Gift for young crick­eter

Upper Hutt Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - COLIN WIL­LIAMS

Young Ben Stevens is all geared up for the rest of the cricket sea­son.

The eight-year-old’s dreams come true when Up­per Hutt ANZ branch man­ager Lyn Tun­ni­cliffe de­liv­ered heaps of brand new gear to his Te Marua house on Fe­bru­ary 2.

An Up­per Hutt ju­nior player with Team Burgess, Ben re­ceived a bat, hel­met, gloves, pads and a kit bag and, for the whole Stevens fam­ily, tick­ets to the Black Caps one-day in­ter­na­tional against South Africa at the West­pac Sta­dium.

With an older sis­ter and brother also hav­ing played as Up­per Hutt ju­niors Ben has al­ways had to make do with sec­ond and third-hand gear, a sit­u­a­tion his par­ents hoped their ap­pli­ca­tion to the ANZ Dream Big pro­mo­tion might be able to change.

‘‘Ben was very sur­prised when his gear ar­rived. Un­for­tu­nately we were house­bound be­cause of heavy rain but he tried it all on and is look­ing for­ward to bet­ter weather and his his next game even more than nor­mal,’’ mum Shen­delle, said

A left-handed bats­men, and right-arm bowler Ben is al­ready in his third sea­son of cricket.

Cricket is in the Stevens fam­ily. Sis­ter Char­lotte is a for­mer Welling­ton un­der-13 rep­re­sen­ta­tive while brother Brian is in the St Pat’s Sil­ver­stream sec­onds as a 14-year-old. His dad, Rana, also coaches the New Zealand De­fence team.

Ben also likes bas­ket­ball and swim­ming and he will be do­ing morn­ing Chug-a-Lugs runs at his at Sil­ver­stream pri­mary school where he has just started Year 4.

Cricket is num­ber one though. Kane Wil­liamson and Ross Tay­lor are his favourite Black Caps while Bren­don McCal­lum re­mans a hero.

‘‘We found eight-year-old Ben’s pas­sion for cricket so in­spir­ing that we ab­so­lutely had to help him take to the field with a kit load of new gear for his next game,’’ ANZ head of spon­sor­ship Sue McGre­gor said.

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