2015 ICC World Cup : When Greatbatch Went Gonzo

Excluding perhaps the days when Sir Richard Hadlee destroyed Australian battling line-ups in the 1970s and ’80s, and Bay 13 at the MCG initiated the chant suggesting what Sir Richard did in his spare time, it’s fair to suggest that trans-Tasman cricketing rivalries haven’t reached the heights of Bledisloe Cup hostilities.

Nevertheless, the famous tee-shirt slogan ‘I support the All-Blacks and Whoever is Playing the Wallabies’ still applies for the Kiwis when it comes to cricket (with Black Caps pasted over All Blacks, obviously).

Both Australia and New Zealand are in cracking form heading into their Group A pool match at Eden Park in Auckland this coming Saturday.

Before Brendon McCullum was deploying a one-man scorched-earth policy on limited overs bowling attacks, there was an equally imposing figure who gave bowlers some sleepless nights in the shortened form of the game; Mark Greatbatch.

ESPN’s Cricinfo writer Dylan Cleaver penned this portrait to one of the biggest hitters the game has seen

“Greatbatch was a middle-order player whose stock-in-trade had been classical driving. If it hadn’t been for the World Cup, Greatbatch would still have a special place in cricket history, for scoring what was – until Brendon McCullum’s 302 – New Zealand’s greatest back-to-the-wall century, a match-saving 485-ball 146 not out against Australia at the WACA in 1989.”

While a new generation of cricket fans mightn’t easily find Mark Greatbatch in the list of all-time run-scorers, the prototypical lusty-hitting opener (think Adam Gilchrist in the late ’90s-mid 2000s) his legacy to limited-overs – and New Zealand – cricket is considerable.

You can read the full article HERE.


  1. Andrew Starkie says

    That knock at the WACA still appears in my nightmares occasionally.

  2. Luke Reynolds says

    I loved that 1992 New Zealand team. Greatbatch and Latham were wonderful as openers in that tournament. Jones, Crowe and Rutherford all at career best form.
    The Kiwis are a huge chance to win in 2015. No Dibbly,Dobbly, Wibbly, Wobbly in this Blackcap lineup.

  3. Mark Greatbatch is the only overseas test cricketer i’ve ever seen having a frothy @ the Lord Newry. Over the years i visited that establishment i saw a fair few footballers, some very much the worse for wear, i even saw the former Australian Cricket Coach Tim Neilsen there once, but Mark Greatbatch is the only non- Australian sporting icon i ever saw in the bar there.


  4. The short grounds in NZ helped, but I think it’s true that Greatbatch revolutionised ODI to some extent in that ’92 World Cup with that lusty hitting in the first 15 overs. It was obviously taken to new heights by Jayasuriya in ’96 and then of course Gilly came along and changed cricket forever – perhaps even inadvertingly inventing T20. Now everyone does it, so much so, that ODI is an interminable bore in the middle overs.
    Interestingly, I reckon it was tried a bit in the early/mid 80s in ODIs. Border opened for awhile in 82/83 going the dong and perhaps Botham in 86/87 had a stint too.
    Two other things I always remember about Greatbatch: 1) when he batted for 46 years to save that Perth test in 89/90 and 2) a few years later when he gave the finger to the press box after taking a brilliant one hand catch in the slips (I think he had dropped a sitter the day before).

  5. PS Just to prove to myself that it did happen, and to also prove that I have far too much time on my hands, I managed to find that classic Mark Greatbatch footage from 93/94 that I mentioned earlier.


    Classic stuff, reminds me a bit of how Greg Domaszewicz greeted the media after this acquittal.

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