Ex-black Cap run­ning New World

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

Mata­mata lo­cals look­ing to take out their next game of back­yard cricket may be able to pick up some great bat­ting and bowl­ing tips next time they go to New World Mata­mata.

For­mer Black Cap Matthew Hart and his wife Sheree have moved to Mata­mata from Auck­land, and took over the store own­er­ship last Mon­day.

The re­tired all-rounder played both semipro­fes­sional and pro­fes­sional cricket from 1990 un­til 2005, in­clud­ing 14 test matches and 14 one- day in­ter­na­tion­als for New Zealand.

The move is a wel­come re­turn to the area for the cou­ple, be­cause Matthew was raised in Te Puke, and Sheree grew up in Hamil­ton.

It’s also a shift they hope will ben­e­fit their young fam­ily.

‘‘We have two lit­tle ones [Tayla, 6, and Josh, 2] and rais­ing them in the coun­try­side ver­sus the city made sense,’’ Mr Hart said.

‘‘From the minute we ar­rived ev­ery­one has been very wel­com­ing and friendly.’’

Mr Hart, who pre­vi­ously owned New World Pa­pakura, spent six months work­ing in the Mata­mata store in 2010 as he com­pleted the New World Trainee Op­er­a­tor pro­gramme and said that nearly three years later many staff re­mained.

‘‘‘There are a lot of fa­mil­iar faces here which is great, Ewan [Ather­ton], the pre­vi­ous owner, has done a great job. I’ve got big boots to fill but we’ll do our best to fol­low in his foot­steps and add value where we can,’’ said Mr Hart.

‘‘I love the big, busy days and help­ing to fill the shelves, it’s like get­ting back to the grass­roots.’’

As for the pos­si­bil­ity of a New World Mata­mata Cricket team in the next in­ter­provin­cial tour­na­ment? ‘‘Not just yet,’’ Mr Hart said.

But he has con­firmed that a coach­ing role for the Mata­mata Col­lege first XI might be on the cards.

Photo: MILLY KEYS

Wel­come to Mata­mata: New World Mata­mata’s new owner Matthew Hart with wife Sheree and kids Tayla and Josh at Tayla’s new school, Mata­mata Pri­mary.

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