Jeremy Wells
Jeremy Wells on cricket

Jeremy Wells: Hadlee collectibles to suit every taste

The Hadlee collectible plates should bring in $225,000. Photo / Supplied
The Hadlee collectible plates should bring in $225,000. Photo / Supplied

During my 30-year career as one of New Zealand's worst armchair cricket tragics I've seen some stunning pieces of quality foreign-made merchandise come up for sale, but last week I found the holy grail of cricketing consumables while browsing the official Sir Richard Hadlee website.

The Royal Grafton Bone China limited edition plate featuring a picture of Sir Richard and his career stats is without a doubt the best piece of legal Hadleebilia available today.

Limited to only 1000 plates, the 1.3kg dishwasher-safe plate is an ideal Christmas gift and a great alternative investment for cricket lovers burned by failed finance companies or disillusioned by the lull in interest rates.

And let me tell you I've invested heavily. Last week I purchased an entire dinner set of eight for the very reasonable price of $1800.

I'm hoping to enjoy eating off them in the short term, then, in the medium to long term, selling them for about 8 per cent more than the purchase price - a total profit on my investment of approximately $144 a year.

At last glance there were only 15 left so this outstanding opportunity is fading fast.

Hadlee's haberdashery seems to be selling like hot cakes and in the process making our favourite line-and-length legionnaire a small fortune.

I've done the numbers and if my calculations are correct, when Sir Richard sells the last 15 of his 1000 bone china plates with embroidered career stats, inshallah, he stands to gross $225,000 - that's $522.04 per test scalp - an impressive yield by anyone's standard.

Luckily, when the plates sell out, doubtless in the next few days, there are numerous other opportunities on the official Hadlee website for the discerning investor to procure items ranging from autographed bats to balls and books and a marble aggregate figurine, a snip at $1295.

Some old friends of mine bought one of the balls that was used in the famous underarm ODI against Australia at the MCG in 1981. Nobody knows whether it was the actual ball that Trevor Chappell underarmed but there's a 50 per cent chance that it was - and that's good enough for me. It's worth a small fortune, that ball. In fact, it's so valuable that it used to be kept in an ASB vault under Albert St. I say used to because it was ordered to be removed because of the number of drunk visitors it was receiving late at night.

Interestingly, it's housed in an underwear drawer now, mixing and mingling with undies and old bits of soap.

This could be controversial, but Sir Richard should think about selling his used undies - I'd certainly consider buying them, particularly the ones that he took 9-52 in at the Gabba in 1985. Hopefully there would be two pairs because he took that bag of nine over a two-day period, although he may have had some superstition regarding apparel.

If I had to choose between the day one and two undies, I'd buy the ones that he took Greg Matthews' wicket in, which was, in my opinion, his most iconic dismissal. Man, that was a peach of a delivery. As Matthews departed the crease he looked bewildered by how it had got through and sent the bails flying.

As a kid getting ready for Saturday cricket, that was the ball I visualised myself bowling. I even made the noise that the Channel Nine stump mics picked up when the ball hit the stumps - a sort of hoicky noise. The same noise that, coupled with Benadryl Expectorant, enables you to bring up post-cold phlegm.

Unfortunately I could never replicate Hadlee's devastating deliveries in a game.

Thankfully, I've got enough money to live out my dreams through his plates.

- NZ Herald

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