February 5, 2009

New Zealand cricket

Big Hits

ESPNcricinfo staff

The title might fit a countdown show for the latest pop songs but it concerns New Zealand Cricket's latest venture: a search for the batsman who can hit the ball farthest. The competition began on February 2, with the top batsmen from domestic cricket going head to head at Eden Park. A rather surprising winner was former New Zealand fast bowler Ian Butler, whose biggest hit measured 95.98 metres. A not-so-surprising outcome was Billy Bowden developing a special signal for shots over 70m. The competition runs for three weeks - regional public finals held during selected State Twenty20 matches will whittle down backyard batsmen and one representative from each region will be selected for the final - before concluding in Wellington, where six members of the public will go up against Butler and a player from New Zealand's limited-overs squad. Will IPL scouts be watching?

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Mathew Varghese is sub-editor (stats) at Cricinfo

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