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April 7, 2008
Aaron Redmond, the latest player to earn a call-up into New Zealand's ever-changing top order, is hoping to make his tour of England more successful than his father did 35 years ago. Redmond was named in the 16-man Test squad and could become the eighth person to follow his father into New Zealand Test cricket if he makes his debut in the three-game series.
Rodney Redmond played one Test and was highly successful, scoring 107 and 56 against Pakistan in Auckland in 1972-73. However, he then struggled to adjust to new contact lenses on the visit to England later that year and managed only 483 runs at 28.41 and had to settle for being remembered as a one-Test wonder.
The younger Redmond learnt of his call-up at his father's house in Perth and he said it was a special moment for the family. "A big smile came over his face and he chucked out his hand to congratulate me and opened up a bottle of red wine to celebrate," Redmond told the Otago Daily Times.
Redmond was en-route from New Zealand to England, where he was planning to play league cricket for Wigan, when the phone-call came from the chairman of selectors Richard Hadlee. "It is something you always dream about, but it has definitely come as a surprise," Redmond said. "My initial goals were hopefully to get the opportunity later down the track.
"But to get the call [on Saturday] and be told it has come a little bit earlier, it just wasn't in my wildest dreams. It's one thing getting the chance - now I've got to make the most of the opportunity."
Redmond's elevation came after a solid State Championship season during which he made 447 runs at 40.63 for Otago. However, he said it was "bitter-sweet" that his promotion came at the expense of his domestic team-mate Craig Cumming, who was left out of the squad after being one of four openers used by New Zealand in the past six months.
"I'm great friends with Craig and he has played some awesome cricket this year and is a great player," Redmond said. "I'm sure it won't stop him. You have your good and bad times in cricket and I know he'll bounce back."
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