Monday, March 14, 2011
Fill the Basin for Christchurch
It's long been said that Wellington is the sporting capital of New Zealand. And yesterday's charity cricket match at the Basin Reserve did nothing at all to diminish that suggestion.
Stephen Fleming is a Cantabrian, even though he lives in the capital. We recall him captaining the Canterbury side at a national under-20 tournament that we umpired at many, many moons ago. Even then, he was an articulate young man with a maturity way beyond his years, and a natural leader. It was no surprise that he became arguably our best ever captain.
That leadership came to the fore yesterday with a match hastily convened by Fleming. Former Black Caps rallied to the cause, and the Basin Reserve was packed to the rafters on a glorious Wellington afternoon. The Canterbury Invitation XI fittingly beat their Wellington counterparts in a marvellous afternoon of entertainment.
But it was Shane Warne and John Key who stole the show; here, by the magic of YouTube, is the clash between the Sheik of Tweak and the Prime Minister, which added $100,000 to the day's total:
You'll note in the early moments of the video that Phil Goff was watching longingly from the sidelines; was this a case of sport imitating political life? The crowd roared its approval as Key swatted three boundaries, one almost carrying for six. A great time was had by all; even the great bowler who was on the receiving end of some sledging from the PM.
Most importantly, yesterday's match raised over $500,000 for the Christchurch earthquake relief effort. All we can say is a huge Keeping Stock "Well Done" to Stephen Fleming and to everyone who came to the party.