Tall tales are all in the game
Bryan Haggitt has been hooked on cricket for almost six decades.
The 71-year-old has been at Parnell Cricket Club since he was 12. He is club secretary and has held almost every position in the club over the years.
He says Parnell is the oldest cricket club in New Zealand with its first recorded game in 1858.
It’s a history that needs to be recorded, Mr Haggitt says.
‘‘We’re still writing our history. If you’ve got it, make sure you cherish it – that’s my attitude.’’
He lives a ‘‘hop’’ away from the grounds and can be found at the club most summer weekends helping out, watching the games and ‘‘catching up with the oldies’’.
He has been a strong advocate for the club and its grounds on issues such as vandalism, ground conditions and dog policies in the past.
Mr Haggitt says the comradeship within cricket clubs is undeniable.
‘‘Cricket has given me friendships from the outset. It continues on with the oldies around here.
‘‘We have a beer, watch the closing of the game and lie about the old days.
‘‘How good we weren’t, to be honest.’’
The club witnessed a boom in the early 70s when the senior club moved to its current facilities at Shore Rd to join the junior club at Thomas Bloodworth Park.
‘‘That was so huge for us. Up until then you almost had two different clubs forming because of the separate spots.
‘‘Now it’s all together – that’s how it should be.’’
The 1992 ICC Cricket World Cup, held in Australia and New Zealand, also prompted a spike in membership.
Past members include Black Caps Gareth Hopkins, Scott Styris and the recently retired Chris Martin.
The premier team brought home the Jeff Crowe Cup last season and has made five out of the last six finals. The club now has about 650 juniors.
‘‘Kids are what it’s all about. They’re the life of the club.’’
Going batty: Bryan Haggitt says he’s always been crazy for cricket.