In the summer of 2015, Brendon McCullum’s Black Caps swept all opposition aside during their thrilling run to a first World Cup final for New Zealand, after six previous sides had faltered at the semi-final stage. Amid the euphoria, fans of a certain age also fondly recalled another golden era when New Zealand startled the cricket world with its feats in test and one-day cricket.
During the 1980s Richard Hadlee, the Crowe brothers, Geoff Howarth, Cairns, Coney, Wright, Smith and Chatfield became household names as they defeated the mighty West Indies, then won consecutive series against both England and Australia. Like McCullum’s men, the 1980s heroes’ popular appeal lay in the one-day arena. Lance Cairns, flourishing a bat named Excalibur, destroyed attacks in the World Series in Australia, and the infamous under-arm controversy at the MCG has become part of folklore.
John Mehaffey recalls a tumultuous era, featuring cricket under lights for the first time, coloured clothing and a white ball. The stars of the day share their memories of a fine team and a magical decade when New Zealand celebrated 17 victories and remained unbeaten in all home series.