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Women's World Cup 2009
Stolen underwear, forgotten passports, and webbed feet
March 17, 2009
How well do cricket captains know their players? We asked Haidee Tiffen about her New Zealand team-mates
 
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How well do cricket captains know their players? After all, they decide who takes blows at short leg and who carries the drinks. We got the New Zealand women's side to put some questions to their captain, Haidee Tiffen, to see how much she knows about them - from drug-test dodges to favourite jokes. Let's see how she fares.


Sophie Devine missed some of her personal belongings in Australia © Getty Images
 

Nishi Narayanan: So Haidee, 10 years as a player and five as captain, let's see how well you know your players.

Who won the Player of the Match at the curtain-raiser Twenty20 in Bath in 2007, which then became a team award?

Haidee Tiffen: Oh yes, good question! That would be Ronnie Abbott.

NN: Next is a follow up to that. What is the key slogan associated with that award?

HT: "Everything he touches turns to gold."

NN: What is Lucy Doolan's secret to getting out of drug testing?

HT: Unfortunately her secret to that is to dilute her urine, probably drinking lots of water dilute it.

NN: Next one from your media manager. What is Catherine Campbell's least favourite nickname?

HT: [laughs] That would be "Princess".

NN: You seem to know your team really well! A personal question next. Sophie Devine would like to know why you didn't pack your own undergarments for the tour and felt the need to steal hers.

HT: Actually there is a story behind this one. Sophie Devine is a little bit of a prankster in the team and she played a couple of pranks on me and some of team-mates where she took our cell-phones and texted people ridiculous messages pretending they were from us, so our way of payback was that me and another team-mate stole her underwear and kept it and she never even noticed. She went with the same undergarments for a wee while actually. She didn't speak up!

NN: That's a bit disturbing to know, actually.

What is Katey Martin's drink of choice prior to fitness sessions?

HT: That would be Pepsi Max.

NN: That's correct.

Is it true that you have a number of identities you like to use at airports?

HT: [Laughs] Oh they really are dropping me in it, aren't they? Well, that's another little story. I picked up the wrong passport, my flatmate's, and I didn't realise till I was checking in. Thankfully we were still in Christchurch and I could go home quickly and pick it up since the city is not very big. I was pretty lucky that way.

NN: What is Beth McNeill's favourite joke?

HT: That's easy because we hear it most days. There are two sausages in a frying pan. One sausage says to the other, "Gee, it's hot in here", and the other sausage says, "Man, look, it's a talking sausage!" You can't laugh at that because it's actually not that funny.

NN: If there was a laughing competition in your team, who would win it?

HT: We have a range of laughers: Beth McNeill, who starts off with a quiet laugh and then proceeds to be really really loud. But someone who laughs through the day is Lucy Doolan; she's always giggling and always has a smile on her face. And if it's the person with the most unusual laugh, it would be Sophie Devine - she has this slight snort at the end as well. It will be one of those three.

NN: The answer according your players is Beth McNeill.

The team would now like to know whether you would rather have webbed feet or a mono-brow.

HT: I think I'd rather have webbed feet because then I can swim fast. Though I suppose if I had the mono-brow I could wax it off, couldn't I? But no, I think I'd want webbed feet and I'm sure I could cope with running between the wickets.

NN: Outside cricket, you teach in a school and your students have accused you of wearing something during the televised games. What is that?


Can you see the bronze zinc? © Getty Images
 

HT: I teach physical education at Hillmorton High School in Christchurch and they sent a message to me saying: "Miss, have you got make-up on?" I had actually just got my eyelashes tinted and they probably stood out. But not only that, I seem to also have taken a liking to the bronze zinc, a tan-coloured zinc, which the girls seem to think looks like foundation. It's meant to protect me from the sun. You know, I always wanted to know if all my freckles were joined together what I'd look like so I'm certainly going to take that bronze zinc home with me.

NN: Yes, that is the answer.

Now on to our last question. You have scored 100% so far, let's see if you get this one.

When you go to a friend's house what's the first place you head to have a look?

HT: That would be the fridge. I tend to judge my friends based on the contents of their fridge. I do like my food and go straight to the fridge. It's a "Hi", maybe a hug, and then straight to the fridge.

So that was Haidee Tiffen doing very well in answering questions on her team-mates' choice of beverage, jokes and stolen undergarments. With Ranjit Shinde and Akhila Ranganna, this is Nishi Narayanan for Cricinfo Talk.

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