Monday, October 28, 2013

Mathew Sinclair retirement ode

This year saw the retirement of New Zealand and Central Districts batsman Mathew Sinclair.
He was a favourite player of mine who I was sad to see become an under-achiever at international level. Many good first class players have gone that way, but he could always plunder runs at first class level.
I can recall others like Sanjay Manjrekar for India, Allan Lamb, Mark Ramprakash and Graeme Hick for England or a number of West Indians like Ramnaresh Sarwan.
Sinclair was a New Zealand equivalent of these players, so he is in good company you could say.
Sinclair scored two double Test hundreds for New Zealand averaging 32.05 (on par with Graeme Hick’s 31.32 Test average for England; Hick’s first class average was way better than Sinclair’s of course at 56.78 with High Score of 405 not out but it is still an interesting comparison).
In Sinclair’s first ever first class innings for Central Districts he was bowled for a golden duck v Canterbury, 1995/1996 season.
Sinclair also took a famous one-handed diving catch in a one-dayer at the Melbourne, Telstra Dome, close to the boundary, 2004/2005 season, to dismiss Australia’s Matthew Hayden.
I’d like to mark Skippy’s retirement, as I did for Chris Martin this year, with a short ode:


Ode to “Skippy” Sinclair
(Mathew Sinclair)

“Skippy” made the grade: at best at
first class play. With his bat, “Howzat!”,
He scored a double on Test debut.
His first innings tho’ was when he threw
away his wicket for nought.
But mostly he wasn’t bought
by bowlers. In first class play
he went his own stolid way.
He endures like a Kiwi Hick,
few could match when in good nick.
Remember his catch, diving full length,
A one-handed beauty. He had strength
on the pull, swatting through mid-wicket;
Standing tall, he could rattle any picket.

Poem © Mark Pirie 2013

Mathew Sinclair (1999/2000-2009/2010): 1635 Test runs at 32.05. High Score 214 v West Indies, 1999/2000 season. 3 Test hundreds.
13717 first class runs at 48.64. High Score 268 for New Zealand A v South Africa A at Sedgars Park, Potchefstroom, 2004/2005 season. 36 hundreds.
ODI runs: 1304 runs at 28.34. High Score 118 not out v Sri Lanka, Sharjah, 2000/2001 season. 2 ODI hundreds.

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