The first girl to play cricket for the Levin Old Boys Club had the chance to meet some of her cricketing idols today.
Levin teenager Erin Buckland was stunned when she stepped off a bus in Wellington this afternoon and came face to face with Black Caps players Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, and Mitch Santner.
Erin, 13, and her friends from the Horowhenua and Kapiti cricket team were brought to the Basin Reserve for a special training session with the Black Caps and Central Hinds.
"It was cool and shocking," Erin said of the moment she discovered the surprise.
As part of the ANZ Dream Deliveries programme, Erin and her squad were picked up from school and driven to Wellington for the training session, and were also given new cricket gear.
"I'm going to get a chance to bowl with Tim Southee because he gets swing like I do when I bowl," Erin said.
While the training session had so far been fun, Erin admitted her favourite part was getting to leave school early.
She has been playing cricket for two years and has dreams of playing for the Central Hinds and the White Ferns.
She said she liked that cricket was a team sport.
Parents Rob and Nicola Buckland thought they were more "dumbstruck" at the surprise than Erin was.
"It's just outstanding," Rob said.
"She's so sporty, but this is the one thing that she's really stuck to. It's the one thing that she really wants to improve on."
Mum Nicola said Erin wanted to show other girls they could play cricket too.
Erin was the first female to make it on to the all-male team at the Levin Old Boys Club, and had been instrumental in motivating other girls to play. Now there was an all-girls coaching clinic with Matt Good, development manager for cricket in the region, and coach Mikaela Greig, of the Central Hinds.
"She's probably a little ambassador and she doesn't realise it," Rob said.