Ex-black Cap running New World
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.
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.