ICC commits ultimate sin in Hall of Fame blunder of NZ icons

Publish Date
Wednesday, 7 February 2024, 7:14PM

By Will Toogood

The ICC has committed the eighth cardinal sin with its Hall of Fame listings, as three of New Zealand’s most iconic cricketers are listed as being Australian.

Inducted in 2015 was none other than the late Martin Crowe, famous for holding New Zealand’s highest test score of 299 for more than two decades.

Eagle-eyed fans may have noticed the first red flag in the listing of Crowe amongst the game’s greatest - the lack of a New Zealand section in the drop down menu used for filtering the list.

The major blunder is confirmed upon scrolling down the page to find the former Black Caps captain’s name, accompanied by an Australian flag.

Further examination reveals that New Zealand greats Sir Richard Hadlee (2009 inductee) and Debbie Hockley (2014) have suffered the same treatment, listed as Australian.

Crowe’s player bio reads “Arguably New Zealand’s greatest batsman, Martin Crowe led the line for the Black Caps for 13 years. His 299 was the highest Test score by a Kiwi for over a decade, and he led the side to a Semi Final appearance at the 1992 ICC Cricket World Cup.”

This begs the question as to how it’s possible for such a glaring error to occur- the Australian flag being front and centre yet specifically mentioning New Zealand in the bios - or the fact that New Zealand has three representatives in the Hall of Fame but does not have a section on the site.

One possible explanation is that an ICC employee with Australian heritage decided to make the latest play in the transtasman culture war - hoping to add Crowe, Hadlee and Hockley to Phar Lap.

Hadlee’s profile not only fails to mention his knighthood, but also incorrectly has him listed as an Aussie in the heading, while noting his New Zealand status below it. “One of the greatest fast bowlers of all time, Richard Hadlee spearheaded New Zealand’s attack for 17 years. He was the first bowler to reach 400 Test wickets, and finished with 431 Test wickets at an outstanding average of 22.29, with 36 5-wicket hauls.”

Hockley was so talented she became a “giant in New Zealand women’s cricket” while being from Australia, as her bio says “A giant in New Zealand women’s cricket, Debbie Hockley had a prolific international career. In Tests, she scored 1,301 runs at an average of 52.04, while in ODIs, she scored 4,064 runs at an average of 41.89.”

The Black Caps winning the inaugural World Test Championship over India appears not a lofty enough of an achievement for New Zealand to be recognised as a nation - perhaps if Kane Williamson becomes the first player to score 1000 in a match that may see Aotearoa earn status as a country.

The Herald was unable to ascertain just how long the list has been published online, or whether it has been brought to the ICC’s attention, one can only hope that when Williamson is eventually inducted, cricket’s governing body does him the service of listing his country correctly.

This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission


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