Continuing cricket’s legacy

Sir Richard Hadlee is fronting an urgent appeal to raise the final $1.6 million needed to finish the Canterbury Cricket Trust’s (CCT) new state-of-the-art facility being built at Hagley Oval. Metropol editor Lynda Papesch caught up with him to talk past, present and future.

Sir Richard Hadlee with young cricketers Mason, left and Bryden Pearce.

An international cricket player for 18 years, Sir Richard has made the sport his life, devoting time now to ensure future generations have opportunities to experience the highs of the game as he did.

Cricket, he says, is a superb game in so many ways. “Whilst it is a team game, each player has an individual role to play to complement the team. An inspired individual performance can turn or win a game.”

He’s very much a traditionalist of the game, brought up on test cricket played over five days.

“It is the foundation on which the game is based – a test of a cricketer’s technical, physical, mental, and tactical ability in different types of conditions and the need to adapt whenever necessary,” he says.

“As the game has evolved, one-day cricket, T20 cricket, T10 cricket and the 100 ball game (played in England) has captured the imagination of the players and public. All these formats somehow have to survive and co-exist.

“Hopefully, we don’t lose sight of the fact that test cricket is still the main format most players want to aspire to. We must protect this format of the game because of its 200-year tradition and history.”

After retiring from playing professional cricket, Sir Richard was the BNZ Ambassador for cricket, then New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chairman of selectors for the Black Caps for eight years. He previously managed several NZA teams in India, Sri Lanka and Australia, and was on the board of NZC for four years.

Although he has relieved himself from all cricket responsibilities and decision making, he continues to watch the game (mainly on TV) and take an interest in other matches around the world.

“My main goal now is to have the Sir Richard Hadlee Sports Centre at Hagley Oval completed so that the next generation of young aspiring cricketers and sportspeople can grow their love of sport and enhance their skills, and become future Black Caps and White Ferns.”

His advice to aspiring international representatives is to aim high and aim big.

“Dreams can come true. There are career paths in cricket available. If you have potential I am sure the system will pick you up and help you progress through the grades and transition you into representative teams. From that point on it will require hard work in training and preparation – becoming technically efficient in whatever skill set that excites you – being fit and athletic – having a strong mindset and great work ethic – there are plenty of sacrifices to be made on the way. What are you prepared to give up to chase a dream and get to the top?”

Sir Richard Hadlee Sports Centre

CCT and the Canterbury Cricket Association are aiming to raise the shortfall so the sports centre can be finished in time for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in March 2022.

Sir Richard’s trust has donated $800,000 to the facility and he says he’s honoured it bears his name.

“This will be one of the best training facilities in the country and will inspire the next generation of cricketers. I am appealing to those who believe in my vision for the centre to support it by donating whatever they can,” says Sir Richard.

Featuring five 3.6-metre-wide cricket lanes with a 20-metre run-up for the bowler, the centre is being built by Naylor Love, and will meet international cricket standards. When the nets are rolled back the versatile space can be used for other sports including, hockey, netball and football.

Donations can be made via

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