Jason Pine’s ‘field of dreams’: A love letter to cricket at the Basin

OPINION:

After a week of rain and flooding, and a year of Covid-19 disruption, cricket returns to Wellington for the start of the summer 2020/21 season.

Jason Pine reflects on some of the standout moments from his time as a fan at the Basin Reserve.

My dad first took me to the Basin Reserve when I was about 10 and from the time I was old enough, I went to pretty much every game of cricket that was on there.

Of course, the test matches I’ve seen at the Basin stand out.

I saw Martin Crowe and Jeremy Coney score their maiden test centuries in the same match against England in 1984. Crowe was out for exactly 100, but Coney batted on to make an unbeaten 174 and save the game for New Zealand.

In 1986, I arrived nice and early on day one against Australia to make sure I didn’t miss Richard Hadlee claiming his 300th test wicket. It actually took until midway through the afternoon session for him to trap Allan Border lbw and bring up the milestone.

Five summers later I again marvelled at the batting of Martin Crowe, this time as he and Andrew Jones added 467 together against Sri Lanka, before sitting in stunned silence as the great man (and my first cricketing hero) was dismissed one run short of an historic triple-century.

In the final test of the Millennium, I lounged on the grass as Mathew Sinclair scored a double-hundred on test debut against the West Indies and in 2014 I was there as Brendon McCullum scored that magical 300 against India.

Just a few among many, many memories.

For a sports-mad boy growing up in Wellington, the Basin Reserve was my field of dreams.

I just love the place.

I love how you can walk all the way round the ground.

I love the colour and humour on the bank.

And I love how you can still jump that white picket fence at lunchtime and play tennis ball cricket on the hallowed turf.

It’s a wonderful, wonderful ground, full of memories and it’s woken up today to get ready for the latest chapter in its fabulous history.

The Black Caps take on the West Indies in the second test at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. Play is scheduled to start at 11am.

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