EXCLUSIVE: New Zealand international Jamie How recalls his experiences on the big stage

The Westmorland Gazette: EXCLUSIVE: New Zealand international Jamie How recalls his exepriences on the big stage EXCLUSIVE: New Zealand international Jamie How recalls his exepriences on the big stage

In the second of a two-part interview, New Zealand international cricketer Jamie How talks to sports reporter Ross McLean about aspects of his international career and experiences with the national team.

STRIDING out at Shap Road this summer will be a familiar face who has taken guard at some prestigious cricket venues across the globe.

New Zealander Jamie How returns for a third spell with Kendal Cricket Club and will be keen to build on the summer of 2012 when he scored 1060 from 19 innings.

This prolific domestic season followed six years on the world arena after making his One-Day International debut against Sri Lanka at Queenstown on New Year’s Eve 2005.

The right-hander was called up to the Test squad three months later when the West Indies arrived at Eden Park in Auckland for the first in a three-match series.

In a Test that New Zealand ultimately won, How opened the batting on the first morning with Hamish Marshall, scoring 11 in an opening stand of 23 before misfortune struck.

“I guess you always remember the phone call when you are told you’re in the team for the first time, and when you get presented with your cap,” he said.

“There is a mixture of nerves and excitement which is almost unbearable but once you actually get playing it soon becomes like any other game of cricket again.

“I remember my first innings getting run out at the non-strikers end off the bowler’s deflection – Ian Bradshaw was bowling to Hamish at the time.

“Later I would get hit square in the helmet fielding at short leg off a Shivnarine Chanderpaul sweep shot.

“But my abiding memory and the most important factor of the whole experience was a win in my first-ever Test match.”

How’s last Test appearance to date came against India at Napier in March 2009, clocking up 19 caps along the way with a batting average of 22.70.

He also amassed more than a thousand runs for the Black Caps in limited overs cricket, with many of his standout moments in national colours coming against England.

The 32-year-old  scored his highest-ever Test score against Michael Vaughan’s tourists at Hamilton in March 2008 – his first innings 92 contributing to New Zealand securing a commanding 189-run victory and a 1-0 series lead.

Two months later, How laid the foundations for a drawn Test Match in the series opener at Lord’s, posting a 190-ball 68 in the second innings before falling to Stuart Broad.

But his success against England was not confined to the longer format and during England’s 2008 tour of New Zealand he scored a 116-ball 139 as New Zealand tied the fourth ODI in Napier.

Despite being run out on the penultimate ball of the innings, How’s heroics followed half-centuries from Alastair Cook, Phil Mustard, Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood and ensured his side chased down a mammoth 340.

While New Zealand fell tantalisingly short of victory in this clash, How’s experiences against England certainly rank as stand out moments of his career.

“Any Test win or One-Day International series win was a highlight, and to contribute to that was extra special,” he added.

“Changing room moments and celebrating wins with your mates who you’ve worked hard with at whatever level you play at is what it’s all about.

“The 50 on my ODI debut against Sri Lanka was a cool day and it was great to reach three figures against England on my home ground.

“Although the enduring memory of that day is probably feeling gutted we only drew the game after only needing six off the last over.

“But it was obviously very pleasing to score a hundred for your country and it was made even more special to achieve it on home soil.

“Playing at Lords was very much a career highlight.

“Being able to walk through the Long Room to face the first ball of a Test match is something I will never forget.

“It was nice to spend a bit of time in the middle and while it wasn’t a hundred, it was nice to raise the bat for a half century.”

It was during the early stages of New Zealand’s 2008 tour of England that How held the honour of captaining the national side while Daniel Vettori completed Indian Premier League commitments.

But a greater accolade for the man who skippered Central Districts to HRV Cup success in 2009-10 is competing with and against the cream of the cricketing world.

“Being able to say you captained your country is pretty good, but having said that it was for a couple of warm-up games,” he said.

“Half the team’s senior players were away at the IPL so it was a bit more of a unique situation and really I was almost the last man standing.

“More significant is being able to play with and against some of the best players in the world at amazing grounds and these are things I’ll never forget.”

 

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