No 13 has served Blair Tickner swimmingly well in his professional cricketing career but now the one-match Black Cap is venturing with it into the commercial arena in Hastings.

Tickner is opening his 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, from Monday.

"It's always been my lucky number but I haven't won Lotto yet," says the 25-year-old Central Districts Stags representative who was born on October 13, 1993, and who sports the number on his cricket shirts.

Tickner, who returns to the Stags' fold for the 2019-20 season for his fourth men's domestic stint, says it's a transition from his roadside espresso businesses to an indoor facility.

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"It's been a bit of time between drinks but it's been a massive operation here so, yeah, it's daunting but pretty exciting at the same time," he says.

A trained barista, he is employing four fulltime staff to run the cafe that aims to offer healthy alternatives to not just athletes but any member of the public. Partner Sarah Reid is cafe manager.

It is, no doubt, a dream come true for the talented seamer who rose to cricketing stardom in a relatively short time to make his Twenty20 debut for the New Zealand men's cricket team last summer.

With CD physiotherapist Nathan Manu and his partner, Hannah Walker, securing a berth at the institute they threw Tickner's hat into the ring to meet Avery, the chairman of Hawke's Bay Community Fitness Centre Trust.

"From there it got through and has been at least a year in process but it's coming together nicely now," he says.

It hadn't dawned on the Ruahine Motors Central Hawke's Bay premier men's club cricketer how much work was required behind the scenes so progress was slow and far in between.

"It's nice now to see a cafe come up in a year so it's good."

The cafe can accommodate up to 63 customers for seated "power bowls" on a menu that offers Mexican, Japanese and Portuguese fare.

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"I'll be making coffee but I'm also balancing that with the New Zealand [cricket] winter squad as well," he says.

Tickner travels to Lincoln, Christchurch, every fortnight to train from Monday to Friday with New Zealand Cricket high performance staff.

He'll also carry on training from 5.30am before the cafe opens at 7am and closes at 5pm every day of the week.

"It's nice to have some cricket and then have something I can come back to so, hopefully, I can do it from there to make it bigger and bigger," he says, relishing the thought of having something that'll take his mind of cricket all the time.

Blair Ticker will operate the 13th Stag cafe with partner Sarah Reid as manager at the new sport institute based at HB Regional Sports Park in Hastings from Monday. Photo / Paul Taylor
Blair Ticker will operate the 13th Stag cafe with partner Sarah Reid as manager at the new sport institute based at HB Regional Sports Park in Hastings from Monday. Photo / Paul Taylor

A grinning Tickner is mindful his Stags teammates are hanging out for discounts but his business acumen will come to the fore.

"The whole complex is quite exciting for Hawke's Bay because it's something we haven't had before," he says, alluding to the privilege of adding value to high performance and health facilities to be made accessible to the public.

He says anyone can obtain a membership to the public gym facilities and use other services, such as physiotherapy, alongside professional athletes.

Tickner is enjoying watching the Blacks Caps methodically making ground at the ICC World Cup in England and Wales although it would have been wicked to be part of the bowling attack.

"I hope to play one-dayers for New Zealand in the future but it probably wasn't really my time at the moment so, hopefully, I can push for the next time when I'm a bit older and wiser."

The right-arm, medium/fast bowler took the wicket of Rishabh Pant for 28 runs, with captain Kane Williamson brilliantly snaffling the ball at mid on from a mistimed shot, breaking a promising partnership as the Black Caps went on to pip India by four runs to clinch the T20 series 2-1 at Seddon Park, Hamilton, in February.

Taking on board the advice of Black Caps coach Gary Stead to go have some fun, Tickner finished with 1-34 from his four allotted overs to be the most frugal bowler, going for 8.5 runs an over.

Tickner, who hits the deck with venom by using his height and mixes it up to tickle unsuspecting batsmen in the ribs from an uncomfortable length, will hope to add more international caps if he's selected and should the tour to Sri Lanka go ahead next summer.

"I just have to keep on working with the white and red ball because I want to play all formats for New Zealand but, at the moment, I just want to take one thing at a time."

He believes if the Blacks Caps do all the little things right, although the knockout phase can be tricky after they lost to Pakistan yesterday morning, there's no reason why they shouldn't prevail at the world cup.

While he's been away with New Zealand A and the Black Caps last summer Tickner says it's been good to return to train alongside the Stags for another good season.

The back-to-back Plunket Shield champions have yet to appoint a coach since South African Heinrich Malan stepped down this year.

A trained barista, Blair Tickner is employing four fulltime staff to run the cafe that aims to offer healthy alternatives to not just athletes but any member of the public. Photo / Paul Taylor
A trained barista, Blair Tickner is employing four fulltime staff to run the cafe that aims to offer healthy alternatives to not just athletes but any member of the public. Photo / Paul Taylor