It appears Brendon McCullum's current squad of Black Caps are indeed having the "greatest time" of their lives.

And Northland's star Black Caps bowler Tim Southee, 26, will be a central force as they approach what could be the pinnacle of their careers.

From promising high school cricketer to Black Caps bowler in the space of several years, Maungakaramea cricket identity Murray Child believes Southee has much more to deliver his country and region than just a win in this Sunday's world cup final.

Tim Southee
Tim Southee

"Tim shows he has the ability to open well and bowl in the death overs, that's an art form in itself," Child says.


"I think he could still be a very good batter and an all-rounder. It's very hard being so young but he's done well."

Southee debuted against England in 2008 at 19 years-old, announcing his arrival to international cricket with bowling figures of 4/55 and 77 runs off 40 balls with the bat in an innings which included nine sixes.

Seven years on from his debut, Southee's progression through the ranks has seen his mental game develop almost as much as the technical aspects of his game.

"I can remember him pretty well back. There were some good cricketers when he was young, but at age-group level he stepped up. He was hungry and wanted it more," Child says.

"He's always showed potential to be cream of the crop and a lot of promise.

"The further up the grades he got, he's really excelled. He's had some good coaches through the years and obviously has got the mental altitude and what it takes to achieve at the highest level."

But despite Southee's mature demeanour in both cricket and life itself, it seems his vintage years are yet to come.

"Outside of cricket he's an outstanding person," Child says.


"He's never forgotten his roots and upbringing and he comes back home to play for Northern Districts and the club whenever he can make it work.

"All he's got to do now is maintain his confidence.

"Once you reach that pinnacle you've got to stay on top and I'm quite sure he's capable of continuing this."