28 May 2014
Brothers in Arms: New Zealand
In this series we look at the unique list of brothers who have immortalised themselves in ICC Cricket World Cup glory. This month, those who have represented New Zealand.
The McCullum brothers played together in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011
New Zealand’s foremost cricketing family stepped onto the ICC Cricket World Cup stage when all three brothers took part in the inaugural event in 1975.
Despite all three being in the squad, they only played one game together – the disappointing 80-run loss to England. Dayle was the top performer of the brothers in 1975, picking up eight wickets at a tidy average of 20.25.
Although he didn’t have his brothers alongside him in 1979 and 1983, Sir Richard showed his class by being New Zealand’s top bowler in both the tournaments. He finished with an impressive World Cup career haul of 22 wickets at 19.14, including a best of five for 25 in the 1983 rout of Sri Lanka.
The Howarth brothers: Hedley (1975) and Geoff (1975, 1979, 1983)
New Zealand’s first-ever World Cup match was marked by having two sets of brothers playing – the Hadlees and the Howarths.
After New Zealand racked up 309 against East Africa*, Hedley starred with figures of three for 29 to ensure the Kiwis first World Cup outing was successful.
Left-armer Hedley played three more matches before being left out of the side to contest the semi-final. Playing against one of the greatest West Indies sides, Geoff top-scored with 51 as New Zealand went down by five wickets to the eventual champion.
With Hedley retired, it left younger brother Geoff to fly the Howarth flag in 1979 and 1983. He took a liking to Sri Lanka in both tournaments, scoring half-centuries in big victories.
As captain in 1983, Geoff led New Zealand agonisingly close to a semi-final berth before missing out on net run-rate.
*East Africa is a former ICC member which represented Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia.
The Crowe brothers: Martin (1983, 1987, 1992) and Jeff (1983, 1987)
Although the Crowe brothers were involved in the 1983 tournament, it wasn’t until 1987 when they really combined.
With Jeff as captain and Martin as the key batsman, New Zealand went into the tournament with high hopes. After an early win over Zimbabwe, the Kiwis were cruising against Australia when it reached 193 for six while chasing 200 for victory in a match reduced to 30 overs per side with Martin batting on 58. At that stage, Martin fell to Steve Waugh and New Zealand finished at 196 for nine. The Kiwis never recoverd in the tournament after that loss and finished with two wins and four defeats in six matches.
In 1992, Martin made the tournament his own as captain. In the first game against Australia, Martin led New Zealand to victory with innovative captaincy and an unbeaten century.
New Zealand then enjoyed a seven-match winning streak on the back of his sublime batting form and enterprising captaincy.
Despite being stunned by Pakistan in the semi-final, Martin was named player of the tournament for his remarkable 456 runs at an average of 114.
The Horne brothers: Phil (1987) and Matt (1999)
After Phil’s one appearance in 1987, it was another 12 years until younger brother Matt strode onto the World Cup stage.
Playing in New Zealand’s final game of the tournament in 1987 in Nagpur, Phil managed 18 at the top of the order as India beat New Zealand by nine wickets. The match is more remembered for Chetan Sharma’s hat-trick and Sunil Gavaskar’s maiden One-Day International century.
Twelve years later, Matt had the chance to take revenge as New Zealand faced India for a semi-final spot in Nottingham. In pursuit of India’s 252, Matt top scored with 74 as the Kiwis booked a semi-final place with a five-wicket win.
Matt rounded out a solid tournament with 35 in the semi-final loss to Pakistan to end with 199 runs at 24.88.
The McCullum brothers: Brendon (2003, 2007, 2011) and Nathan (2011)
After a quiet tournament in 2003, Brendon wrote himself into the record books in 2007 with the fastest World Cup fifty off just 20 balls against Canada. His sharp wicket-keeping and high-tempo batting were key ingredients in leading New Zealand to the semi-finals.
Following two tournaments as the lone McCullum, Brendon was joined by his older brother Nathan in the memorable 2011 campaign.
After scraping through to the quarter-finals, New Zealand faced top-qualifier South Africa in the sudden death contest. Batting first, neither McCullum fired as New Zealand got through to 221.
Needing a special bowling performance, Nathan opened the bowling and rocked South Africa with three for 24 off 10 overs as the Kiwis pulled off one of its greatest tournament victories by winning the Dhaka classic by 49 runs.
Unfortunately that was as far as New Zealand got with Sri Lanka winning the semi-final by five wickets.
However, with both brothers still in the frame for New Zealand, they may have the chance to go one step further when the tournament is held in Australia and New Zealand in 2015.
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