The venue for the Tigers two-day practice game at the Lincoln University in Christchurch is named after New Zealand great Bert Sutcliffe, a name that takes this reporter back to history with goosebumps. Sutcliffe, one of the all-time great Kiwi left-handers, also captained New Zealand in four Tests, losing three while managing one draw.
Interestingly, New Zealand did not win a single of the 42 Tests in which Sutcliffe featured, but he is especially noted in history for an unbeaten 80-run knock against South Africa in the Boxing Day Test in Johannesburg in 1953.
Despite being taken off to hospital to receive treatment after being hit in the head off the bowling of pacer Neil Adcock, Sutcliffe returned after tea, covered in bandages. However, it was a last-wicket stand with Bob Blair -- who was understood to have stayed behind at the team hotel after learning of the death of his fiancee in a train accident two days prior -- that left the 23,000 fans speechless.
The pair added 33 runs in just ten minutes before Blair was dismissed and although New Zealand lost the match, the incident remains one of the most memorable in the history of game. The Lincoln ground still displays pictures and histories of the great cricketer in memory of his courage.
Dare before getting married
All of a sudden during the first day of Bangladesh's two-day practice game, a group of boys gathered outside the boundary fence at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval yesterday. One of them was wearing a fancy dress with an autographed bat in hand, asking for autographs from two Bangladeshi players.
It was later learned that Cameron Pluck, who will get married in a few days, was given a dare to take the two players' autographs. Bangladesh head coach Steve Rhodes was passing by at the moment and Cameron asked him to get the autographs. Rhodes obliged and got the bat autographed as Cameron's friends cheered and created a hilarious scene at the ground.