Thatscricket - Wish your star
Published: Saturday, January 18, 2003, 20:18 [IST]
Thatscricket Special: Indians in Kiwiland
Auckland: New Zealand Cricket (NZC) authorities on Saturday distanced themselves from comments by former Kiwi captain Martin Crowe on a Website that Maori did not make good cricketers because they lacked patience for the duration of a match. Crowe said many Maori did not have the temperament or patience to play an entire day of cricket, let alone a Test match which could last up to five days, the 'New Zealand Herald' reported on Saturday. He made the comments in his regular column for the widely read 'Wisden' Website for cricket. Referring to Maori fast bowler Darryl Tuffey's "fine match" against the touring Indian side earlier this month, Crowe said, "Tuffey is a Maori and, traditionally, not many Maori make good cricketers because they don't have the patience or the temperament to play through a whole day, let alone over a Test match." New Zealand Cricket operations manager John Reid said the remarks were not representative of the national organisation. But he said it was not surprising that Maori and Pacific Island players were not well represented at a senior level in the sport. "Cricket is still perceived by many as a white middle-class game. And if you look at many other sports in New Zealand, Maori and Pacific Islanders make a strong contribution." Top former wicket-keeper, Adam Parore - a Maori - told the 'Herald' he was not offended by Crowe's comments, and that Maori and Pacific Island men were traditionally more attracted to more physical sports, such as rugby union and rugby league. In an indignant column rebutting Crowe's remarks, 'Herald' sports columnist Richard Boock wrote on Saturday there were other reasons for low Maori participation in cricket. "Apathetic and sometimes-bigoted local associations, costs, the strangeness of the game and an understandable dislike of English colonialism had combined to repel almost anyone with brown skin. "There was no suggestion they couldn't play cricket, it was just that they had some very good reasons for not wanting to." Many Polynesians prefer their own adaptation of the game, which they call 'kilikiti'. According one of numerous Websites dedicated to the game, it is "a popular sport played among Pacific Island peoples and is derived from the English game of cricket. "Unlike cricket however, kilikiti is full of singing, dancing and colourful uniforms with island style rules and mixed-gender team members from all age groups."