T20 Christchurch Black Clash
Franklin, Marshall, Tonu’u and Perry on board for T20 Christchurch Black Clash
Former Black Caps James Franklin and Hamish Marshall and former White Fern Liz Perry have signed on for Team Cricket, while keeper-batsman and former All Blacks halfback Ofisa Tonu’u will don the gloves for Team Rugby at the Hot Spring Spas T20 Christchurch Black Clash, in association with Swisse on January 25 at Hagley Oval.
All-rounder Franklin, 38, played 31 tests, 110 ODIS and 38 T20Is for New Zealand in an international career spanning 13 years. He most recently played for Middlesex in the English county championship 2017/18 campaign, and is a coaching consultant at Brendon McCullum’s Big Bash League franchise Brisbane Heat.
“It is going to be great to get back to New Zealand and catch up with some great mates for the T20 Black Clash,” said Franklin, who will reunite with former international team mates Brendon McCullum, Stephen Fleming, Grant Elliott, Luke Ronchi and Kyle Mills in an imposing Team Cricket line-up.
Franklin is one of just two New Zealanders with a test match hat-trick to his name – a statistic that will likely send shivers through the ranks of Sir Graham Henry and Kieran Read’s Team Rugby line-up.
"That was a long time ago – but you never know,” said Franklin of repeating the feat against the likes of Read, Richie McCaw and Israel Dagg.
Another of Franklin’s former Black Caps team mates, Hamish Marshall, averaged 38.35 over 13 matches in test cricket before cutting his international career short to concentrate on English county cricket, where he established himself as one of world cricket’s finest first class players over a 10-year career with Gloucestershire.
Marshall is familiar with a number of Team Rugby's stars.
“I played against [Team Rugby captain] Kieran Read when he was playing for Counties and I was playing for Northland,” said Marshall. “He was a good cricketer. And I know Ali Williams from school and he was also a good cricketer, and Jason Spice is a good mate of mine – he played NZU19s.
“So those boys have all played a bit of cricket. It is going to be a bloody good game.”
Team Rugby wicket keeper and former All Blacks, Blues and Hurricanes halfback Ofisa Tonu’u has also played plenty of cricket.
Tonu’u vied with All Whites goal keeper Michael Utting for the First XI keeping gloves at Rongotai College, and played senior cricket for Wellington club PIC at the age of just 14. He currently plays Senior B cricket for Waitakere.
“Cricket has always been my second love,” Tonu’u said. “I’ve loved the game since I first picked up a bat."
Tonu’u has been working hard throughout the summer with Waitakere premier coach Brad Cachopa to ensure his wicket keeping skills were finely honed for the match.
“It’s like a Barbarians rugby match – they say go out and enjoy it but your reputation is on the line too so it is important you play well. That is no different here. I’m pretty confident with the gloves and it will be interesting where Ted chucks me in the batting order.”
Dual international Liz Perry – a former Black Sticks hockey rep who has played 48 matches for the White Ferns and currently plays for Wellington Blaze – joins New Zealand Rugby’s player of the year Kendra Cocksedge as the second female star confirmed for the match.
“I’m absolutely stoked to be playing in the Black Clash,” said Perry, who in addition to playing for the Blaze is Cricket Wellington’s general manager.
“It’s going to be amazing. I’m going to be a bit star struck. I was looking down the player list today and I was like ‘holy moly’. It is an awesome event to be involved in.”
A talented hockey player in her youth, Perry spent two seasons as a member of the Black Sticks and harboured dreams of playing at the Olympics before selection for a cricket world cup in the West Indies with the White Ferns diverted her down the cricketing pathway.
Like many cricketers with a hockey background, Perry favours the cross-bat shots.
“When I’m in form it goes a little bit straighter but I’d definitely say the old cut shot and cow corner to backward square are strengths of mine,” she said.
The full line-ups for both sides are now nearly confirmed – with just the identity of each team’s wildcard player yet to be revealed.
The Hot Spring Spas T20 Christchurch Black Clash, in association Swisse takes place at Hagley Oval on Friday January 25, starting at 4.00pm.
Coach: Sir Graham Henry – first class wicket keeper, world cup winning coach
1 Kieran Read: (C) right hand bat, All Blacks captain, Swisse Ambassador
2 Richie McCaw: left arm seam, played a bit of rugby
3 Israel Dagg: right arm fast, All Blacks wing/fullback
4 Beauden Barrett: left hand bat, handy first five eighths
5 Jordie Barrett: Right arm fast, useful fullback
6 Aaron Smith: all rounder, chirpy halfback
7 Jason Spice: left arm orthodox, first class cricket and rugby player
8 Ali Williams: right hand bat, 77 tests for the All Blacks
9 Kendra Cocksedge: batting all rounder, Black Ferns vice captain
10 Kaylum Boshier: all rounder, Captain of NZU19 in cricket / Taranaki No. 8
11 Ofisa Tunu'u: wicket keeper/batsman
12 International superstar wildcard (TBA)
1 Stephen Fleming (player coach)
2 Brendon McCullum (C)
3 Grant Elliott
4 Luke Ronchi (wk)
5 Kyle Mills
6 Chris Harris
7 Nathan Astle
8 James Franklin
9 Hamish Marshall
10 Liz Perry
11 Star wildcard (TBA)
Manager/motivator: Scott Robertson