Matt Heath is a radio host on Radio Hauraki and Herald columnist

Matt Heath: Beating the Aussies is simply cricketing gold

Black Caps batsman Kane Williamson's winning six was a stroke of genius which reduced Kiwi men to tears. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Black Caps batsman Kane Williamson's winning six was a stroke of genius which reduced Kiwi men to tears. Photo / Brett Phibbs

A great thing is happening today. The Blacks Caps play Australia at Eden Park. There'll be heartbreak, cheers and beers. We'll laugh, we'll cry. The magic starts at 11, you gotta be there.

Australia are, as always, annoyingly good and that's why beating them feels great.

World Cup 2015. Eden Park. We're 9 down and Kane 'Steady the Ship' Williamson smashes Pat Cummins straight down the ground for six. We win, grown men blub, hug and pass out. It was amazing.

This transtasman rivalry is huge for us because we're always the underdogs. We're small, they're big, we've no right to beat them ever, but we often do. Which is righteous because their players are generally great cricketers but terrible humans. The most hated team on the planet.

Comedian and cricket fanatic Ben Hurley puts it this way: "Beating Australia is like watching a bully get taken down in a movie. Like watching Daniel San kick Johnny in the face at the end of Karate Kid for 8 hours."

Wellington Central MP and cricket fanatic Grant Robertson remembers angrily: "1987 we had them nine down at the MCG. Danny Morrison bowling his best ever test spell. Two plumb LBWs in two overs both turned down by the appropriately named Australian umpire Dick French. Danny ended up on his arse. Me in tears. With neutral umpires and DRS, we would've won and Danny would've been a hero. (Until he narked on those guys in South Africa)."

Radio Sport's Nathan Rarere's: "I often think of Rodney Hogg's pained face when Lance Cairns hit him for two 6s. My first game of TV cricket. I was straight out to the garage to saw the shoulders off my bat. Most of my mates got hidings from their dads for doing the same." Media mogul Philip Smith describes the terraces of the 80s: "We knew so much less about the Aussies back then. They'd just appear. Smug. Daunting. Cocky. Bright yellow. They had the arsenal but we had Hadlee ... and we had props to chant his name in the form of a can of DB Brown. Like a 5000-man Jamaican drum ensemble, and for once New Zealanders got a chant right and if you didn't join in cans would rain on you like an Auckland Saturday morning. Why the series is called the Chappell-Hadlee - when it should be called the Lillee-Hadlee is beyond me. Reminding us of the Chappells is like calling the newspaper boy of the year award the David Bain trophy. Just wrong."

Our passion for beating Australia is burnt into the Kiwi soul. It's what hooked today's cricket leaders to the game. Black Caps coach Mike Hesson can vocally imitate Hadlee's 9 for 52 at the Gabba complete with exact Channel 9 commentary and stump mic effects. ACC head Grot Lane needed a police escort from Adelaide Oval on Australia Day 2002 after over-celebrating Shane Bond's 5-wicket bag and over-desecrating their national flag. Hauraki Breakfast host Jeremy Wells states: "I hate them more than I hate myself."

The Aussies think we're crap but we don't care cause we think they're dicks.

My uncle Tim sums up why it's different with the Aussies: "I was raised to applaud the opposition, never sledge and to walk if I nicked the ball. However, when I think of the times Australia has beaten us, by long arm, strong arm, over arm and unmentionable arm I say, 'Get out there, do whatever you have to do to beat the bastards'." He should know - he travels the world with a fresh cricket ball just so he can smell it every morning.

Today me and my best mates are going to Eden Park to watch the Black Caps play Australia. Like so many others in the ground we will be wearing our Kane 'Steady the Ship' Williamson captain's hats because we love our team. The Aussies think we're crap but we don't care cause we think they're dicks.

They have all the money, the power and the population. They are the bad guys.

That's why I've grabbed my TAB app and put a hundy on the good guys. We have no right to beat them but we probably will and you don't want to miss that. See ya in the East Stand for a good old-fashioned Oz v NZ burn.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW
Matt Heath is a radio host on Radio Hauraki and Herald columnist

Matt Heath is a breakfast radio host on Radio Hauraki, and a television producer, writer and director. He made a name for himself with Back of The Y Masterpiece Television, Balls of Steel UK and the feature film The Devil Dared Me To. Matt was guitarist and singer for the band Deja Voodoo which released two top twenty albums. He is currently a producer on Best Bits, a cricket commentator for The Alternative Commentary Collective, and the director of Vinewood Motion Graphics. Matt is a father of two living in Auckland City.

Read more by Matt Heath

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 30 Mar 2017 20:52:15 Processing Time: 371ms