Welcome Mathew Sinclair to Cricket Web

Welcome Mathew Sinclair to Cricket Web

We at Cricket Web are both proud and excited in welcoming Mathew Sinclair. Mathew will be regularly contributing blog pieces for Cricket Web readers to enjoy. His years of experience and ongoing participation in both international and New Zealand domestic cricket will no doubt provide valuable insight to the world of professional cricket at all levels and his first-hand knowledge of players and cricket issues will allow him to give us all a very informed opinion.

Mention the name Mathew Sinclair to a New Zealand cricket fan and you could receive any one of a number of possible reactions. Some will immediately think of the champion Test innings he played early in his career: his two Test double centuries will more than likely be his legacy to the game, but his brilliant innings of 150 against a highly rated South African attack on a first innings pitch where no other New Zealand batsman scored more than 39, however, is rated the best innings of the three and is in fact arguably the best innings a New Zealand batsman has played this century. Others may think of his unparalleled performances for Central Districts, for whom he has a remarkable 5945 runs to date at an average of almost 52. Some may even cast their minds to the boundary catch he took in Brisbane to dismiss Matthew Hayden which rivals the best in the history of one day international cricket.

Many thought his international career was over after he failed to make the tour of England and it was even hinted he might head overseas. To his credit though, he chose to persist with the Stags and take on the challenge of captaining the team. He has relished it with Bradmanesque figures – averaging over a hundred in both forms – which has just days ago led to his ODI recall. His selection or indeed lack of consistent selection over the years has never failed to spark controversy but whatever your views, Skippy has certainly had an interesting career and will provide a unique perspective for Cricket Web readers in his blog entries.

1) What’s your favourite cricketing moment?

It would have to definitely be my Test New Zealand International debut against the West Indies where I scored 214 and we ended up winning the Test series against them. Lara, Chanderpaul, Walsh and coached by one of the most destructive batsman in the world, being of course Sir Vivian Richards. I had suddenly been no one to someone, a very special day that can’t be taken away from me.

2) Who are some young players on the domestic scene to look out for?

Kane Williamson (NZ U19 Captain and Top Order Batter), Trent Boult (Left Arm Opening Fast Bowler and also an NZ U19 Player). Both are currently playing for Northern Districts.

George Worker(Left Hand Top Order Batter and Spin Bowler) and Doug Bracewell(Right Hand Batter and fast Bowler and also the nephew of former black cap coach John Bracewell), both currently playing for Central Districts and both have represented NZ U19 level.

3) What’s your preferred format of cricket, whether 20/20, First Class or List A?

As a professional cricket player I enjoy playing all formats of cricket.

4) What do you enjoy doing outside of cricket?
Love to Fish, Hunt and play Golf, and of course spending time with my wife how could I forget her.

5) How does the involvement and level of a coach change the further you get up a cricketing ladder, say from club level to state level to international level?

I have been lucky enough to be alongside some fantastic coaches and some that haven’t motivated me as well as others. As you progress up the cricketing hierarchy many coaches will try to get you to do this and that. I encourage cricketers that I coach to take one thing that I have said and have a go at it, otherwise too much information just clutters up your mind and we want to keep this game as simple as possible. Having been lucky enough to go and play for my country the need for a coach becomes a different role and a role of becoming a people organizer, you have specialist coaches that are all there to make you be right mentally and physically and ready for the game. The youngsters I have currently for the Stags I totally encourage them to release their full potential without thinking of the negative consequences, I believe in encouragement rather than intimidation.

6) Who is the best Test side at the moment. Australia, India or South Africa?

The Australians are still the best Team in the world, as a cricketer you want to perform against these guys and test your skills against the best.

7) How do you feel about the cricketing media? Do you feel there has been a sensationalist trend in recent times?

At the best of times it is hard not to be under the media microscope throughout ones cricketing career. I believe the media is for public consumption and not for cricketer’s consumption. Over the course of my career I have been exposed to quite a bit of media slang, some good, and some that words can’t describe my frustration. Experience now has taken my thought processes away from that exposure and I must admit has impacted sometimes on that added pressure for me to perform. We have a policy in the Stags that there are no newspapers in our dressing room so that no one can get distracted or upset.

8) Do you think the one-day game has a future or has its time come?

With the impact of 20/20 cricket at such a huge global attraction rate, I have seen the numbers at one day games greatly affected. Cricket has now become a business and people’s social time is so much more precious. Test match cricket will always be there as it is the one true test in cricket and survived the packer era. I think as shown with the power plays the ICC will keep looking at finding new ways to keep the fans entertained.

9) Who is the best bowler you have ever faced?

Muttiah Muralitharan, a master in the art of spin bowling whether you are picking his doosra this guy can turn it on glass.

10) Who were your cricketing heroes as a child?

Sir Vivian Richards, master blaster with the bat and a no fear attitude, attributes I aspire too.
Steve Waugh, when the going gets tough a guy that would at the best of times stand up and be accounted for and always give it his best.

11) Do you feel enough is done to support cricketers after they finish playing cricket?

When I first started playing no one had even contemplated life after cricket and we were left to sort it out ourselves. New Zealand Cricket has now a very strong relationship with the Players Association and they work very closely with all first class players in career personal development.

12) Are you frustrated by the way cricket sometimes has to play second fiddle to Rugby in New Zealand?

No, because Rugby is our national sport and always will be, cricket is our number one summer sport. What is frustrating is playing cricket on rugby grounds as here in New Zealand we don’t have enough specialist cricket grounds. The only current grounds that are stand alone cricket grounds being The Basin Reserve in Wellington and Pukekeura Park in New Plymouth.


Wonderful to have an international player here!! Welcome to cricketweb, Mr. Sinclair! I am sure you will be pleased to hear that we have quite a few fans of yours over at the CW forums. Needless to say, we will all be reading up your blog quite regularly. Wish you all the best with everything and hope to see you in the series against India!!!

Comment by honestbharani | 12:00am GMT 20 January 2009

Hey Skippy, you\’re something of a folk legend to my friends and I! In fact your knock on debut was what got me into Test cricket, I remember being disappointed by the fact cricket was on instead of the daily cartoons on tv3 and low and behold I witnessed that brilliant knock and was made a cricket fan. As a film student a few of us have even thrown around ideas about making a film about you! All the best mate

Comment by John | 12:00am GMT 20 January 2009

Hey skip, you have to be one of the best NZ domestic cricketers ever and it seems unfair how little you have been given at international level. You have always reminded me most of a solid, almost \’Australian styled\’ batsmen more than any other Kiwi. Lets hope for a recall for more than one game soon …

Comment by Nathan | 12:00am GMT 20 January 2009

Ah Matty, what a gun.

Comment by Smitty | 12:00am GMT 20 January 2009

Hey Skippy. As the most biased CD fan on the forum its awesome to see you here. I see you\’re on 46* against Otago atm, please win, I may have to run away from the domestic thread if CD get knocked out.

Also, if you are getting stalked, that would be your no.1 fan Prince EWS.

Good luck for the future and always remember CD>NZ selection :p

Comment by Flem274* | 12:00am GMT 20 January 2009

Hey skip. Great to see you here on CW. You have been a joy to watch as a batsman and I wish you the best of luck in your remaining future.

Do you remember working at the telstra stand at the Home and Garden show at Westpac stadium about 5 yrs ago?. I was the kid who came up to you and asked for your autograph, you kindly gave it to me and then gave me a bat signed by the NZ 2003 wc squad. You were and are a legend.

Comment by S.P. Fleming | 12:00am GMT 21 January 2009

Matthew, What was going on inside when you took \”that catch\” at the Melbourne Telstra Dome? As a side note being a kiwi in that crowd and seeing all Australians around me \”shut up\” was an awesome feeling and I thank you and the team for that

Comment by Retox | 12:00am GMT 21 January 2009

Hey Mathew, great to see you here.

I had the pleasure to be at the Basin on the 2nd day of your debut. Would go down as one of my best cricketing memories, an amazing day.

I\’m looking forward to reading your blog.

Comment by KiWiNiNjA | 12:00am GMT 21 January 2009

Hi Sinclair,

I am a Indian born die-hard Blackcaps fan. I always love your style of play. Its great to see you on the Cricket Web. I like this site a lot and I will read your blogs surely.. All the best for the series against Indians..

Comment by Raghav | 12:00am GMT 21 January 2009

Hi Mathew,
welcome to CW, delighted to have you here.

Congratulations on the ODI recall. With the coming series against Australia, have you seen much of the current series vs. South Africa? If so, have any of the new additions to the Australian team caught your eye as ones to look out for, or to target, in the coming matches?

Comment by Matt | 12:00am GMT 21 January 2009

This is a message to all cricketing fans, thanks for making me feel welcome on my very own cricket blog. I look forward to giving you the public a very good insight into the professional cricketing world from my very own eyes. Your comments are highly valued to me, and i thrive on being able to entertain and give you a hands on experience, as to what is a very complicated, but highly enjoyable game that we call cricket.
Yours in Cricket
Mathew Sinclair

Comment by Mathew Sinclair | 12:00am GMT 21 January 2009

Welcome Mat!

Comment by Zac | 12:00am GMT 22 January 2009

Hi Matthew,

I am just wondering what you had for dinner the night before your debut for New Zealand when you scored 204?
All the best champ

Comment by Gavin Briggs | 12:00am GMT 23 January 2009

Hi Skip, Just wondering why a player as awesome as Ewen Thompson hasn\’t played more for the Black Caps?

Comment by Karen from Koputaroa | 12:00am GMT 26 January 2009

Rob to be impressed IMO.
Oh, and well done on the one-day recall. Sorry you can’t score runs at international level, but if domestic records were taken into account, you’d probably be the best NZ batsman.

Comment by Morgan Burridge (morgieb) | 12:00am GMT 30 January 2009

Very interesting read, can you give us some feedback regarding the banter in the dressing room?

Comment by Sean Ehlers | 12:00am GMT 5 February 2009

You are a superstar Matty. Who were your idols when you were growing up?

Comment by Nick Dillon | 12:00am GMT 10 March 2009

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