COMMENT:

With the Cricket World Cup just a few months away, supporters are focusing on whether the Black Caps can repeat the heroics of four years ago.

But how about a New Zealand business team?

Which executives could form a New Zealand business first eleven capable of taking on the best in the world?

Advertisement

The Business Herald decided to have a stab at it.

The selectors wanted to pick a side based on current form but also past experience and the proven ability to win on the big stage. We also allowed overseas-based players because well, why not.

We went for hard-hitting top order batters and a reliable middle order capable of grinding down competitors.

For bowlers, a mix of extreme pace, crafty spin and some dibbly-dobbly medium pace.

1.Geoff Babidge: Opening Bat

Brought back from retirement, the former A2 Milk managing director has a phenomenal record in both domestic and international markets. Has a particularly high strike rate against Australia but also in Asia. Brings strong leadership skills and can develop bold strategies in a competitive environment.

2.Vittoria Shortt: Opening bat

Prolific run scorer who thrives in New Zealand conditions. Recently helped ASB surpass the billion dollar mark with an increase in lending and margins. Doesn't sledge like her Australian counterparts, but will need to adapt to changing rules and regulations coming in just before the tournament.

Advertisement

3. Greg Foran: Top order bat

Recruited from America, the Kiwi-born CEO of retail giant Walmart is another run machine who brings global experience to the team. Not afraid to take bold decisions, Foran keeps the opposition thinking while creating long-term strategies for the good of the team and the game in general. A great role model.

4.Don Braid: top order bat

Much like Kane Williamson, Braid can be called on to steady the ship if things start to go wrong. A solid player of both the front and back foot, the Mainfreight skipper has an established record at home and away. A respected leader, both on and off the field, Braid comes with the added bonus of getting us access to Bruce Plested's Waiheke cricket pitch.

5.Murray Holdaway: middle order bat

An unsung hero in the domestic market, Holdaway brings vision and innovation to the side. A free-scoring batsman who spent two decades building and leading Vista to one of the country's top performing technology companies. Holdaway also bowls nifty leg cutters, an art he's developed through software and cinema management tools.

Who has the safest set of hands in business? Photo/Getty Images.
Who has the safest set of hands in business? Photo/Getty Images.

6.Mark Cairns: Wicketkeeper batsman

A good man to have behind the stumps with a safe pair of hands and sharp reflexes, Cairns is also an aggressive middle-order batsman who's hard to dismiss. Has enjoyed monumental success on the smooth coastal surrounds of Tauranga and will ride that momentum into the World Cup.

7.Anna Curzon: Spin bowler, lower-order bat

Moving to Australia hasn't held back Curzon who has developed a skilful googly that can bamboozle the toughest competitors. As Xero's chief product and partner officer, she is responsible for driving revenue globally and staying ahead of the opposition. Handy with statistics and doesn't let opposition sledging get to her.

8.Jim Delegat: Medium pace all rounder

Bowls a crisp, clean delivery but can change it up with full-bodied ripper that will floor the unwitting. Happy with both the red and white ball, Delegat brings great variety to the crease. Has won numerous awards and his stocks have gone up with Delegat's share price.

9.Kate McKenzie: Medium pace, all rounder

Brings a modern approach to the game and has a good relationship with the governing body. Bowls a good slow ball that never seems to arrive, foxing the opposition. Good economy rate but can bowl the odd no ball so often closely watched by the umpires.

10. Christopher Luxon: Fast bowler

There's nothing like extreme pace and Luxon has a Rolls Royce bowling action.
Sometimes that can backfire and he lost some firepower this year when he had to put aside some of his arsenal. Always good to have in the team though and Luxon isn't afraid to give the odd sledge, especially when playing Aussie.

11.Jon Macdonald: Fast bowler

Macdonald has had a good innings with TradeMe and selectors have picked him on past performance. How he goes in future will depend on what plans his new owners have but he's too valuable a player to leave on the sidelines. Macdonald has the rare ability to stay positive in the face of adversity and the results speak for themselves.

Umpire: Rob Everett

When you're out you're out and the FMA boss has a mandate to discipline any questionable behaviour, enforce the rules of the game and make sure it's played in good spirit.

Umpire: Mark Berry:

Strong focus on match-fixing, collusion and salary cap breaches. Seeks a level playing field and strong competition. Usually takes time when making decisions.