knights are the Plunket Shield defenders here in New Zealand, the Queensland Bulls are the reigning Aussie four-day champs. That's meant a meeting of the m...

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  • Power Pros

    Ever since I found out who the Northern Knights had scored as overseas pros for this season's HRV Cup, I've been bursting my boiler to tell someone. So what a relief, now that it's out in the open! It speaks volumes that both Steven Croft and James "Fozzie" Foster have collected big acco...

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  • Brad Wilson Video Interview

    Any week the Blackcaps beat India by one run is a good week to be a New Zealand cricket supporter. And as our international players start the final countdown now to the T20 world champs in Sri Lanka, our domestic stars are counting down to the start of the home season, just six weeks away. So thi...

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  • Springing Into Action!

    After the wettest winter ever (we're not kidding - it's official), sitting in the sunshine at Blake Park in Mount Maunganui watching cricket yesterday was FAN-TAS-TIC! Haha. That's Anton Devcich and Jimmy Baker, just in case you couldn't pick it. OK, it's spring - so five ...

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  • From Cricket To Business

    A few weeks back you may have seen that I was blogging about Dion Nash's Triumph & Disaster men's skincare start-up - and, before that, about Maori in the history of New Zealand cricket. While I was in the process of researching those pieces, Dion had mentioned to me that his and Ada...

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  • Who Do We Rate?

    This week in the Pink Report I thought I'd do a highly scientific statistical analysis of the best players currently in New Zealand and international cricket. But that sounded like way too much work, so instead I just asked the players. Tee hee! Now seriously. Well, sort of seriously. We...

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  • Coming Soon!

    And now for something completely different. The Olympics sportsfest is over and some of us are in withdrawal, so it's back to pouring over cricket and rugby for us. I did think the Olympics was exceptionally well-timed, coinciding with the latter stages of the Blackcaps' West Indies tour ...

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  • A Good Score

    Instinct says Ish Sodhi is a good player just waiting to happen. The 19-year-old is in Queensland at the moment as a member of the New Zealand Under-19s, playing one-dayers at the Under-19 World Cup - having cruised into the Auckland Under-17s, Under-18s and Under-19s as that rare find: a ta...

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  • On Triumphs & Disasters

    Welcome to the weekly blog where we don't talk about the West Indies tour. Oops. Oh well, seeings as I mentioned it, one last test remains in the ill-fated your in which to come up with the goods to bid a better farewell to outgoing coach John Wright. You've got to hope that the Bl...

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  • Adieu Pete!

    Trust Scott Styris to go and upstage his old comrade in pink, Peter McGlashan. Here was I all geared up to dedicate this week's space to a retrospective of newly-retired Pete's career and then Scotty goes and blasts the third-fastest (equal) century in T20 history. Well they say timing is ev...

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  • Wanna Play, RoboBowler?

    Kaitaia, the Wahine disaster and international cricket umpiring. What do they all have in common? Well, the question should really be who do they have in common - and the answer is Doug Cowie. Former ICC umpire Doug began his cricketing life in Northland. Before he made his name as an umpir...

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  • Thunder In Basseterre

    Finally it's safe to turn the television back on. It may have taken five matches, but New Zealand has got on the board against the West Indies with a win in St Kitts - and a rollicking good one at that, even after losing the toss. Hallelujah! Clearly it's what happens when you put five Ya...

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  • Welcome Captain Nossy

    I was talking to All Black Conrad Smith last week and we were having a chat about jet lag and training and whether it might be more of a factor now that Argentina is in the southern hemisphere's Rugby Championship. In my experience I've always found 'going against the sun' feels worse tha...

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  • A Maori Mystery

    "Father unknown". Two words on a 19th-century birth certificate that may have changed the course of New Zealand cricket history.  Earlier this year, when Northern Maori (Northern Districts' official Maori representative side) was preparing for its second season, I did some digging a...

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  • In Our Hearts

    Last week in this blog we were taking a look at what former England and Northern Districts player Matthew Maynard is up to these days. This week, so very sadly, we're back here extending our condolences to Matt and his wife Sue and family after 23-year-old son Tom died in a tragic train station a...

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  • iPod Idol

    Lou Vincent has never played for Northern Districts, but he's the kind of fellow who's always welcome in the opposition's shed after a game and very good mates with some of our players. Except now he might be patted down for any iPod or recording equipment before gaining entry. If you're not hook...

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  • Windies Countdown

    With the weather getting rather chilly and grey around the hood, it's round about now that I always start to feel a little envious of those talented fellas who have scored themselves County contracts. Then again, it is an English summer we're talking about there … and I'm rel...

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  • Home And Away

    Winter may be setting in here in the ND heartland, but already preps are being put in place for the next summer. New Zealand Cricket's contracted players for 2012/13 is expected to be announced in early July, and once that's finalised, each association's attention turns to finalisin...

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  • Go Kane Go

    Ask Kane Williamson what's going on in his cricketing life and you'll get lots of self-deprecating answers about still trying to learn as much as he can and get used to batting in different conditions. But if the mark of a premier batsman is scoring hundreds regularly at all levels, he&...

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  • Old Gold

    It’s been a big week at Northern Districts’ Seddon Park headquarters with the departure of an old friend. There’s now a strange new view, a hole where the old wooden scoreboard used to preside at Seddon Park. Quite a big hole, because it was quite a big scoreboard. It ...

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  • On Squads & Surprises

    Even with the long-awaited announcement today of the Blackcaps squad that will tour the West Indies - and with it the even longer-awaited selection of Neil Wagner, New Zealand cricket news this week has been hugely dominated by John Wright’s decision not to carry on as the national head c...

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  • Joe Carter Interview

    Playing in the ICC Under-19 World Cup is a high note in any young cricketer's career and, after the recent quad series against England, Australia and India in Queensland, two Northern Districts players have excitingly made the cut for the "young Blackcaps" squad that will contest ...

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  • Averagely Speaking

    If you're one of those people who back a champion team over a team full of champions, you'll probably be confused by the 2012 season's first-class averages. The names of a bunch of our Yahoo!NZ Northern Knights players feature at the right end of the tables, although ND wasn'...

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  • And The Winners Are…

    We love awards season. Northern Districts Cricket was first off the blocks this year in announcing their cricketer of the year and other player awards, the Yahoo!NZ Northern Knights heading direct from their last day's play in Napier to Hamilton for the following night's season gongs. &...

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  • Daniel Flynn Video Interview

    What a surreal - and exciting - cricket season it was for batsman Daniel Flynn. From the lows of injury, dashed hopes and surgery, to the highs of three-peat hundreds and getting back into the Blackcaps, Flynny experienced it all in 2011/12. We caught up with him at season's end for a ch...

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  • Video Special: Awards Night 2012

    Kick back and relax with us as the Pink Report celebrates Brent Arnel's vintage season and winning form at Northern Districts' biggest night of the year!

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  • We Are The Champions

    Celebration time is here! The cricket season is over for another summer and the toughest and most beautiful trophy of them all to win is back at Northern Districts' headquarters after going on loan to Canterbury for just a wee sabbatical, it turned out. Congratulations to Yahoo!NZ Northern ...

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  • Go The Knights!

    Nelson Park in Napier is where I first went along to watch a first-class cricket match many thousands of moons ago. Indeed it was so long ago that Ewen Chatfield was playing and I was the only spectator there at the ground that’s largely featureless except for an impressive row of century...

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  • Meet Joe Walker

    Joe Walker is a young man going places fast. He's turning heads with his ability to turn the ball - and is making a habit of popping up for the Yahoo!NZ Northern Knights at the business end of the season. The talented offspinner's first-class debut last summer came when he was jus...

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  • To Napier We Go

    I hope the folks at Canterbury Cricket have done a nice job of packaging up the Plunket Shield, and have addressed it to c/- ND, McLean Park. Only three teams remain in the hunt for the 2012 Plunket Shield title as we head into the final round this Sunday, but the Yahoo!NZ Northern Knights a...

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  • A Show For Rotorua

    Cricket and feijoas are not normally two things that occur side by side. But go check out your local feijoa tree: they're supposed to fruit in May, but the green grenades are dropping six weeks early. Just more proof, as if we needed it, that this has been a cruddy, wet and weird summer wea...

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  • In Like Flynn

    Yes, it was a line too good not to use. Thrillingly our very own Daniel Flynn has got a recall to the Blackcaps for the third test, and we're all over the moon for him. After his record-beating feats for the Yahoo!NZ Northern Knights last season, Flynny was poised for just such a recall ...

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  • Oh The Drama!

    Now who would have thought? For the second week in a row, the Yahoo! NZ Northern Knights find themselves preparing for a top-of-the-table clash in their Plunket Shield match. Only now, thanks to the drama of the last round, it's a different bunch of fired-up blokes on their tail. Last we...

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  • Long Live The King

    I bet you didn't know it's the king's birthday: Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards turns a grand 60 today.                                 &...

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  • Plunket Points

    My keen mind detects the advent of a severe gale-force storm and Round 7 of the Plunket Shield is not a good combination! The matches around the country start today, with the Yahoo!NZ Northern Knights batting first and hoping to defend their Seddon Park headquarters in Hamilton against the i...

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  • Rangiora Rumble

    The victory train is well and truly rolling now with back-to-back outrights for the Yahoo!NZ Northern Knights. It wasn't quite a complete domination of the cellar-dweller Canterbury Wizards in Rangiora. Particularly, the batting in the first innings was marred by poor shot selection. Sti...

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  • Battered & Bruised

    What a hideous position Tim Southee found himself in last night: coming in tasked with hitting a six off the last ball to win a match and series for his team and country. Ordinarily you'd think that would be an exciting position to be in, but the mood of the match and players around him had...

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  • Gisborne Gains

    There was tension. There was drama. But in the end the Yahoo!NZ Northern Knights completed the perfect script to keep their hold as leaders of the Plunket Shield points race. The tension and drama came in two forms. First, there was the weather. Yes, apparently even in "sunny Gisborne&q...

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  • Happy Days

    When the Plunket Shield starts up again tomorrow, the order of the universe will at last be back to normal. The Yahoo!NZ Northern Knights will once again be playing in a competition in which they're on top, and us plebs will once again be able to listen to live audio commentary of first-cla...

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  • Hawke Cup Runs Over

    Hamilton's brilliant defence of the Hawke Cup on the weekend was one for the books. Talk about overachieving. The team played outstandingly well at Galloway Park, not so much crushing Wairarapa's spirits as digging a large hangi pit in the middle of the wicket and feasting on the scr...

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  • Yo! What's Happening?

    With an annoyingly long 15-day break between the end of the Yahoo!NZ Northern Knights' Ford Trophy campaign and the resumption of the Plunket Shield, you might be forgiven for thinking it's gone all quiet on the northern front. Not quite. To bring you up with the play, by way of some...

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  • History At Cobham

    For the thousands of people who turned up in slightly iffy weather at Whangarei's Cobham Oval yesterday, there was more than a chance to be part of history. The one-dayer between the Blackcaps and Zimbabwe was the first ever international cricket match played in Whangarei of course, but ...

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  • Ford Focus

    If nothing else, the Yahoo!NZ Northern Knights went out on a high. They were untroubled in their defeat of the Canterbury Wizards - a finalist in the impending playoffs - after winning the toss and bowling first yesterday in Rangiora. It started off as a field day for spinner Jono Boult, who...

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  • Ton At The Tron

    Hamilton cricket supporters should have been feeling quite spoilt on Sunday. Not only did the strong Hamilton rep side retain the Hawke Cup over at Galloway Park, but home-town Knight Anton Devcich blasted his maiden one-day century for ND: an unbeaten and gutsy 101 at virtually run-a-ball pace...

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  • A Minor Disaster

    I'm beginning to wonder if there's something in the water at Colin Maiden Park. A malevolent taniwha lurking in the pipes below the visitor's changing room, who stirs and gets antsy when he catches the whiff of maroon and gold gear bags. Yesterday's drubbing by the Aces was a...

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  • The Bronze Medal

    Yep, it's the one no one really wants. But even after last night's loss to an electric Brendon McCullum and his Volts team, the Yahoo!NZ Northern Knights can at least console themselves that they finished in the top three for the 2012 HRV Cup. That's an improvement on the fourth ...

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  • Next!!

    I have a sneaky feeling these are the hardest games of all. You know what I'm talking about: the Yahoo!NZ Northern Knights playing their round 10 HRV Cup match this week against the Volts knowing they are without a shot at the finals.  The two 2012 finalists, the defending champions ...

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  • Points & Permutations

    With a heading like that, it feels rather like I'm about to write a Jane Austen novel. But since we're not in early nineteenth century rural Hampshire, I'll stick to the knitting: a quick run-down of what needs to happen for the Yahoo!NZ Northern Knights to make the 2012 HRV Cup fin...

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  • Dan Vettori Interview

    "Our man Dan" has been a busy bee travelling between the HRV Cup campaign here in New Zealand and Australia's Big Bash T20 comp where he represents the Brisbane Heat as an overseas player. We chatted to Dan at the Mount yesterday about the logistics of playing in two countries ...

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  • Mount To Climb

    Hands up who woke up this morning feeling brighter about the HRV Cup? For a start, we had a match yesterday at the Mount in a La Niña season that didn't involve a single drop of rain. Yesss! Not only that, but the Yahoo!NZ Northern Knights thrashed one of the form sides in the comp s...

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  • Meet Brett Hampton

    With a bunch of home games coming up at Mount Maunganui, we thought it only fitting that we should introduce you to one of Bay of Plenty's finest: big-hitting Brett Hampton. Talented all-round sportsman Brett was brought into the Yahoo! Northern Knights' squad for the earlier HRV Cup ma...

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  • Southern Discomfort

    Someone needs to sort out these mugginses at New Zealand Cricket in time for next summer. The scheduling this season has proved highly contentious. They must know by now that if they schedule Twenty20 games for the New Year, a cyclone or storm front will appear, and it will rain. When they sit ...

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  • Blasting Off

    What a difference a week makes. There we were fretting about our limited fortunes in the Ford Trophy campaign, the top start to the Plunket Shield suddenly tempered by being winless and dead last on the one-day points table after four rounds. But there’s plenty of hope to be taken from th...

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  • Meet Daryl Mitchell

        This is the third in our series of intrepid video interviews in which we profile exciting young players stepping up to the Yahoo!NZ Northern Knights for the first time this season.  Although based in Perth in recent years, where his father John was coaching the Western ...

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  • Corey’s 21st Bash

    After an incredible week for New Zealand test cricket and a flourish in the Ford Trophy, there are a few things worth wrapping up before we turn pink at the HRV Cup tomorrow. Wednesday’s away match at the Basin Reserve was the last Ford Trophy match for a month and a half: the competit...

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  • Meet Anurag Verma

    I'm not publishing the Ford Trophy points table in this week's column because I don't like it. Yay for video cameras (even when their microphones misbehave towards the end and randomly drop their sound levels…) and for really interesting video interviews in which one of our t...

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  • Five To Go

    Which is another way of saying the all-too-short prelim phase of the Ford Trophy is nearly halfway gone… and the Yahoo!NZ Northern Knights are keen to start winning!  The contrast between the team's Plunket Shield and one-day fortunes couldn't be more stark: top of the fou...

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  • G Whizz

    A flurry of milestones has gone toppling all at once for evergreen Graeme Aldridge. One minute the 34-year-old mainstay of the Yahoo!NZ Northern Knights’ bowling attack was playing his 100th one-day game for the Knights; the next he was taking his career best first-class figures and knock...

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  • Hoodoo Gurus

    Well they do say good things take time. It may have been almost a decade (that’s 20 home games) since the Yahoo!NZ Northern Knights last won a first-class match at Seddon Park, but now that the spell is broken, the guys can revel in a satiating victory. Not only was the win a right whal...

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  • Meet Mitchell Santner

        Mitchell Santner, our left-arm orthodox spinner from Hamilton, is the youngest face in the Yahoo!NZ Northern Knights squad this season. After being included in the twelve for the opening rounds, 19-year-old Mitchell made his first-class debut in round three in Dunedin against ...

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  • Changing Gears

        Nobody tell Joey Yovich that gales are forecast today in Dunedin. It could tip him over the edge. I certainly sympathise, because there’s only so much gusty wind, bitter cold and ugly rain that us warm-blooded Northerners generally care for. I have it on good authority t...

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  • Cold Comfort

        Yay! After the Wizards-Aces game fizzled to a dull old draw in the only match to last four days, the Yahoo!NZ Northern Knights have vaulted to the top of the points table after two rounds of the Plunket Shield.    This week the team is chilling out (literally, we...

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  • As Good As It Gets

    What a brilliant, positive week it’s been for the Yahoo!NZ Northern Knights. • The team has become the first to chalk up the maximum 20 points from a match under New Zealand Cricket’s new points system; • Kane Williamson has set a new record individual score; • ...

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  • Points And Order

    Thanks to the ever-helpful Ellery at New Zealand Cricket, this week I’ve got my pink mitts on a shiny new copy of NZC’s Playing Conditions. Ninety-two pages of cricketing nitty-gritty. Bliss! It’s coming in handy already as I try to get my head (which is generally a calculus- ...

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  • Bounty For Boulty

    As Trent Boult sat back reflecting in the changing rooms at Cobham Oval after the opening day of the 2011/12 season, he thought to himself that it couldn’t have got off to a better start. Trent’s 5-48 - he got McIntosh, Cachopa, de Grandhomme, Bruce Martin and Andre Adams - was the ...

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  • Video Report: Corey Anderson

    Yes, I've gone multimedia! Meet new Yahoo!NZ Northern Knight Corey Anderson and get the skinny on the fast-moving, swinging, seaming battle between the guys and the Auckland Aces at Cobham Oval.

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  • Great Expectations

    Here at last! The 2011/12 New Zealand cricket season is underway today with round one of the Plunket Shield. We’re in Whangarei, the Aces have come to play and the Yahoo!NZ Northern Knights are thoroughly amped and ready to rumble. After the heartbreaking finish to last season (in with...

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  • Radio Goo Goo

    I’m back, and not a moment too soon. I put my pink pen down for a wee while, turn my back and look what happens: dingbat people tampering with the very essence of our summers. If you haven’t caught up with the news - and heaven knows Radio Sport didn’t go bellowing it from ...

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  • Catching Up With Kane

    A big moment is coming up for Kane Williamson tonight as he finally steps out in his first-class county debut for Gloucestershire. Finally? What on earth do I mean, you ask?? Our Nossy’s only 20 - that’s making good time to be signed up as an overseas pro by an English county! In...

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  • The Pink Meanie Quiz

    Time to test your Northern Districts cricket knowledge with a bunch of obscure questions that I’ve been collecting and saving up all summer. I’ll be secretly impressed if you get even one in four correct, the rest you can count as educational! Watch out for my trick questions, I don...

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  • The Jason Uden Awards

    Any of you who don’t know who Jason Uden is either haven’t been to too many Northern Districts games or don’t listen to Radio Sport. A first-class barracker and the team’s greatest supporter with the tattoo to prove it, Jason and his fellow agrarian mates were quite unmi...

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  • Some Season Stats

    When the Northern Districts cricket family gathered for its 2010/11 awards night a week ago, there was time to pause and reflect that, while neither the flagship Yahoo!Xtra Northern Knights nor the youngish, work-in-progress Northern Spirit side bagged any silverware this season, the summer sti...

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  • Celebrating The G Force

      Two words you often hear when people talk about Graeme Aldridge are ‘heart’ and ‘consistency’. As of Friday evening, you can also add the words, ‘2011 Northern Districts Cricketer of the Year’. Graeme’s ability to front up game after game and...

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  • Farewell Sweet Shield

    And so the rainy rollercoaster that was the 2010/11 season ends with no trophies in the Yahoo!Xtra Northern Knights’ hands - but crikey, the final few days were packed with more intrigue than a whodunnit bestseller. Let’s start with those desperado Stags in Napier. They knew they...

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  • A Battle Or Two

    On Friday I shot up to Whangarei for Northland Cricket’s season celebration and awards evening. Guest speaker was President of New Zealand Cricket Denis Currie who delighted the room by confirming that he’s keen to see Cobham Oval become a test ground later this year. Currie will ta...

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  • Flynntastic

    Was it the most devastating hour of batting yet seen in a bona fide session of the Plunket Shield? That is to say, against proper bowling: not counting those occasional silly sessions when teams dish up full tosses and baptise card-carrying batsmen as bowlers in order to contrive a declaration....

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  • Message from the Bridge

    Eight days of good cricket. Twenty-four sessions. That’s what it’s come down to as the Yahoo!Xtra Northern Knights look to define their 2011 season with the Plunket Shield. Retain the first-class silverware for an impressive third summer in a row and all their frustrations from the ...

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  • Mud And (No) Glory

    We came. We saw. We didn’t conquer. We did do an awful lot of sitting around - and got to see a few of the sights of West Quay and the country’s deco capital. The Yahoo!Xtra Northern Knights had an unscheduled break in Napier this past week, but with just two rounds to go and a l...

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  • Northern Maori Represent!

    This Thursday in Hamilton Northern Districts Cricket is planting a seed. For the first time an official Northern Maori team will come together to play cricket and the hope and intention is that it’s the beginning of something much bigger nationally. Run your eye through the squad (belo...

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  • Glitter In The Gloom

    Last Wednesday, the biggest thing on James Baker’s mind was playing for Hamilton. His six-foot-four frame curled over his desk in Mainfreight’s Hamilton office as he checked off his last few tasks ahead of the impending trip down to Blenheim, to Horton Park where they’d meet C...

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  • A Seddon Synopsis

    It’s the morning of the third day here at Seddon Park in the Yahoo!Xtra Northern Knights’ pivotal match against the Auckland Aces. The cicadas are already burring like little buzz-saws in the trees up on the bank and as the sun streams down the guys are out there playing their high-...

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  • Thinking Big

    All afternoon, I kept looking at the scoreboard. I kept photographing the scoreboard. I had some more coffee and rubbed my eyes, but no, it really wasn’t a trick of the light. Those numbers were beaming bright in the afternoon sun. On the country’s biggest first-class ground, BJ Wat...

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  • The Turfectionist

    On the sliding scale of mind-numbing chores, rolling a cricket pitch is up there with doing the vacuuming. Important, yes. Must be done, yes. Gets results. But not exactly cerebrally stimulating. The motorised roller inches its way to one end of the block, slow as a snail - and we’re t...

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  • Gone Fishing

    A couple of weeks ago Jacob Oram emailed me from India, just after the BLACKCAPS had played their World Cup warm-up against Ireland. “Probably the best 'minnow' I have played against,” Jake wrote. “It would not surprise me if they knocked over a bigger team in their gr...

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  • Surrealism City

    Trust me, from the parallel universe of Auckland it still feels weird to be talking about cricket when there’s a massive relief effort going on in Canterbury. In the pavilion at Colin Maiden Park the earthquake aftermath news coverage was kept on throughout the match between the Aces and ...

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  • It’s Not About The Cricket

    Tonight at Seddon Park in Hamilton there’s going to be a cricket match and behind the scenes there’s a phalanx of organising types who have been wondering if they’ve done the right thing by going ahead. Needless to say, down in Canterbury the Wizards aren’t meeting th...

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  • Northern Exposure

    There was a Northern Districts wicketkeeper (I shan’t say whom) whose language and commentary behind the stumps earned him the nickname “Filth” from his opponents. Loveliest, most polite fellow you could possibly meet at any other time, but once he crossed the boundary rope it...

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  • It’s Moments Like These

    Being of unspeakable age these days, most of my contemporary female mates are going through that phase where they’re bringing up small children. I’ve noticed a distinct disparity, arising from the lottery of life, whereby my friends bringing up little girls have all kept a good gras...

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  • New Stars Rising?

    When the Northern Districts selectors named their squad for the resumption of the Plunket Shield in Whangarei this week, there were a whopping six changes from the Yahoo!Xtra Northern Knights team that played the last first-class game at the same ground in November. To recap, that Plunket Sh...

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  • Game Over

    There’s a little gap in the mountains surrounding the Queenstown Events Centre and through it the hardcore that turned up for the 2011 semi-final playoff between the Volts and the Yahoo!Xtra Northern Knights could spot the next wave of low grey clouds marching in. Five minutes’ noti...

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  • A Quest In Queenstown

    In 2007 I travelled with the All Blacks at the Rugby World Cup. Sitting in on team meetings and even a selectors’ meeting as they picked their test team, over the five weeks it was an extraordinary opportunity to understand how high profile players worked behind otherwise closed doors, an...

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  • Just Timing Our Run!

    It’s all on now. After a rare tie in Whangarei against the Volts last week and an equally frustrating loss away to the Firebirds, the Yahoo!Xtra Northern Knights find themselves in a must-win situation for their final round match against the Stags in Whangarei this Wednesday. The men&r...

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  • Heart and Soul

    Being a journalist, it’s hard to keep me away from a free lunch, which is what I’m doing in Whangarei. Lou, the professional caterer at Cobham Oval, does the best cricket lunches in the country. There’s even ice cream for dessert, just like they used to have last century at Se...

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  • When Silly Points Matter

    There’s nothing like a quick overseas jaunt to freshen up your cricket season. Oh all right, Invercargill isn’t really foreign. But after weeks of steamy 30 degree heat in the north, landing in a place where the overnight temperature dropped to single figures, the daytime high wasn&...

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  • Groundhog Day In Whangarei

    Heavens to Betsy, I’m not sure my frail constitution can take many more of these one-day games. Tight finishes every match is doing quite unnatural things to my cardiac rhythms. And as for Bradley Scott, the poor fellow is hallucinating. He had a strange feeling of déjà vu, ...

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  • Take That, Stags!

    The morning after the win, the Achilles tendons were as rigid as railway tracks, the back creaked out of bed like some storm-splintered sea mast and a double shot of caffeine was required intravenously. And I wasn’t even playing. This summer the only men’s domestic one-day match ...

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  • Straight Old Line

    The crazy little win over the Auckland Aces on Sunday was a great lesson in never giving in. I have to admit that for most of the match, I thought the fellas had blown it. The Aces have a straightforward bowling plan based around internationals Kyle Mills and Daryl Tuffey, with Michael Bates...

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  • ALL IN THE FAMILY

    What a pretty sight it is at Seddon Park today for the second day of the National Bank Test with Pakistan. The sun’s beating down at 30 degrees and the banks are speckled with twirly bright sun umbrellas. Spectators of the day award, however, goes to the two guys who brought along an infl...

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  • All Weather Hero

    Cricket groundsmen are men’s men, and I’m not just talking about the barbecue and cold beers you might spy in the groundsman’s nook at Seddon Park. Karl Johnson, whose official title is Turf Manager, Waikato Stadium and Seddon Park, and whose ubiquitous informal title is ...

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  • Momentummed Out

    If there’s one word I’m sick of hearing at the moment, it’s ‘momentum’. It’s become a buzz word and I think it needs to buzz off. My beef with it is that sometimes it’s used as a euphemism for performance. If you play to your potential, your innings or ...

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  • Just Chillin’ With Herschelle

    OK, so it’s down to the wire. Hold onto your most optimistic hopes for the Yahoo!Xtra Northern Knights tomorrow in Christchurch that the rain shoos and they can get back to that winning feeling and reel home a big one to make that final. If the Aces could do us a favour and thump the Stag...

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  • Wright Stuff

    Pukekura Park is an absolutely lovely cricket ground when you’re not being humiliated in the middle of it. Thursday evening’s batting collapse against The Nemesis illustrated that even in Twenty20 cricket, sometimes you have to change down and travel at a speed befitting the conditi...

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  • Rain & Other Four Letter Words

    Mushrooms. Thousands of toxic, pointy little mushrooms, poking up over the newly-washed grass like fairy umbrellas. My keen mind detected this was not a good sign at a cricket ground. Neither was the endless yellow and blue blob on the Metservice rain radar right where the North Island used to ...

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  • Bringing Home The Bacon

    Pop polls around the place have been inviting cricket fans to vote on which HRV Cup side signed the best overseas players. Every one I’ve seen has been a no-contest win to Northern Districts, and with South African Herschelle Gibbs jetting in this week the star factor has just shot even h...

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  • Pete Powers Up

    A few weeks ago, Peter McGlashan had every right to be peeved off. Like the rest of the Yahoo!Xtra Northern Knights, he’d been in tiptop shape heading into this season after the squad collectively took their fitness to a new level during the off-season - which is saying something because ...

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  • Electric Knights In Oamaru

    Twenty20 is supposedly a batsman’s game where bowlers just can’t win, but in discharging the Volts by nine wickets, the Yahoo!Xtra Northern Knights showed the value of tight line and length even in this amped-up form of the game. Everything should have been in the Volts’ fa...

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  • Real Pros

    How good are those Aussies? No, no, no, not the Ashes team (er, definitely not the Ashes team at the moment... and far be it for us Kiwis to poke fun at their struggles). I’m talking about the ones fronting for the Yahoo!Xtra Northern Knights. David Hussey and Brad Hodge have made the ...

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  • Stags’ Night - Again

    I’ve been thinking all day about how to avoid writing about the cricket. Quite tricky, given this is a cricket column. It’s not the Seddon Park result that’s got me ducking, but the fact I didn’t see the game myself, having been winging my way back to New Zealand at the ...

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  • It’s Pink Time!

    There’s only one colour to be seen in this Thursday night in Hamilton and I reckon a few fellas might even be sneakily excited about dusting off the pink paraphernalia that’s been stored away in the wardrobe awaiting the return of the HRV Cup. If there was one remark I kept heari...

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  • A Week Of It

    In the context of New Zealand’s mining tragedy this hardly seems a week to be getting too upset about the cricket. Friends of mine come from Huntly coal mining families and I know their thoughts have been constantly with West Coasters, rather than trained on the happenings at Cobham Oval....

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  • Plunket Points Race

    It’s hard to believe the first phase of the Plunket Shield campaign is already almost complete. Round three this week is our last feed of four-day cricket until mid-February no less; in the interim all the teams will switch their focus to the white ball in the HRV Cup and national men&rsq...

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  • Landslide At The Basin

    The first outright victory of the season is on the board for the Northern Knights after a demolition job on Wellington’s shaky-looking line-up. The Firebirds finished last in the Plunket Shield and men’s one-day comp earlier this year, and second to last in the HRV Cup, which can&rs...

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  • 100 Positives For Joey

    I think we should clone Joey Yovich. At the very least, he should donate a cheek-swab of his DNA to sports science for genetic research. We need to know how a medium-fast pace bowler can play forever without missing a single game through wear and tear. It’s a very proud occasion for Jo...

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  • Gladness and Sadness

    According to all pedants in the world, we’re still in spring. Summer opens on December 1, and officially this brilliantly sunshiney weather coating the country is just the dress rehearsal. I’m not having a bar of it. The cicadas have hatched and started purring, tiny mantises are sc...

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  • Kane’s A Rockstar

    A long time ago at a cricket ground far, far away (OK, Napier), I was one of the last two people lingering in a grandstand after the final day’s play at a test match between India and New Zealand. The other was a 16-year-old Sachin Tendulkar. He’d left the Indian dressing room to fi...

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  • A Knight In Hong Kong

    News that Scott Styris is to lead the New Zealand team at the Hong Kong Cricket Sixes this weekend reminded me that this boutique little tournament on the international calendar is still going strong. If you’re still adjusting your set to the speed and ballistics of Twenty20 cricket, you ...

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  • Review of 2009/10

    With a shot at three national trophies last summer, the Northern Knights bagged two of them. Two out of three ain’t bad and the team and coaching staff can be proud of dominating so many matches with a strong, balanced and feisty team. The side was defending its title in the New Zealand...

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