Matt Heath: Sevens-style cricket tourney gains star backing

Publish Date
Tuesday, 29 November 2016, 5:07PM
Getty Images
Getty Images

Some ideas are terrible. Sometimes they put you in hospital, like the time I stuck my tongue in a blender to impress a girl. But every now and then you have a good one. Like the one I wrote about last week: 'The Undercover Super Spring Smash Big Royal Cricket Bash'. A season launch cricket party, guaranteed to go ahead rain or shine? The cricket version of the Wellington Sevens in Dunedin. A spring, three-day Twenty20 tournament beneath the roof at Forsyth Barr. Our five domestic teams, in a small boundary, big-hitting tournament that not only entertains but kicks back against spring weather and summer rugby.

I know this is a good idea because people are talking about it. Nathan McCullum tweeted "I'm in" followed by a cricket ball emoji, a cricket bat emoji and then two beer cup emojis. Great man. Heavy ball bowling hunk Mitchell McClenaghan tweeted "Outstanding! Keen to recover in the pool party section after a token 1 over".

Jimmy "The Little Lamb" Neesham tweeted "This needs to Happen". Terry Davies, chief executive of Dunedin Venues, said "I like it". Richard Boock, manager Public Affairs, NZC, said "sounds good". Some boring Facebook punisher wrote "This is just a dumb idea and it would disgrace cricket not help in any way". I say to this guy and others like him: Support domestic cricket mate. There's plenty of fantastic Plunket Shield and Ford Trophy for you to attend. If you enjoy Twenty20 the McDonald's Super Smash would not be affected. This is a launch party to kick-start the real season, not a redesign of the game.

Support is coming from everywhere. Laura McGoldrick said "sure". I asked her about Guppy she said "dunno give 'em a ring" and Sky Sports commentator Scotty J Stevenson wrote "Matt Heath is a noted punisher, the sort of man who has to door-knock the neighbours when he changes address. That's not important right now. What is important is that he has created a concept that works. Who wouldn't want to grab a hard hat and head under the roof for three days of flat sixes to the face, shattering glass, a great bowler-levelling astro turf pitch that does not take an inch of turn. I salute you Matt Heath. I am behind you. For my own safety, a long way behind you. But still behind you."

Yep, there's momentum. New Zealand Cricket sent me this encouraging communication. "We agree that a weekend festival of cricket as suggested in Matt's column has a lot of merit ... Matt's column prompted a lively discussion within NZC about possibilities for the following summer and the consensus was that it's something we'd like to have a look at. We particularly liked the idea about the broken windows! Many thanks for the suggestion - Andrew Rogers GM Domestic Cricket." Good on you NZC. ACC head Grot Lane said "I'm already pre-loading". Leigh Hart is in if "you make catches in the crowd out".

So I approached other top NZ cricket personalities. I texted Brendon McCullum and he immediately responded "who's this?" Noted cricket aficionado Jeremy Wells said "this was my idea and you know it, at least mention me in your article". Done. I rang our Black Caps coach and he chimed in with "You've reached Mike's phone please leave a message and I'll get back to you when I can". So I'm putting him in the support column along with Stephen Fleming who I also haven't talked to. Yep, there's a groundswell of support. Unfortunately during the local body elections I ran a Trump-style campaign against the current Dunedin mayor in favour of "Abe from Whakamana". We dubbed him "Dodgy Dave Cull" based on nothing but alliteration. Now we need his help I would like to publicly flip-flop on that. Extend an olive branch and rename him His Worship Diamond Dave Cull. Top bloke. Best mayor in the country. #lovedunedin. The Undercover Super Spring Smash Big Royal Cricket Bash is a good idea with a terrible name. Let's change it to The Dunedin Undercover Spring Smash or something else. NZC are open to suggestions. Whatever it's called, the big names are getting on board. You should too. Cricket is such a great sport. It deserves a massive launch party every year. Let's make it happen. We have 10 months. Show your support at

via NZ Herald