Black Caps cricketer Blair Tickner has declared he will be offering non-contact deliveries from today.
No it's not a time for club, domestic and international batsmen to breathe a collective sign of relief because Tickner will stop giving them a hurry up on the wicket with his short-pitched, rising rib ticklers.
It's because the Central Districts Stags seamer is offering food and drinks from his cafe in Hastings without coming into contact with people in light of the Covid-19 virus situation.
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"Anyone can offer coffees or food on the website where it'll take them to a purchase button so they pay online and then we will do a service where we drop it off at the front door without making any contact with people so everyone will feel safe and healthy," says the 26-year-old who is in his sixth domestic season with the Stags.
The service is from 8am to 2pm every day from the couple's 13th Stag cafe, located at the entrance to the new $15 million EIT Institute of Sport & Health at the Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park. They opened the business in June last year.
He and partner Sarah Reid got the idea from his mother, Jenny Tickner, who lives in the Gold Coast, Queensland.
"My mum's in Australia so, obviously, they're in the worst place with the coronavirus and they've just started doing it over there," he explains.
Jenny had contacted Tickner and Reid so during the conversation the couple thought why not offer that sort of service in the Bay.
They had broached the subject on their social media platforms and got some good feedback.
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"All the small businesses around the world seem to be doing it tough with the drop-off in customers so it's affecting us as well, and we're just trying to find a way to get it out to people because it's becoming hard for them as well."
Tickner says the conversation with his mother had revealed cafes were even delivering food and drinks to people in their vehicles.
He says business at the 13th Stag cafe was good last week but there had been a noticeable drop this week.
The couple's drive is not only to keep the business afloat but also to ensure their six staff are able to support their families.
"We're trying to make sure everyone is all right through such tough times but what's most important is the health of the people."
Hawke's Bay has yet to officially register a case of the Covid-19 virus.
The Ruahine Motors Central Hawke's Bay CC premier player had represented New Zealand against England and India in the Twenty International series here. The Wellington Firebirds were declared the four-day Plunket Shield champions last week to deny second-placed CD a treble of titles in the first-class season.
With all cricket cancelled domestically and internationally, he has joined Reid fulltime at the cafe.
"It's our livelihood so we're trying to make it work for everyone."
Tickner says the cafe's food and beverages menu will be loaded on to their website www.13thstag.com
He says it was an up-and-down season for the Aldin Smith-coached CD Stags last summer. They would have liked to have finished the 2019-20 season on a high note but everyone accepts the welfare of fans and players is paramount.
Napier-born Tickner spent a decade in the Gold Coast after his family immigrated there when he was a youngster.
He returned home to the Bay in 2015-16 to see if he could eke out a professional career in the code after bumping into fellow CHB cricketer Angus Schaw while the pair were playing against each other in Cambridge, England.
Over a few beers Schaw had convinced the former Taradale Cricket Club age-group member to return to his birth region to play for CHB.
Tickner, a former Greenmeadows School pupil whose grandparents hail from Tikokino, saw it as an opportune time to catch up with friends and family. His had had a meteoric rise to making his Black Caps debut in February last year.
It didn't take long for Tickner to make the cut for the Pay Excellence Hawke's Bay senior men's team and he was offered a full contract with the CD Stags in 2016-17.