Bay of Plenty cricket fans will have the opportunity to rub shoulders with one of the Kiwi legends of the game when Sir Richard Hadlee comes to town on November 1.
The iconic New Zealand cricket all-rounder will headline a function at Club Mount Maunganui as part of his New Zealand tour promoting The Skipper's Diary, his father Walter's diary of the 1949 New Zealand tour of England.
Walter Hadlee captained the New Zealand team on the tour which was played out in war-torn Britain, at a time when rationing was still in effect and buildings still lay in ruins.
During the eight-month tour, Walter Hadlee kept a comprehensive journal which Sir Richard has developed into a book, detailing a journey that included a match in occupied Germany.
"Opportunities to meet Sir Richard and hear firsthand about the project which preserves a significant part of New Zealand Cricket history don't come around too often," Bay of Plenty Cricket chief executive Chris Rapson said.
"The bonus of a guest speaker supporting the launch of the Bay of Plenty Cricket Supporters Club makes this evening a must for all fans of the game."
The post-WWII cricket campaign to the Northern Hemisphere began and finished with a five-week sea voyage, with The Skipper's Diary bringing to life the rich history of post-war cricket in England.
Tour statistics reveal an incredible tale of achievement. The 1949 tourists played 32 first-class games - winning 13, drawing 18 and losing just a solitary match. Eight players exceeded 1000 runs in first-class matches which at the time was a record for touring teams in England.
Legendary New Zealand batsman Bert Sutcliffe's tour aggregate of 2627 runs was second only to the record of Don Bradman of 2960 runs set in 1930. On 26 occasions, the New Zealand batsmen blasted over 300 runs in an innings, with 10 innings passing the 400-run mark.
The cricket night on November 1 will also see the launch of the Bay of Plenty Cricket Supporters Club. For many years there have been discussions about creating a group to support and encourage future players and give those with a love of the game the opportunity to support cricket in the Bay of Plenty.
The Skippers' Diary Tour with Sir Richard Hadlee
Club Mount Maunganui, November 1
6pm Meet and mingle
7pm Dinner followed by Richard Hadlee speaking about The Skipper's Diary
Tickets: $55, contact Bay of Plenty Cricket at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07 575 9120