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Thursday January 18, 2018

SPORT

World champion ready to take on Kiwis

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ANZ helping Wellington get on top of their game this summer ANZ is giving keen cricketers from Wellington a helping hand to get on top of their game this summer. The programme will give New Zealand cricket fans the chance to get the help they need to improve their game. Whether it’s getting new team uniforms or replacing tired old gear, giving a pitch and clubrooms a makeover or the chance to get a one-on-one coaching session with a Black Caps or White Ferns player, ANZ is supporting cricket at every level this summer. Since 2009 ANZ has been supporting aspiring cricketers, their teams, clubs, schools and casual fans as they set out to make the most of New Zealand’s favourite summer game. This year ANZ extended its support to the White Ferns team which makes it now the major sponsor of the Black Caps and White Ferns

ANZ Head of Sponsorship Sue McGregor, said that ANZ is proud to support cricket at all levels - whether it’s the Black Caps and White Ferns representing our country on the international stage, or the next generation of players battling it out at the local grounds every Saturday. “We want to give players and fans the support they need. Whether that’s with a new set of cricket gear, something for the club that will make a difference, or making it possible to meet one of their heroes for some inspiration or motivation. “We know sometimes all you need is just that little bit of extra help to achieve, so we are committed to helping as many cricket fans as we can.”  Applications are now open at anzcricketworld.co.nz.

World darts champion Phil Taylor at last year’s Auckland Darts Masters. PHOTO: Supplied By Jamie Adams

World champion darts player Phil “The Power” Taylor is coming to Wellington. The Englishman is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, having won 16 world cmapionships and a staggering 216 tournaments over a 32-year career. He recently retired from competitive darts, having finished runner-up at this year’s world championship in London, his 29th appearnce also being a record. Phil will attend an exhibition match at Walter Nash Stadium on February 3 alongside four top North Island darts players - Rob Szabo, Craig Caldwell, Mick Lacey and Tahuna Irwin - as well as four qualifiers who will confirmed on the day.

Dart Players New Zealand operations manager Katrina McBeath says they were able to secure Phil’s visit as he is currently in Australia attending a series of exhibition matches there. She is excited about what such a high-profile visit would have on the interest of the sport. “Darts is a sport that’s growing in the country at the moment and even in juniors coming through. this will certainly help.” The qualifiers will be decided at two venues, including at the Wainuiomata Darts Club. The four will then travel to Lower Hutt to take on “The Power” and a chance at bragging rights.  Tickets to the event are $60 and available at iticket.co.nz

Call to nominate sporting moment of the year The Halberg Foundation has announced 11 sporting highlights for New Zealand’s Favourite Sporting Moment of 2017 – the only category that is selected by the public at the 55th Halberg Awards. The sporting moment award gives the New Zealand public the opportunity to choose the nation’s most exciting, remarkable, or compelling sporting moment, game or series in 2017. The highlights are from a range of sports - cricket, tennis, rugby, yachting, softball, athletics, canoe racing and motor racing. The moments include Martin Guptill samshing 11 sixes to give the Black Caps a seven-wicket win over South Afirca; Michael Venus winning the French Open doubles final; and Mitchell Hunt dropping a last-minute drop goal to secure a win for the Crusaders against the Highlanders. The winner will be presented at the 55th Halberg Awards on Thursday, February 8 at Spark Arena in Auckland, which will be

televised live from 8pm. The finalists were selected by a panel of media representatives who compiled the list of great sporting moments from 2017 for the public to vote on. “2017 provided many exciting moments for the passionate New Zealand sporting public and now it’s their opportunity to have a say on who gets the honours,” says Shelley McMeeken, Chief Executive of the Halberg Foundation. Everyone who votes for the Sporting Moment by January 28 goes in the draw to win a trip for two including flights and accommodation to the 55th Halberg Awards at Spark Arena, Auckland on Thursday, February 8. Voting is now open and can be done once a day until 9pm on Thursday, February 8, either online or by texting each sporting moment’s unique code to 556. Visit www.sportingmoments.co.nz to vote and to read the competition terms and conditions.

Black Cap Trent Boult with Luke Dale, an aspiring cricketer who had the chance to attend a one on one training session. PHOTO: Supplied

Sports talk

with Jacob Page

Baz’s blueprint goes global Make no mistake, even in retirement Brendon McCullum still has a big impact on the highest form of the game. The former Kiwi skipper’s ballistic hitting approach at the top of the order is a trend now copied by every country in the world. The man known as ‘Baz’ perfected the art of the fast start by unsettling the bowlers with his footwork and raw power against the new ball. The tactic injects immediate momentum and eases the scoring pressure on the batsmen to come. England’s Jason Roy proved how game-changing this tactic can be when he blazed 180 in his team’s five wicket win over Australia in the opening one-day contest against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. In pursuit of 305 for victory, Roy was the aggressor as England had 87 on the board after 10 overs. While Roy continued to amass his match defining score, many openers eventually lose out of the roulette wheel that is aggressive stroke play

at all costs but a rapid 40 or 50 can be just the momentum shift needed for victory. McCullum mastered it in the last three years of his career and proved a team can comfortably chase in excess of 300 these days when 15 years ago it was seen as almost an assured win for the team batting first. The advent of Twenty20 cricket also has a lot to do with the higher totals. Batsmen are now comfortable chasing eight to 10 runs an over in dying stages of a run chase. Roy has sparked the tour for the English. His aggression along with that of pace bowler Mark Wood provided the blueprint for success going forward against Australia. Meet aggression with aggression, something their toothless test team didn’t do. Aggression is what McCullum used to make up for New Zealand’s short-comings on paper and turned them into world beaters. It’s changed the game as we know it.

Cook Strait News 18-01-18  

Cook Strait News 18-01-18

Cook Strait News 18-01-18  

Cook Strait News 18-01-18