Cricket isn't everyone's cup of tea.

But for those born with the taste for it, it can be addictive.

Today at Whangarei's Cobham Oval the sport will attract several thousand people when the Black Caps and West Indies play the first of three matches in an international one-day series.

One-day cricket suits the West Indies, it's the "here for a good time, not a long time" scenario.


The match has put the spotlight on a game that remains a popular summer pastime for Northlanders.

It has also offered young local players the chance to rub shoulders with world-class cricketers.

On Monday, a group of kids who were transported to Whangarei for a training session got a surprise visit from four Black Caps.

One was captain Kane Williamson who is among the top 10 batters in the world in test, one-day and twenty20 cricket.

Ross Taylor is pretty handy too - he is a top-10 regular, although is currently sitting just outside the list.

The kids won't appreciate just yet how lucky they were to spend some time with these players. They probably wondered who the heck they were.

But maybe when they are Black Caps they will look back and go "that was the moment that inspired me".

Northland has plenty of talented individuals capable of playing cricket, but getting them to realise that can be a challenge.


It's not a short game, you need gear, it's hot, it's tiring, it's hard work.

And immensely rewarding, and enjoyable.

If your kids don't play cricket because you as an adult aren't a fan of the game, my suggestion would be at least let them try.

In the Indian IPL T20 league, half the players earn $100,000 or under.

Twenty five per cent of the players are in the $100,000 to $200,000 bracket, and the same percentage again in the $200,000 to $400,000 and $400,000 to $600,000 brackets.

The rest can anything up to $1.5 million.

Not bad for 40 overs of cricket each time, sometimes less.

And T20 in particular rewards creative batters with great hand-eye co-ordination, and wily bowlers trying to contain - and ultimately dismiss - those creative batters.

Consistency is a key too - if you don't perform you don't get picked.

Somewhere in Northland are kids capable of playing T20 who may never realise.

Hopefully on Monday, a couple were unearthed.