Maiden Match For Inaugural Maori Cricket Team

Tuesday 22 March 2011, 11:27AM

By Margot Butcher


The first domestic representative Maori cricket team will face its first test in Hamilton this Thursday when Northern Maori takes on Waikato University in a one-day match that Northern Districts Cricket anticipates will be the beginning of structured Maori cricket programmes within and beyond the region.

Coached by Yahoo!Xtra Northern Knights assistant coach Graeme Stewart (who with Northern Districts Cricket operations manager Pat Malcon has been instrumental in getting Maori cricket inaugurated in the Northern region), the Northern Maori side is an array of promising talents, including New Zealand under-19, Northern Districts under-19 and under-17 and Fergus Hickey senior representative players from Northland to Waikato Valley.

The squad also includes Auckland Aces contracted player Dusan Hakaraia, who was keen to be involved in the new concept and comes in as a guest player.

The teams will play a one-day match at Waikato University's number one oval starting 1pm this Thursday, and talks are in progress for the Northern Maori side to play a Twenty20 fixture against the visiting Cook Islands representative team at Seddon Park on April 1.

Says Stewart, who will also keep wicket for the side, "Waikato University will field a strong unit in their own right featuring a number of Fergus Hickey, Northern Districts A and under-18 representatives, so we're expecting a good match to kick things off.

"The plan is that we will launch this with fixtures within our own association, get the ball rolling here and then talk to the other domestic associations about them putting together Maori programmes so that we can play Maori representative tournaments perhaps next season. We see it as useful in providing another pathway and goal for our talented young Maori cricketers striving to make the Yahoo!Xtra Northern Knights.

"I think it’s important that we do drive something like this, and that we really encourage young Maori guys in the game. With all other sports - rugby’s the great example - New Zealand Maori are just so passionate about playing for their side. They have netball Maori tournaments, they have touch Maori tournaments and it’s something we can really take forward in cricket."

The Northern Maori squad is:

Leighton Parsons (captain; Ngati Porou; Waikato Valley senior rep)
Cody Andrews (Ngapuhi; ND A, Poverty Bay senior rep)
Jake Bezzant (Waikato Valley senior rep)
Izaya Broderick (Ngati Porou; ND U-17, Poverty Bay senior rep)
Haamiora Clarke (Ngapuhi, Ngati Porou; ND U-17)
Tamati Clarke (Ngapuhi, Ngati Porou; NZ U-19, ND A, Counties Manukau senior rep)
Dusan Hakaraia (Ngapuhi; Auckland Aces - guest player)
Chanse Perham (Ngati Tuwharetoa; ND U-18)
Steven Rae (Ngati Maru, Ngati Ranginui; Bay of Plenty senior rep)
Graeme Stewart (wicketkeeper, player-coach; Tainui; Northern Knights assistant coach)
Webber Stewart (Tainui)
Zeb Walden
Shane Wineti (Ngati Porou, Ngati Awa; Bay of Plenty senior rep)


For further information: