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World Cup 2002

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Gratitudes and Platitudes

I've chosen this prominent position for a particularly important function--the many expressions of thanks and gratitude I want to pass on. I preface it by saying I have no doubt forgotten to thank some of you personally. If so, I apologise now, but rest assured the "thank you" still stands, and is no less important than those I mention below.

First up, thanks to Mark Cini for his faith, support, generosity and assistance, without which I would not have been able to provide this coverage. Thanks Mark, and congratulations on a superb event.

Thanks to Steve Hirini and Mukesh Dayal for their assistance, friendship and generosity. And for their efforts toward making the whole event a spectacular success. Having seen all that can go wrong with organising such an event, I've also been priveleged to see how Mark, Steve and Mukesh handled everything thrown their way. Formidable is a word that springs easily to mind.


To the umpires, who were my constant companions over the event, thanks guys. I can't express how much you all contributed to making my stay the most enjoyable overseas trip I've ever had. And your generosity after my little drama touched me more than you will ever realise ... more on that later.

To the players and officials from all of the competing countries, thank you for your support, assistance and encouragement. Special mention to Robbie Bird, Iaian O'Brian, Wayne and Keith Enoka, Amy Reeves, Robbie Kerr, Paul Botterill and Rob Ryan from the New Zealand teams. Thank you for your friendship and support, and some great photo subjects.

To Rick Smith, Michael Edmond, Andy Walton, Bob Manca and all the England players, thanks again guys, and thanks for the shirts Rick, so very much appreciated. And Andy, see you later in your new home, Perth.

Brad Zeller, as always, totally accessible, and ever willing to discuss the game and comment on a wide range of indoor cricket related issues. Thanks for all your help over the past few months Brad, and I enjoyed your presentation dinner speech as much as the "Kiwi Chicks" did.

Ross Gregory, Rod Chilcott, John Thomas and the Australians, thanks for the support. Even when things weren't going as planned, you still managed to tolerate the cameras and questions and conversation. Very much appreciated.

A special thank you also to Karen Denman and Ross Collins of the Australian Indoor Cricket Federation for their support, and the gifts were truly appreciated. Thanks guys.

To the wonderfully entertaining Sri Lankans, thank you for the many expressions of thanks and support. I would love some copies of the many photos I had taken with you all. To Chitral Amarasiri, thanks for the encouragement and support, and your gift of the videoCD of your amazing and beautiful country. Good luck with your hosting of the next Indoor Cricket World Cup, and here's hoping our discussions on that tournament come to fruition. Having watched your video, I'm doubly eager.

To the Indian teams. Thanks to you all for your friendship and support. To Sanjay Kumar, good luck with your outdoor cricket plans. To Mr. Mohinder Singh Khasa and Mr. Vir Singh Vihan, your enthusiasm for your country was outstanding, and I hope one day I can take up your invitation to visit and see for myself.
Thank you to the Indian Women's team for being as enthusiastic and energetic as you all were, despite the horrific amount of time you had to endure travelling to finally arrive in Wellington.
And to Neelam of the Indian Women's team, thanks for providing me with one of my absolute favourite photographs of the whole event, that of you breaking (demolishing is perhaps a better word) the stumps to run out Diane Brown of Australian. I will try to get a print of that one delivered to you.

The staff at the Wellington Indoor Sports centre were fantastic. As with many of the teams, and because I met so many people during my stay, I simply cannot remember everyone's name, so I apologise beforehand for missing anyone. However, Dave Brooke and his team (and his lovely partner Leanne Hita) deserve special mention, not just for the friendship and cheerful assistance they provided myself, but also for the way the went about serving the huge number of people who passed through the centre, and the professional way they dealt with the myriad things that needed urgent, expert attention over the tournament.

Hinga Potae - maintenance was his first priority, also helped in keeping all the fridges stocked with cold drinks. Problems with scoreboards or mics or flags, Hinga came to the rescue every time. And always willing to have a chat.
Georgie Puha - Night Duty Manager, who was in the kiosk during the tournament and locked up the building well after everyone else went home. Andrew Sagato - Kiosk staff member, worked in the kiosk throughout the tournament and still had time to play 5 games for the U19's at the Club Nationals. Andrew took a week off from his other part-time job to be part of the World Cup.
Toni Kairauti - Kiosk staff member, also took a week off from her full-time job to work the World Cup.
Manu Tawhai - Kiosk staff member, also worked on the registration desk at Club Nationals and put in a few hours behind the bar counter as well (serving!)
Chris Tauroa - Former employee who took time off from his other job to come back and work the week at the World Cup. If there's a more cheerful kiosk-attendant anywhere in the world, I'd be very surprised. Always had a smile on his dial!
Moana - Security on the players lounge door, was a volunteer.
Gidget - Security on the front door, making sure the punters had their tickets and wrist bands visible, and ensureing errant webmasters who forgot their security passes only forgot it once.
Steve - Security at the gate and inside. Hope the little "medical" problem sorts itself out soon Steve.
Richard - Security on the stairs and at the gate. John Silbery - Netball ref at WIS, who volunteered his services for the week to help in picking up rubbish etc.
And the ever-cheerful Nadine, always a friendly word. Yet another little ray of sunshine for a traveller far from home. Nadine, you can tell the little guy that Gandalf will be back one day.

To all the above (and all the others whose names I forget at the moment), thank you so very much. You were my workmates for all that time, and a better bunch I've yet to meet.
And Andrew (Cookie) Cook, a special thanks for keeping me supplied with scoresheets, for the gift of the shirt, and for the way you never hesitated to offer your assistance in so many ways. Always ready to drive me to or from the hotel, to pick up things from the shops for me (hope you like the video), and ever-eager to get me to play a game or two for his team. One day Andrew, one day. Thanks heaps mate.

Thanks also to James Cameron of Sky Television. The tapes are great, despite no commentary. A treasured souvenir. And while with TV, thanks also to Jared Mason of TVNZ (who was the camera-man for that sensational footage of Corey Otto decking the reporter with a searing bouncer which we all enjoyed seeing on the big screens at the presentation dinner). I'll be in touch soon Jarod about that footage.

To Peter McDonald of McDonald Walls Wedding Photography, thanks for the generous loan of the lens, and the emergency supply of the rolls of film when I was running low. You saved the day Peter, thank you.

Toward the end of my stay in beautiful Wellington, I experienced the traveller's nightmare of losing my wallet. All my cash and credit card went with it, leaving me with a few dollars to see me through the last couple of days in Wellington.
To the umpires, your generosity in this regard was heart-warming to say the least. I'm not easily moved to tears, but you got me easily--so I'm not going to hesitate naming you all again.
Nepia Stewart, Marc Nickl, James Windscheffel, Hiran de Mel, Rob Dossett, Robbie Bennett, Nigel Hindman, James Jackson, and the history-making ladies, Joanne Crocker and Mavis Hammond. You guys are something else, and I thank you all again for the friendship and companionship and generosity. And Jo and Mavis, the gifts for my two daughters went down a treat--they both absolutely love them. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And Marc Nickl, thanks for your work in compiling the soon-to-be-published-here list of players who have played both International Indoor and Outdoor cricket. Sensational.

To the staff at the Copthorne Hotel, thanks for the assistance, and the understanding you extended toward my financial predicament re: my phone bill. The cheque really is in the mail. And thanks to the staff who tied my necktie for me too . . . . now I own a suit and ties, I'll have to learn to do it for myself I guess . . .

And still on the subject of my losing my wallet--Steve Hirini, thank you again for your friendship and generosity (and the loan of your Lion Pride jacket). It was an absolute pleasure meeting and working with you mate. Please do keep in touch. Tena koe, tena koe, tena koe.

And finally, to every player and official, sincere thanks for the little surprise at the presentation ceremony. The presentation itself was a suprise and a delight, but your reaction to it just blew me away. A sensational finish to a sensational week.

Thank you everybody, and here's hoping we can do it all again in Sri Lanka in 2004.


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