There are a select group of New Zealand cricketers whose careers for one brief moment took them to the pinnacle of the sport in this country.

These are the "one test wonders" - and we celebrate them because for that one moment in their lives they were the best this country could produce for the international stage.

They are the conduit between those who go on to revered test careers… and the rest of us who toil at club or social level long after such dreams have passed.

Herald writers David Leggat, Chris Rattue, Cameron McMillan and Andrew Alderson give an insight into some of these men - they spoke to many of them and hear of their experience for better or worse, and how they feel looking through hindsight's lens.


There are 30 in total, 14 who are alive, and 12 who are retired. This is the story of one of those players.

Rodney Redmond
Age: 73
New Zealand test cricketer number: 126
Played: Pakistan at Auckland, February 16-19, 1973
Return: 107 and 56.

Pride of place among New Zealand's one-test wonders must go to Rodney Ernest Redmond.

Only one other cricketer has ever scored a century in his only test before being discarded, West Indian Andy Ganteaume in 1948 and his dumping is widely attributed to inter-island

Redmond had his chance when Pakistan toured New Zealand in 1973.

The first test had been drawn, but Pakistan won the second in Dunedin by an innings. Terry Jarvis was dropped and for the final test at Eden Park the selectors turned to the local lefthander.

What followed remains one of New Zealand cricket's most celebrated performances.
Redmond raced to a century in 110 balls, and hit 20 fours in the innings, which the crowd celebrated by racing onto the field heading for their hero. The only problem was he was on 99.

''I hit the ball over midwicket and I thought it was four, but one of the guys fielded it and hurled it in,'' Redmond, now long resident in Perth, told ESPNcricinfo.


''The crowd thought it was a four.

''It was quite harrowing. (Opening partner) Glenn Turner said to me, 'They're going to come again, so next time run off the pitch.' I did that, I ran off the pitch, and they came again.''

At one point, Redmond, who had started his first class life as a rather stodgy batsmen only to spread his wings later in his career, larruped five fours in the first five balls from offspinner Majid Khan.

It was a wondrous afternoon in the Eden Park sun and Redmond received a rapturous ovation.

In the second innings he followed up with 56, with nine fours, and was out shortly before the early finish to the drawn test.

''I'm still kicking myself for going out in the second innings, because they drew stumps within half an hour,'' he said.

''I should've been about 60 or 70 not out. I played a stupid, stupid shot and got caught in gully, trying to late-cut the legspinner.''

A test average of 81.50 after one test. And so it has stayed.

So what happened? New Zealand's next international cricket was a tour to England in mid-1973, four months after the Pakistan visit.

There are stories Redmond had issues with contact lenses.

The is an element of truth in that, but he still scored three half centuries in matches leading up to the first test in England. He was short sighted and after having problems with contacts used glasses for his first-class cricket after that.

He believes the national selectors always wanted John Parker to be Turner's opening partner.

Parker had been injured before the first test against Pakistan, which suggests Jarvis and Redmond were effectively stand-ins.

''They were dead set on John Parker and Glenn Turner as the opening pair for England,'' Redmond said.

''I thought I'd be very lucky [to play in England]. That's how it panned out.''

Redmond played two ODIs on that tour and that was it as far as international cricket was concerned. He played no cricket in the 1973-74 season, but had two more summers after that for Auckland before he was gone.

Son Aaron Redmond played eight tests, six ODIs and seven T20s for New Zealand several seasons ago.

Redmond has lived in Perth for the last three decades, stayed involved in the game and coached juniors. After all these years there's no bitterness at his fate.

''I'm quite rational in a way,'' he said. ''I look at a lot of other players that I knew in New Zealand, who were as good if not better than I was, and didn't get an opportunity.

''At least I got the chance, albeit only once.''

The one test wonders series:
Stuart Gillespie - 'I had visions of carrying the drinks'
Andre Adams - 'Your country needs you'
Peter Truscott - A vote shy of another test
Andy McKay - Dismissing the Little Master
Gary Robertson - The one wicket that shouldn't have been
David Sewell - No average performance
Rodney Redmond - One of the great one-test careers
Greg Loveridge - The bowler who never bowled
Michael Mason - 'An experience you'll never forget'
Ian Leggat - A minute in the middle
Richard Jones - A Christmas call-up
Bruce Morrison - The call that finally came