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Blundell’s class beginning to shine for Firebirds

Mar 30th, 2014 | By | Category: Latest News, News, Sport

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WELLINGTON Firebirds wicketkeeper batsmen Tom Blundell has fought through injury and illness this season to prove his worth as a genuine first-class cricketer.

Tom was rewarded for his dominance in club cricket with a spot in the Firebirds Plunket Shield side on January 23 against Auckland.

With Wellington batting first, they quickly found themselves in trouble at 116-5 before Blundell and James Franklin came to the rescue.

A partnership of 199 runs followed, along with a maiden first-class hundred for Blundell.

He fought viral meningitis through early February and was hospitalised, but still managed to score his second first class hundred against Auckland not long after.

He was then picked for the Firebird’s one-day side and scored 48 and 47 respectively before a hamstring injury sidelined him. He had also scored 90 for Wellington A earlier in 2014.

Wellington Firebirds Coach, Jamie Siddons said Blundell’s performance at first class level had been fantastic.

“It’s a great find for us, a talented young player that can do the job for us”.

Born Thomas Ackland Blundell (23) on September 1, 1990 in Wellington, Tom represented New Zealand at the under-19 level.

He played alongside Blackcaps Doug Bracewell, Corey Anderson, Tom Latham, Jimmy Neesham when he represented the under-19s.

He played in the 2010 Under-19 world Cup held in New Zealand where New Zealand finished seventh.

His passion for cricket started young.

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“Ever since I can remember to be honest, it all started by playing endless hours of backyard cricket with mates during the summer,” said Blundell.

“I’ve always been a cricketer, always had passion for the game ever since I was young”.

The former Wellington College prospect said he played rugby at college during winter but his commitment has always been to cricket.

Blundell said he has been lucky growing up with some of the coaching he has received from Shane Deitz and David Templeton.

“I’ve had some great coaches who have mentored me right the way throughout my career so far. Without those great coaches I probably wouldn’t be where I currently am today”.

Siddons said the Wellington Firebirds former assistant coach, Shane Deitz pointed out Tom a couple of years ago.

“He played some games for us last year and showed his talent as well as in the A tournament where he was a dominant player there”.

Blundell is a member of the Karori Cricket Club Premier Men’s team and leads the way with the bat and gloves.

He says he tries his best to base his game and technique around the way Australian international captain, Michael Clarke plays. He was also a fan of ex-Australian captain, Ricky Ponting.

“Ricky Ponting was one of my favourite players growing up, I admired the way he went about playing the game, his technique was simple and every time he came out to bat he tried to dominate”.

Tom has his eyes set on cricket for a long time, he said he wants to become an established player for the Wellington Firebirds.

He also wants be a Black Cap one day.

“I had a taste of it representing New Zealand at the under-19 Cricket World Cup in 2010 and definitely want to do it again at the highest level”.

Siddons said it’s early to say how far Tom will go in his career but the potential is definitley there.

“Tom and Pollard should push for New Zealand A selection or New Zealand Development.”

The life of a professional cricketer can be demanding so time to relax is necessary for results.

“I like to get out on the golf course whenever I can, watch loads of other sports but most of the time I’ll just be kicking back and chilling. ”

He also owns and collects a vast amount of shoes – about 25 pairs in fact – his favourite music is hip-hop, rap and anything with a decent beat, and his his favourite food is his mum’s homemade butter chicken. “Can’t go wrong”.

His idol outside of cricket is Floyd Mayweather, the  middleweight boxing champ and arguably the best boxer in the world.

With Luke Ronchi proving his worth in the Black Caps, the opportunities for Blundell are opening up.

“You could say he is already a permanent fixture in our side. When he’s healthy, we’ll be finding a spot in the lineup for him,” said Siddons.

“Tom’s got a few skills up his sleeve, he is also a good off spinner and his talents in the field are great too”.

His ability with the gloves are great but his skill with the bat speaks for itself, so chances are he could be playing consistently for the side as a batsman while Ronchi is available anyway.

 

 

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is a Whitireia journalism student with a strong interest in sports writing. Jesse covers the Te Aro area. He has a BA in Development Studies.
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