Stories from the Vault – Sir Richard Hadlee

08/11/11 Category: Blog, Museum Collection Posted by:

The International Cricket Hall of Fame is all about stories: stories of courage; stories of sportsmanship and sometimes stories just about great moments in time. Our Curator David Wells is a Master Storyteller and what he doesn’t know about items in our collection just isn’t worth knowing. Each item has a fascinating story, of how it came to be in the collection; of why it is important and ultimately of how it reflects the values of cricket.

With the New Zealand team on tour in late November (and the Rugby World Cup all wrapped up) we’ve got the Kiwis’ on our mind, in particular one of The International Cricket Hall of Fame Greats of the Game and the 2011 international Bradman Honoree Sir Richard Hadlee.

In 2000 Ken Paine donated his set of Ardmona Collector Cards to the Bradman Museum and this card is number 32 of a series of 50 depicting Australian, New Zealand and Indian Cricketers in the early 80’s. Like all collector cards the process seems simple enough, but requires dedication and commitment to the cause! In this instance to get a card you sent a certain number of labels and a small amount of money to Ardmona and they in turn would send you the latest card in the series. Ken Paine’s mother dutifully bought Ardmona products and as a boy he managed to collect the whole series and subsequently donated them to us.  These collector cards are a great example of cricket memorabilia from the 80’s.

This particular card is of a fresh-faced 29-year-old Richard Hadlee and the back of the card reads:

Richard Hadlee New Zealand aged 29 The leading wicket-taker in New Zealand’s Test History (126 wickets at 28.46), he is a splendid right-arm fast bowler, accurate and aggressive. He is one of the three cricketing sons of former New Zealand Captain, Walter Hadlee. Played large part in victories against England in 1977-78 (10 for 100) and v West Indies in 1979-80 (11 for 102). Ardmona Collector Cards series 111.

Courtesy of News Ltd

This shot is classic Hadlee, it shows his incredible poise while bowling and reminds us of his rhythm and sublime control of the ball. “No bowler I have seen, had better control of seam and swing, and he was a wonderful model for young players to emulate, in that he showed everyone what could be done, with a lovely action and proper body control, without resorting to an exaggerated run.” Said Sir Donald Bradman of Sir Richard Hadlee.

Sir Richard Hadlee is arguably New Zealand’s greatest player and one of the world’s finest all-rounders and in 1990 he was knighted for his service to cricket. Here’s a fascinating fact you may not know about Sir Richard: during the time he played Test Cricket, New Zealand played 14 matches without him – losing all of them. New Zealand won more than a quarter of the 86 Tests he played.

You can read all about his player statistics here.

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