NZ pacer Tickner fights back tears, reveals father’s home hit by cyclone
‘My father’s house has been fully destroyed. It was good to get back, help them out’
‘Cricket to me is obviously my life as well, but it’s nothing compared to what people are going through at the moment’
New Zealand paceman Blair Tickner said he struggled to reconcile the thrill of his Test debut with the suffering in his home town from a devastating cyclone, but said it made him want to provide some small comfort to those affected, including his father.
Cyclone Gabrielle hit New Zealand’s North Island on Feb. 12, four days before the first Test between New Zealand and England. Tickner’s home town Hastings in the Hawke’s Bay region was one of the worst-hit areas. His father’s home was destroyed.
Tickner was given permission to head home to help with relief efforts after England wrapped up victory on Sunday and was emotional when he reunited with team mates in Wellington ahead of the second Test beginning on Friday.
“You dream about your Test debut forever and expect your family to be there,” Tickner told reporters on Wednesday.
“My dad… just wanted me to represent our family well and represent the Hawke’s Bay. I just wanted to be a bright light for them at home.”
Tickner, 29, took 4-127 against England as New Zealand fell to a 267-run defeat at Mount Maunganui, which was not as badly affected by the cyclone.
His father had encouraged his son to take the field against England and was at Bay Oval to see him dismiss Ben Duckett for his first Test wicket.
“My father’s house has been fully destroyed. It was good to get back, help them out,” he said, fighting back tears. “I grew up there as a kid, it’s just crazy to see.”
“Cricket doesn’t feel hard when you see stock on the side of the road dead, people crying, their whole lives being flipped upside down.”
New Zealand’s first one-day international against Sri Lanka on March 25 will be a fundraising effort for the New Zealand Red Cross Disaster Fund.
All ticket proceeds and crowd contributions will be donated, governing body NZC said. Their sponsors ANZ Bank have pledged 1 million New Zealand dollars ($622,600) to the fund.
“Cricket to me is obviously my life as well, but it’s nothing compared to what people are going through at the moment,” Tickner said.
Source: Read Full Article