Sunday, January 29, 2012

Black Caps v Zimbabwe Test

I saw the highlights on Prime TV of the Test between Zimbabwe and the Black Caps last night.
It was a good batting display well backed up by the bowlers. Those slip catches were excellent and so few errors from the New Zealand team. Well done to them. It’s nice when all the practice comes off in a Test. Amazing day really and the biggest Test win in our history.
Zimbabwe was a disappointment, however, and I’m sure Taibu, Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza, all exciting players on their day, will be looking to make amends in the upcoming one-day series. Taylor had a few good knocks for Wellington in the HRV Cup this season. He can do much better than his limp display yesterday. Still, England was skittled by Pakistan for 72 as well. Every team has their horror days.
Zimbabwe have had some good batsmen over the years, from the elegant left-hander Alistair Campbell to the brothers Andy and Grant Flower (who both scored Test double hundreds), to David Houghton, Murray Goodwin and the determined Kevin Arnott (101 not out against New Zealand, 1992/93).
I really hope Zimbabwe can pick themselves up from this heavy defeat to play some good cricket in the one-dayers and give the Black Caps some preparation for the South Africa series.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Michael O’Leary’s NZ cricket novel republished

February sees the paperback re-release of Michael O’Leary’s cult 1980s cricket novel Out of It. The novel, which is possibly the only literary cricket novel published in New Zealand, features the beige New Zealand one-day side of the 1986/87 season and is a satirical celebration of that period.
In the book, the New Zealand team plays on Eden Park, Auckland, against an international invitation Out of It XI, featuring famous rock stars, writers and artists. It’s a good, light read with the likes of Bob Marley clean bowled by Martin Crowe and Hadlee cleaning out the Out of It middle order of Oscar Wilde, Alfred Jarry and Lord Byron with a hat trick.
The new edition is published by my publishing company HeadworX and features a cover image by Iain Sharp after an 1895 illustration of the great English cricketer W G Grace printed in the year of Oscar Wilde’s court trial and fall from grace. O’Leary’s company Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop first published Out of It in 1987.
I’ve also written on O’Leary’s novel and interviewed the author on this blog at various times. Check out the following blog entries for further information on the book:

An interview with cricket novelist Michael O’Leary

The novel is currently on sale at the New Zealand Cricket Museum at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. Price $20.00.

Out of It: A Novel Cricket Novel
(HeadworX: Wellington, 2012)