EXCLUSIVE: New Zealand international Jamie How talks about Kendal return and record-equalling domestic year (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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EXCLUSIVE: New Zealand international Jamie How talks about Kendal return and record-equalling domestic year
In the first of a two-part interview, sports reporter Ross McLean talks exclusively to New Zealand international cricketer Jamie How about his return to Kendal and a record-equalling year.
HE may no longer hold international ambitions but New Zealand batsman Jamie How still pens a prized signature and remains a name to conjure with in the cricket world.
Currently plying his trade on native soil with Central Districts, the 32-year-old will board a flight to England in April ahead of a third spell with Kendal Cricket Club.
How’s star shines brightly at Shap Road after a second stint with the club in 2012 saw him head the Northern League batting charts with 1060 runs from 19 innings.
The opening batsman finished that season with an average of 88.33 – more than 35 runs healthier than nearest rival Timycen Maruma – with a top score of 160 not out.
This followed six years on the global stage after making his One-Day International debut against Sri Lanka at Queenstown on New Years Eve 2005.
The right-hander went on to play 19 Test matches with an average of 22.70 while racking up more than a thousand runs for the Black Caps in limited overs cricket.
But with these days seemingly consigned to the pages of history, How is determined to once again make a splash in all areas of Kendal club life.
“I don’t really have any international aims, I’m privileged to have had a lot of opportunities in the past and I think it’s the turn of the younger players to have a crack,” he said.
“My main focus is to keep improving and enjoy my cricket as much as possible, and help win games for whatever team I’m playing for.
“The family and I really enjoyed our previous two seasons at Kendal and were always keen to come back.
“Apart from catching up with friends at the club, we really enjoy the area and it’s great to spend time together as a family.
“I’m really fortunate Kendal have offered me another season as their professional and I want to repay them with performances on the field to help win as many games as possible.
“I also want to work off the field with coaching and also help promote and grow the club’s support and sponsorship, essentially contribute as much as I can.”
How’s last international involvement came in a One-Day International against Pakistan at Hamilton in 2011 – scoring 12 before falling to Wahab Riaz in a 41-run defeat.
Since then his attention has focused on domestic cricket with Central Districts, enjoying a stint as captain while also tasting Plunket Shield success earlier this year.
2013 also saw How become the first New Zealand player to smash a double century in a List A clash, blasting 222 in 138 balls for the Stags against Northern Districts in the Ford Trophy.
His knock – which contained 27 fours and eight sixes – means How now holds the joint-second highest List A score of all time, while his 321 opening stand with Jeet Raval is a domestic record.
“The 222 was a pretty surreal day,” he added.
“I was pretty lucky that we put on a big opening partnership meaning we could just continue playing a few shots.
“And it was just one of those days where things went your way and you didn’t get out.
“I guess in this game you get plenty of bad days, so it’s nice to have a few that go your way as well.”
A repeat showing would please the Shap Road faithful no end, with the starting pistol for Kendal’s campaign sounding on April 19 with a trip to Penrith.
And with his run-scoring ability showing little sign of ceasing, How maintains the nuances of an English season continue to provide a priceless education to cricketers irrespective of age.
“I think different players at different stages of their careers can enjoy an English summer playing cricket for different reasons,” he said.
“For me personally, it’s a great opportunity to maintain a bit of form through our off season and work on a few things in my game.
“I also really enjoy the cricket in the UK, and the characters that are involved in the clubs and in the bars.
“Probably above all, it’s a great opportunity for my wife and two little girls to travel together and enjoy a great part of the world.”
In next week’s Westmorland Gazette, Jamie How shares further details about his international career and experiences with the New Zealand national team.
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