RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
2020 New Zealand Cricket Almanack

2020 New Zealand Cricket Almanack
Edited by Francis Payne and Ian Smith
A Mower Book

Published by Upstart Press Ltd.
Level 6, BDO Tower, 19-21,
Como Street, Takapuna, Auckland,
New Zealand.

ISBN 978-1-988516-97-4

Pages 548

RRP New Zealand $ 55.00

Who became the first pair of Toms to open the batting in a Test match. How many of cricket enthusiasts know the answer to that one?

Tom Latham and Tom Blundell became the first pair of Toms to accomplish the feat in a Test match as mentioned by Francis Payne and Ian Smith. The full list of players with first name Thomas to open in Test cricket are: Garrett, Andrews, Moody (Australia), Hayward, Worthington (but known by second name Stan), Graveney (England), Burtt, Latham, Blundell (New Zealand), Routledge, Ward (South Africa).

Every lover of the game will relish the arrival of this latest edition. 2020 New Zealand Cricket Almanack is an outstanding cricket annual - the most compact and efficiently organised production. The same has been painstakingly researched and lovingly compiled. What is most remarkable is that so much has been packed into an Almanack of 548 pages, with everything set out with such clarity of detail.

Thanks to superb efforts of the editors, cricket's library has been enriched by the appearance of this Almanack over the years.

The 73rd edition of New Zealand Cricket Almanack is the 38th edited by Francis Payne and Ian Smith - New Zealand's foremost cricket statisticians.

Payne is a regular guest on both radio and television as well as fulfilling the role as chief cricket statistician for New Zealand Cricket.

Neil Wagner and Devon Conway (the first batsman to be the leading run-scorer in all three New Zealand domestic formats in one season) havebeen named the players of the year while Henry Cooper, Kyle Jamieson and Rachin Ravindra have been named the promising players.

The BLACKCAPS' programme included Test series in Sri Lanka and Australia and at home against England and India, and saw them climb to number two in the Test rankings. The WHITE FERNS played South Africa at home and took part in the ICC Women's T20 World Cup in Australia.

Domestic cricket featured the Dream11 Super Smash Twenty20 competition, the Plunket Shield, the Ford Trophy and the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield. There is also coverage of the Hawke Cup and age-group cricket, including the ICC Under 19 World Cup in South Africa.

The Happenings section in the Almanack each year is without parallel as the cricket trivia, covered in this section, is not to be seen in any other cricket publication and website.

Some of the interesting Happenings covered in this Almanack are:

  • Alan Burgess celebrated his 100th birthday on May 1, 2020. He became the fourth New Zealand first-class cricketer to reach the personal century after John Wheatley (Canterbury) 1860-1962, Syd Ward (Wellington) 1907-2010 and Tom Pritchard (Wellington and New Zealand) 1917-2017.
  • With the death of Vasant Raiji on June 13, 2020, Alan Burgess became the oldest living first-class cricketer in the world. Raiji, who had played for Bombay and Baroda in the 1940s, had been 100 years old while the longest lived of all first-class cricketers, John Manners, had died on March 7, 2020 aged 105.
  • Ross Taylor, in the final match of the series against India at Mount Maunganui in February 2020, became the first New Zealand player to appear in 100 T20Is. Three weeks later at Wellington, he became the fourth New Zealand player after Stephen Fleming, Daniel Vettori and Brendon McCullum, to play 100 test matches. This also meant that he became the first player from any country to appear in 100 games in each of the threeinternational formats.
  • Neil Wagner captured his 200th wicket in Test Cricket when he dismissed Steve Smith in Australia's second innings of the second Test in Melbourne. In terms of matches, he was the fastest left-arm pace bowler to reach the milestone. The fastest are Neil Wagner (46), Mitchell Johnson (49), Mitchell Starc (50), Wasim Akram (51) and Trent Boult (52).
  • Joe Root became the first visiting captain to score a double century in a Test in New Zealand when he posted 226 in the second match at Hamilton. The previous highest by a visiting captain was Chris Gayle's 197 at Napier in 2008-09.

A veritable mine of information, the Almanack is an invaluable part of cricket enthusiast's kit bag and is the cricket lover's bible of New Zealand Cricket. This outstanding annual has earned many friends over the years and will assuredly continue to do so.