RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
2023 New Zealand Cricket Almanack

2023 New Zealand Cricket Almanack
Edited by Francis Payne & Ian Smith

Published in 2023 by
Upstart Press Ltd.,
26, Greenpark Road,
Penrose, Auckland,
New Zealand

ISBN: 978-1-77694-038-7

Pages: 624

Price: RRP New Zealand $55)

This magnificent Almanack has earned many friends over the years and will assuredly continue to do so. Every cricket lover will relish the arrival of this latest edition. The 76th edition of the New Zealand Cricket Almanack is the 41st under the current editors - Francis Payne and Ian Smith.

2023 New Zealand Cricket Almanack is a quality product from Upstart Press Ltd., deserving 100% marks for production, designing, formating and lay-out of scorecards apart from extraordinary black and white photographs.

Tom Blundell and Kane Williamson have been named as Players of the year by the 2023 New Zealand Cricket Almanack while Adi Ashok and Ray Toole have been named as Promising players.

As in the previous years, an absorbing compilation of the season's happenings, is the highlight of this Almanack. The statistical highlights, covered in this section, are not to be seen in any other cricket publication and website. Some of the interesting Happenings covered in this Almanack are:

  • When Kane Williamson won the toss in the first one day international against India on November 25, 2022 it was the first time that New Zealand won the toss in a one-day game at Eden Park and after 18 unsuccessful attempts. Their previous success with the toss was on December 26, 2007 against Bangladesh when Mohammad Ashraful called incorrectly after Daniel Vettori had spun the coin.
  • New Zealand defeated Sri Lanka by eight wickets off the last possible ball of the game in the first Test at Hagley Oval, Christchurch in March 2023. Kane Williamson (who was facing) and Neil Wagner ran a bye off the last ball to secure victory. The only previous Test which had been decided off the last possible delivery of the game was England's win over South Africa at Durban in December 1948. Cliff Gladwin and Alec Bedser ran a leg bye as England reached their target of 128.
  • In the second Test against Sri Lanka at Wellington in March 2023, Kane Williamson (215) & Henry Nicholls (200 not out) had provided the first instance of two players posting a double century in the same innings in New Zealand first-class cricket. Bert Kortland (214) & Syd Hiddleston (204) recorded double centuries for Wellington against Auckland at Basin Reserve, Wellington in February 1926 but not in the same innings.
  • England's one-run defeat in the second Test at Wellington was the first time they had ever lost a Test after taking a 200-plus runs first-innings lead. The previous highest first-innings lead resulting in a loss for England was 177 runs against Australia at Old Trafford, Manchester in 1961.
Rich tributes have been paid by the Almanack to Barry Sinclair, Frank Cameron, Keith Thomson, Ethna Rouse, Lindsay Crocker & Bruce Murray.

According to the editors, Murray was an expert catcher in the slips and his 23 catches in the 1967-68 season remains the New Zealand first-class record."One of his most celebrated catches was one that didn't count. During the last Test in Pakistan, some spectators, unhappy with the state of the game, began throwing things on to the field. Murray, near the boundary, was hit by a banana, which he wanted to bring to the attention of the umpires. He ran in with the banana in his hand as New Zealand bowler Dayle Hadlee was about to bowl. As Asif Iqbal, the batsman, hit the ball in Murray's direction, Murray dived to complete a remarkable catch, still holding the banana. However, with the ball declared dead, Murray's catch did not stand."

Dedicated cricket enthusiasts will be particularly fascinated by the detailed statistical sections, covering New Zealand's Tests, ODIs and T20Is and First-class cricket - both Men & Women. These are always exhaustive. Women's Cricket has been compiled by Catherine Campbell.

Amelia Kerr (Wellington) is the Player of the year. She was the first player to receive the Debbie Hockley Medal for the most outstanding women's cricketer of the year and was also named the ANZ women's Twenty20 international Player of the Year. Kate Anderson (Canerbury) is the Promising Player of the Year.

A veritable mine of information, Almanack is an invaluable part of cricket enthusiast's kit bag and is the cricket lover's bible of New Zealand Cricket.