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Dane Cleaver (L) Paul Gibbs (C), Palmerston North Boys High School 1st XI player and coach, chat with Black Cap Jacob Oram at the Gillette Cup Cricket's 20th anniversary dinner CREDIT: New Zealand Cricket
Garry Carnahan, Jacob Oram and Alec Astle at the 20th anniversary of the Gillette Cup CREDIT: New Zealand Cricket
Several cricket dignitaries attended a dinner celebrating the twenty year partnership of the Gillette Cup and New Zealand Cricket in Palmerston North last night.
BLACKCAP Jacob Oram was among a number of cricket VIPs who spoke of the significance of the Gillette Cup being the pinnacle of school boy cricket, when he was a participant in the tournament in 1993 to 1995, representing Palmerston North Boys’ High School.
Executive Director of NZ Secondary School Sport Council, Garry Carnahan, also acknowledged the milestone.
“Twenty years ago the NZ Secondary School Sport Council was born about the same time as the relationship with Gillette and NZC - so it is the longest-standing sponsorship that I know of.”
Carnahan added: “This makes it a very important sponsorship as people know it as the ‘Gillette Cup’, not the NZ Secondary School Cricket Championship.”
Other attendees to this year’s twentieth tournament will be local Lance Retemeyer, Captain of the 1990 Palmerston North Boys’ High School (PNBHS) team that won the inaugural Gillette Cup title.
Retemeyer has come full circle, coaching the PNBHS First XI in 2004-2007, with the team taking the title in 2004.
Palmerston North’s other prominent cricketing figure, Alec Astle, gave an account of the tournament’s history. As one of the original organisers, Astle has seen twenty years with the Gillette Cup and explained the competition’s uniqueness.
“It’s a goal for schools and players to make the tournament,” said Astle. “In smaller schools it provides a reason to form a team and play in a national competition. This is a great opportunity, particularly for young people honing their cricket skills.”
Astle noted the twofold benefit of the tournament: “The Gillette Cup is significant both in terms of player development and providing an opportunity to see schools in action. It is an outstanding competition showcasing some of the country’s best young cricket talent.”
The twentieth Gillette Cup Finals will be held every day until Sunday 13 December at Fitzherbert and Manawaroa Parks in Palmerston North. Several cricketing legends are likely to be present at the tournament, including sporting hero Lance Cairns, who is one of the current New Zealand Under 19 Selectors.