According to the latest World Happiness Report, published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) wing of the United Nations, New Zealand happens to be the eighth happiest country in the world. This makes NZ the happiest cricket playing nation (neighbour Australia is a close second at the 9th).
Over the years, cricket fraternity has been a witness to New Zealanders’ display of happy spirit on the field too. Kiwi cricketers often come across as a gentle and calm bunch of individuals playing the game minus any sign of anger.
Probably, it is the ability to remain happy in all life conditions that has helped some of the most famous Kiwis from the world of cricket to make a mark despite having a not-so-happy start to their career.
Let us take a sneak peek into the life and times of five such Kiwi stalwarts who had a moderate debut, but went on to have a high-flying career in the longer version of the gentleman’s game.
#1 Glenn Turner
The first batsman of world repute from New Zealand, Glenn Turner, had a nightmarish debut against a powerful West Indian side at the Eden Park in Auckland on February 27, 1969. Opening the batting, Tuner fell to pacer Wes Hall for a duck.
This forgettable baptism by fire, though, did little to stop him from becoming one of the revered batsmen of his generation. He finished his career with 2991 runs from 41 Tests at an average of 44.64. He could have played more matches, but his confrontations with NZ cricket administrators cut short his international career.
Glenn was a craftsman who believed in building innings steadily. Of his seven centuries, two were a double ton. He scored both of his double centuries in the West Indies in 1972.
Turner scored prolifically in the first class cricket, piling on 34,346 runs from 455 matches at 49.70. His tally of 103 first class centuries makes him only the fourth non-English player (the others are- Don Bradman, Zaheer Abbas and Viv Richards) to have scored a ‘century of centuries.’
Turner excelled in ODIs too, scoring 1500 runs at 47 from 41 matches, including three centuries. His off-field life makes for a cross-border romantic hit as his wife, Sukhi Turner, is a Sikh from Ludhiana, India.