EL-born player in Kiwis’ squad

There has been a fair amount of finger-pointing and outright condemnation of the inexperienced SA cricket team currently touring New Zealand under uncapped skipper Neil Brand and his team of greenhorns.

The team are due to play two Test matches later this month against a tough, no-nonsense NZ team, led by 96-Test veteran Tim Southee, who has taken 374 wickets during his career so far. If he is fit, Kane Williamson will take over the NZ captaincy.

He is the all-time top run-scorer in Tests for his country with more than 8,000 runs in the bank.

However, there is a young and exciting cricketer currently doing exceptionally well for the Black Caps. His name is Glenn Dominic Phillips and he represents Otago in NZ domestic matches.

To date he has represented the Kiwis in three Test matches, 30 One-Day Internationals and 63 Twenty20 Internationals.

So far he has scored 233 runs in his three Test matches (average 46.6 per innings) with 87 as his highest score, and is a solid, muscular, hard-hitting batsman with all the strokes.

However, a fact not too well known is that Phillips was born in East London on December 6 1996. His parents moved to New Zealand when Phillips was just five years old.

He first came to the notice of cricket followers in 2016, when he was selected for the NZ U19 squad for the World Cup tournament, which was held in Bangladesh. He scored 52 off 68 balls in his first match against Nepal which was surprisingly won by the Asian side.

Just on a year later, he was selected for the senior NZ side in a Twenty20 International series against the touring SA side after regular opener Martin Guptill was injured but SA managed an easy 78-run win after spinner Imran Tahir captured 5-24 to dismiss the home team for 107.

The Tests this month should thus prove interesting, and with Phillips’ mother being Afrikaans-speaking, there may be a little less sledging in that language by the South Africans than usual.

The presence on the field by the East London-born player is sure to make this a series to remember.

Interestingly, as far as can be ascertained, the last time SA undertook a major tour with an uncapped captain was in 1935 when HF “Herby” Wade of Natal took a fairly experienced side to England for a five-Test series.

They managed to win the series 1-0 after a memorable 157-run win at Lord’s.

Maybe, the 2024 team will emulate Wade’s team and return home with the spoils.

HOMEGROWN HERO ABROAD: Glenn Phillips in action for New Zealand. Picture: SUPPLIED


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