April 23, 1981, Dannevirke, Manawatu, New Zealand
Right hand bat
Born in New Zealand but raised mostly in Australia, Luke Ronchi became a cricketing rarity by representing both countries. His first international incarnation came for Australia in the West Indies in 2008 when he stood in for the injured Brad Haddin in four ODIs and a Twenty20 and he showed he was not out of his depth: his glovework was brilliant and at the tiny Warner Park in St Kitts he clubbed a 22-ball half-century, then the equal third-quickest ODI fifty scored by an Australia player. But his form fell away during the following domestic summer and he added only one more T20 international to his tally for Australia. By the end of 2008-09 his runs had dried up so severely that he had even been dropped by Western Australia and his future appeared bleak.
Over the next few seasons, Ronchi was there and thereabouts in state cricket but he was overtaken by Graham Manou, Tim Paine and Matthew Wade in the queue behind Haddin. At the end of 2011-12, he decided to try his luck in his country of birth and secured a contract with Wellington. His performances were strong enough to earn him a call-up to the New Zealand ODI side once he had qualified in 2013 and against England in May he debuted, becoming the first man since Kepler Wessels nearly 20 years earlier to represent two full ICC member nations.
As New Zealand rode an ODI wave that eventually culminated with defeat at the final of the 2015 World Cup, Ronchi made a decent case for himself as a lower-order batsman. He smashed 170 off 99 balls against Sri Lanka in Dunedin in 2014, then the highest score ever by a No. 7 batsman and, in May 2015, seven years after making his international debut, Ronchi earned his maiden Test cap. A half-century in the first innings at Headingley helped his side level a two-match series against England 1-1. Ronchi played three more Tests, two World T20s and two Champions Trophies before calling time on his international career in June 2017.
He had moved with his family to Perth at the age of seven and debuted for Western Australia in 2001-02. He established himself as a solid gloveman and clean striker of the ball and in 2006-07 he made his mark with the then fastest century in Australian domestic one-day history. His 56-ball ton against New South Wales featured a series of powerful pulls off Stuart Clark, and it eclipsed the 62-ball record set by Ronchi's team-mate Adam Voges two seasons earlier.
Another standout moment was when he struck 89 from 49 balls against an England XI in the Lilac Hill match the same summer. Perhaps his most remarkable display was in a 2007-08 Pura Cup match against Queensland when he scored a 51-ball century, with the second fifty coming in a scarcely believable 11 deliveries. At that stage Australia were keen to call Ronchi their own, but several years later New Zealand were equally pleased to claim his services.
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