Cricket: Fast bowler's move north is a winner

By Cameron Leslie

Moving north may yet prove to be one of the best decisions of Cody Andrews' life after being named the District Association cricketer of the year for the Northern Districts region.

Since being spotted as a player with promise by Lance Cairns, Andrews made the call to move away from his hometown of Gisborne in pursuit of change for the better.

"You get quite comfortable down in Gisborne," said Andrews, who is now into his second year in Northland. "I think it was a good move up here, it got me to nail down a few things [in cricket]."

He added while moving away from family was the hardest part of it, his Maungakaramea team, which had contracted him as a professional player, had made him feel at home in the winterless north.

When talking about cricket and Northland it's hard not to compare the 25-year-old fast bowler with Black Cap Tim Southee. Andrews commented that while he had not played on the same team as Southee, he was a player he admired for his hard work.

"I played against him in age group [cricket], he's definitely one of those guys a lot of people look up to [and] he's definitely one of those guys I look up to."

While following in Southee's footsteps might be a future goal, Andrews' award comes as no surprise after a commanding season for Northland where he cultivated a name for himself as a tough customer and someone who wasn't afraid to throw a 140km-plus bouncer down the pitch.

Andrews said players such as the Parlane brothers, Michael and Neal, along with Northland coach Stephen Cunis and Murray Child had all played integral parts in achieving what he has this season.

"[Cunis has helped] not just on-field but off the field, too, and you've got the likes of the Parlanes who have helped out, especially having Flea [Neal] on my back every game we've played."

Andrews' record during the season speaks for itself as he averaged 12.3 runs per wicket in one-day matches, at an economy of 3.6 an over, and 17.4 in two-dayers, at 2.8 runs per over.

Cunis said Andrews has improved remarkably during the past two seasons and has delivered on the promise he showed in Gisborne.

"In terms of Northland he hasn't missed a beat," Cunis said. "He works hard and I've been really happy with how he has performed for us.

"We offered him a deal up here coaching in schools and being pro for Maungakaramea. We thought 'get him up here and fine tune him'. He's got strong over the last year and his line and length has just been spot on this year."

Cunis said Andrews' reputation had reached him when he took over the tenure as Northland coach before Cunis saw him play.

Also winning an award at the annual Northern Districts Cricket's prizegiving was the Kaipara Flats cricket team for being the champion club team for the region.

- Northern Advocate

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