New Zealand cricket September 30, 2013

Neesham's humble beginnings

ESPNcricinfo staff

James Neesham grabbed the limelight when he helped lead Otago Volts to an improbable victory against Highveld Lions in the Champions League, with a blistering half-century that left everyone at the ground stunned. Logan Savory, writing for FairFax NZ News, looks back at Neesham's origins in Sunnyvale club in Dunedin's North East Valley, and ponders over whether this innings has thrusted Neesham into the IPL scanner.

Neesham had just shifted from Auckland in an attempt to kickstart his cricket career and the Southlanders let him know that just because he had attracted some interest from the Otago Volts decision-makers, the welcome mat wasn't about to be rolled out. Neesham looked handy enough in North East Valley's 13-run win without providing any sort of wow factor to suggest he was going to progress to be a superstar recruit for the Volts.

However, less than two years later, Neesham is just that. His name is on the lips of many cricket followers around the world and, most notably, in India. The #unleashTheNeesh hashtag is also trending like wildfire on Twitter as he develops cult hero status.