Bay fan meets crick­et­ing hero

The Napier Mail - - FRONT PAGE - STAFF REPORTER

No can­cel­la­tions, rain or over­cast skies could dampen the spir­its of one young Hawke’s Bay cricket fan on Thurs­day.

Taradale In­ter­me­di­ate School stu­dent Sara Hol­lis, 12, was se­lected to walk out onto the pitch with the Aus­tralian and New Zealand cap­tains and toss a coin to de­cide which team would bat first at the McLean Park One Day In­ter­na­tional match.

But the weather had other ideas. De­spite the game not go­ing ahead it was still a day to re­mem­ber for Sara.

Months be­fore her fam­ily were plan­ning to head along to the cricket and her fa­ther Jer­ram en­tered her in a com­pe­ti­tion to be se­lected for the coin toss.

The ANZ com­pe­ti­tion gave 22 young cricket fans from across New Zealand the op­por­tu­nity to take the field for the coin toss at dif­fer­ent games.

Her name was se­lected.

‘‘I didn’t event know he had en­tered me,’’ she said.

‘‘I [ was] ex­cited and ner­vous be­cause there [was] go­ing to be lots of peo­ple watch­ing.’’

Be­fore the game she had to be at the ANZ tent at 12.50pm where she had a chance to meet the play­ers be­fore walk­ing out onto the pitch with the cap­tains.

While con­di­tions were be­ing con­sid­ered Sara had the op­por­tu­nity to walk onto the pitch three or four times and have photos with play­ers.

She also hung out in the com­men­tary area and chat­ted with the Sky com­men­tary team.

He fa­ther said in typ­i­cal New Zealand fash­ion ev­ery­one came over and talked to her and were very nice.

Sara be­gan play­ing cricket last year.

Nor­mally a badminton player she rep­re­sented Hawke’s Bay at the un­der 13 level, but she en­joyed cricket be­cause it was played out­doors and her favourite part was bowl­ing.

‘‘I’ve al­ways liked Kane Wil­liamson - he has good sports­man­ship and he’s a good role model.

‘‘But I re­ally want to go to the Olympics for badminton,’’ she said.

SUPPLIED

Sara Hol­lis, 12 with Aus­tralia’s Matthew Wade and New Zealand’s Kane Wil­liamson.

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