Wellington Cricketers named in Māori Secondary Schools team

Six Wellington cricketers have been selected to play in the boys and girls New Zealand Māori Secondary Schools sides to play the Governor General’s XIs at Wellington’s Karori Park next Thursday.

The inaugural secondary schoolgirls team will play two Twenty20 matches (starting at 10.30am and 3pm) and the schoolboys side contests a 50-over contest (starting at 10.30am).

We caught up with St Pat’s Silversteam’s Ryan Jackson ahead of the match:

When Ryan Jackson was omitted from the New Zealand Under 19 cricket team for the just completed World Cup in South Africa, he was told by the coach he’d be one of the first individuals on the plane should there be a withdrawal.

The disappointment of missing the final cut for South Africa is still palpable in Jackson’s voice.

“I thought I did enough to be selected. I bowled pretty well at the National Under 19’s. We lost the first three games, but we bounced back hard and played some pretty good cricket,” he stressed.

In the one-day format tournament his best bowling was a miserly 2 for 27 off 10 overs – economy and talent which didn’t go unrecognised by the New Zealand Māori schoolboys selectors.

For a second consecutive year the right arm fast bowler has been selected for the team. He is one of five returnees.

“I’m really excited to be back. It was very interesting and different to be involved in a Māori team. I loved it,” he enthused.

“I learned a lot about pōwhiri and marae customs as well as gaining an insight into where my Iwi is from.”

Lachie Bailey (Ngāti Raukawa and Ngāti Kāhungunu) from Hutt International Boys’ School and Alex Thompson (Ngā Puhi) from Onslow College are the other Wellington schoolboys players included for the three-day camp at Pipitea Marae and the fixture against the Governor General’s XIs at Karori Park.

“Last year we played Wellington A and got thrashed. I think the Governor’s XI will be a more even opposition for us. We have a good mix of youth and experience,” he said.

Of Ngā Māhanga a Tairi extraction, Jackson has been in the St Patrick’s College, Silverstream First XI since Year 9. He has been a prolific wicket taker with a best bowling performance of 6 for 19 against Onslow College.

Capable of delivering the ball at 135km per hour, he has been essential in reversing the fortunes of the Silverstream First XV.

For the first time in 13 years Silverstream were Wellington champions in 2019.

“When I came into the team there was a bit of a hierarchy. Caleb Montague and I changed that. We wanted to support the younger boys to enjoy themselves more and we did this by being more supportive,” he revealed.

Jackson injured his back so badly in Year 10 he spent the best part of a year recovering. Running up and down nearby stairs in his neighbourhood was a key ingredient in his recovery.

“It was pretty funny. I think people thought I was a bit crazy. I’m lucky that when I came back I felt stronger and fitter than I ever had,” he concluded.

The Wellington players involved in the matches against the Governor General’s XIs are:

Lachie Bailey
Ngāti Raukawa & Ngāti Kāhungunu
Hutt International Boys School

Ocean Bartlett
Ngāti Porou & Ngā Puhi
St. Matthew’s Collegiate

Ryan Jackson
Ngā Māhanga a Tairi
St. Patrick’s College Silverstream

Kayarna Jones-Dennes
Ngati Kāhungunu
Wairarapa College

Alex Thompson
Ngā Puhi
Onslow College

Waimarie Carter
Te Arawa
Onslow College