Thursday, June 18, 2015


There`s something about New Zealand that I have long admired.  A visit there has been on my bucket list for some years now, perhaps for the most bizarre reason in the history of bucket lists. Many years ago one of my sons spent some time working there and confirmed that the charm of the country lies not only in its scenery, climate and social `attitude,` but also because New Zealand is alleged to be like England was 50 or 60 years ago.   And that appeals to me;  so I can see no reason not to travel half way around the world to experience an environment and recapture an age that I remember well but which has long since disappeared in the helter-skelter of modern day Britain.

Moreover, I have always admired New Zealand sport;  the All Blacks have long been the example for others to aspire to in the world of Rugby and down the years their cricket teams have been nothing short of admirable in their attitude and aptitude for the summer game.   None more so than the current New Zealand tourists who have enthralled cricket lovers like me this season with their compelling performances in the Tests and the current 50-over one-dayers.

And they are led by an inspiring captain in Brendon McCullum (pictured) who has not only been a joy to watch with his batting but also his enthusiasm, tactical acumen and sheer enjoyment in his role as captain leading a team which follows his example.   Now post match interviews can be disheartening affairs but not so with McCullum.  After losing heavily to England yesterday at Trent Bridge, he admitted where his team need to improve and was fulsome in his praise for the way England had played.   And just when the interviewer - former England captain Nasser Hussain who should have known better - wanted to bring proceedings to an end, McCullum insisted on taking time to thank and pay tribute to retiring umpire Steve Davis, whose last game in the middle this was.

In short, New Zealand and McCullum are a class act.  In direct contrast, yesterday also saw the publication of the football fixtures for next season, which placed McCullum`s honesty, integrity and largesse in a fitting context.   Somehow, I can`t imagine John Terry applauding an opponent, as New Zealand did yesterday when Eoin Morgan was finally dismissed after his splendid hundred, and even less can I see the likes of Terry taking time in a post match interview to sing the praises of a referee.

I`m enjoying these days of roses but not looking forward to the whine, which will be upon us all too soon.


Ray Turner said...

Surely you haven't succumbed to the modern 'bucket list' terminology Snopper...?

I thought the we oldies still preferred the "Things to do before you die list"...?

Snopper said...

Sorry about that, Ray - just trying to kid myself that I`m `modern.` As for my pitiful `bucket list,` well it`s more a teacup list.