The hidden gems of cricket

Sports correspondent & historian
with Sideline Sid

One of my favourite moments of being a volunteer cricket historian is to stumble on a hidden gem (or as some might say useless information), unseen by most cricket fans.

One such moment happened recently with the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup currently being co-hosted in the West Indies and the USA.

Otumoetai Cadets Cricket Club have three players who have worn the Cadets uniform in the new millennium, taking part in the smash and bash world title event.

Cadets, who are firmly entrenched at the Tauranga Domain, were established in 1978.

The first few years were largely unproductive, until they won the Bay of Plenty Cricket big prize of the Williams Cup in 1995. Five successive Baywide titles then established Cadets as one of the heavyweights of the Bay of Plenty premier game.

In 2004, Cadets won the right to be called the best club cricket team in the country, after they won the New Zealand Club Championship title.

Trent Boult, who has a real passion for wearing the Cadets strip in cricket combat, needs little introduction to cricket fans worldwide. Boult joined the Tauranga Domain cricket club while still at Otumoetai College at the start of his journey to legendary cricket status.

The Black Cap pace bowler has produced some amazing figures in his 250 plus games in the New Zealand uniform.

The New Zealand Cricket Almanac Player of the Year in 2018 and 2019, has taken 317 test wickets, along with 211 ODI scalps and 81 T20 International wickets.

Tim Pringle, who is one of the rising stars of the domestic game in the country, used his birth in Holland to represent the Netherlands in the tournament.

Pringle, also joined Cadets while still at secondary school, and was quickly seconded into the Bay of Plenty senior men’s team. He became the youngest ever Bay player at 15 years and 92 days, supplanting Kane Williamson by 19 days.

Tim became just the 12th Bay player to take 10 wickets or better in a match with 8/71 and 4/48 against Waikato Valley in the 2021/22 season.

Perhaps the least known as wearing the Cadets strip is Corey Anderson. The game-wrecking batsman relocated to the Western Bay of Plenty, and became Otumoetai Cadets second Black Cap, when selected for the national team in October 2013.

In recent seasons, Anderson has become a T20 nomad playing in a number of national competitions around the globe.

His worldwide journey took him to the USA, where he played for the Morrisville Unity and the San Francisco Unicorns, which led to selection for the USA in the current T20 World tournament.

He is best remembered in his time in the Black Caps for a world record fastest ODI century. Facing the West Indies, during January 2014 in Queenstown, Anderson went on a batting blitzkrieg to hammer 100 runs off just 36 balls.

With the preliminary rounds completed, just Corey Anderson and the USA team will progress to the Super Eight rounds, after becoming the surprise package of the competition.

New Zealand bombed out in spectacular style, and along with the Netherlands failed to progress to the business end of the tournament, ending Trent Boult and Tim Pringle’s tournament aspirations.