Wairarapa Maori cricketers will have the opportunity to be part of an exciting new initiative in New Zealand Cricket being offered the chance to join a Wellington Maori XI to take on Northern Districts Maori in Taupo on March 23rd in two twenty twenty fixtures.
Development officer Sammy Curtis who is assisting in the set up of the Wellington side, along with Rhys Morgan from Wellington Cricket, is hoping himself to be part of the playing eleven depending on his progress from a recent back injury.
Curtis is hopeful that Wairarapa can provide two or three players for the Wellington Maori side and is also keen to see Central Districts involved in the format next season. “I’d be happy to take on the organisation for a Central Districts side to become involved with an exciting opportunity such as this,” Said Curtis.
“Hopefully we can attract more Maori into cricket and give those currently playing an opportunity to play at a higher level with the possibility of more exposure.”
In recent years the Wairarapa has produced a very high number of quality Maori cricketers with the likes of Shane Mellor, Hayden Spierling, Chris Jefferies and brothers Ngatai and Tama Walker.
Rhys Morgan from Wellington Cricket has been instrumental in the organisation of the initiative along with Graeme Stewart of Northern Districts Cricket.
“The idea to create a Maori cricket team originally came about when Graeme Stewart who runs the Northern Districts Maori team started contacting other Major Associations about setting up a National Maori Tournament. Unfortunately Graeme hasn’t been able to get much traction with the other MA’s yet. Wellington is hopeful of being able to get a side on the park to play though.” Said Morgan
“At this stage we have Sunday March 23 to play two T20 matches against Northern Districts in Taupo. Obviously we would have wanted a bigger playing programme, but both Graeme and I feel that to just get anything started will be a success this year, and will hopefully provide the impetus to getting things going on a bigger scale next year,” he said.
Any Wairarapa Maori cricketers who want more information are to contact Development Officer Sammy Curtis as soon as possible.