Mark Richardson 's Opinion

Mark Richardson is a former Black Cap and current columnist for the Herald on Sunday

Mark Richardson: Martin deserves better

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Martin is a reliable, even-headed character who does not take his duty for New Zealand lightly nor for granted, says Richardson. Photo / Barry Aldworth
Martin is a reliable, even-headed character who does not take his duty for New Zealand lightly nor for granted, says Richardson. Photo / Barry Aldworth

Life is not fair for Chris Martin. He has been a trouper for New Zealand cricket and deserves better treatment than he is currently getting.

Leaving Martin out of this test was unfair and disrespectful. Given Martin is a test specialist nowadays and often goes into a series a little underdone, the Black Caps selectors should know he tends to hit his straps in the second and third test - if we were good enough to warrant one.

Martin improved steadily during the first test and turned in the most respectable figures by the end of his only bowling innings. He only got the one innings to bowl in because he was let down by his batsmen. Yet on the back of all this, he became the only genuine unforced change to the side.

I'm excited to see what Neil Wagner can do and understand that Trent Boult and Doug Bracewell are the future but, regardless of what they do in this test, based on what I saw from Martin in the last test, he would have been a safe option. However, "safe" does not appear to be what the management is interested in.

Martin is a reliable, even-headed character who does not take his duty for New Zealand lightly nor for granted - traits that right now should serve as an on-field remainder to many.

Martin has provided consistency and success for 12 years. He has sat in a dressing-room and watched others who've achieved far less than him become rich off the game. He has not been rewarded as he should for his excellence.

Anyone with a knowledge of his game would have shown him the respect he's earned and worked the bowling unit for this test around him rather than giving him the "thanks but no thanks" omission.

Yes, I understand re-building is required to move our test game out of the doldrums but every good construction needs some solid foundations.

Sure, Martin's career is waning but, based on what I've seen, retirement is more appropriate to this stalwart of our test attacks than dumping.

Just one more point to ponder. Chris Martin has no aptitude for batting whatsoever. He simply can't bat and no matter how hard he tries, he will forever be useless. However, do you ever see him back off to leg and swing wildly? No, you don't.

He tries his best to stay in line as best he can and tries not to give it away, knowing all along it is a lost cause. Every time he walks to the middle he pretty much risks his life such is his inability to protect himself. Yet never does he take the soft option.

Just a bit of respect, please, for a guy who's exhibited all the traits we fans and critics have been asking for in this team for the last five years.

- Herald on Sunday

Mark Richardson

Mark Richardson is a former Black Cap and current columnist for the Herald on Sunday

Mark Hunter Richardson represented New Zealand in 38 Tests from 2000-2004 racking up an impressive 2,776 runs with an average of 44.7. The former Black Cap began his cricketing career as a left-arm spinner but soon realised that his talents lay with the bat. The transition from ball to bat was seamless and Richardson soon made his international debut against Zimbabwe at the age of 29. Known as a stalwart opener, Richardson’s intelligent style of hard-grind batting came at the perfect time for New Zealand cricket and provided much-needed stability for the Black Caps. Apart from being an excellent opening batsman, Mark Richardson was well-known among fans and team mates for his humorous off-pitch antics and friendly interactions with the famous Beige Brigade, with whom he formed a strong relationship. An excellent cricketer with a personable quality, Richardson once remarked that his retiring first-class average was only different to that of Sir Donald Bradman by a decimal point. Mark Richardson retired from all forms of the game in 2004 and continues to write an insightful, thought-provoking column for the New Zealand Herald.

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