Unsporting?

January 16th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Hawkes Bay Today reported:

The CEO of Hawke’s Bay Association, Craig Findlay, has come under attack after scoring a blistering 307 retired from 115 balls against a schoolboy bowling attack last weekend.

Findlay, who smashed 27 sixes in his innings for his Complete Flooring Napier Technical Old Boys (NTOB), was last night having second thoughts about his mammoth feat as outraged parents, players and fans questioned his motive in the division one match against the St John’s College First XI team at Nelson Park, Napier, on Saturday.

The former first-class cricketer pummelled the Hastings schoolboys into submission with a strike rate of 266.66.

If you are the senior cricket executive in the region, whose job is to get people into cricket, it seems unwise to pummel a schoolboy team in that way, even if they play in a club league.  I’m not saying don’t try and score, but maybe declare or retire after your century

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49 Responses to “Unsporting?”

  1. Yoza (1,879 comments) says:

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  2. In Vino Veritas (139 comments) says:

    It is not Craig Findlay’s problem that these kids are playing in a grade in which they are outclassed. From what I have read, the team elected to play in a grade above where they would normally be. So they could be “tested”. Well, they were. And they got smashed. Laughably, the article says “parents, players and fans”. The parents are sooks and whingers, the players are most likely the boys themselves (and whilst pipped, I doubt that they complained to anyone other than mum and dad), and the fans are who? The two people that were watching?

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  3. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    This sounds like “I think it would be better for everyone if people good at something didn’t try so hard as it makes the rest of us look bad”.

    DPF has taken the final step to his full embrace of communism.

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  4. Yogibear (366 comments) says:

    I’m all for playing hard and playing to win, but this is a classic case of a flat track bully

    From the news reports it’s worse than just the CEO knocking the stuffing out of a bunch of kids he’s supposed to nurture. There’s clearly a problem with the HB competition structure and it seems he went out of his way to use the schoolboy team to make a point to an Executive/Board who may not have held the same views on the competition

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  5. xy (187 comments) says:


    Findlay said what it effectively meant was people not wanting him to play.

    While he could still play in the premier grade Findlay said he had a young family and didn’t want the commitment of training and long days at the weekend.

    “I played hard so that’s why I won a lot,” he said, adding that was his goal as cricket boss to ensure the young built a steely resolve. “To create champions you have to be tough. I’m not allowed to play and I have others telling me where I can bat and when not to play,” he said, adding it appeared the Bay was going down a slippery track to a “PC world”.

    Haha get fucked, you’re playing down a grade yourself.

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  6. Ashley Schaeffer (487 comments) says:

    What a cock.

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  7. Yogibear (366 comments) says:

    If Findlay truly thinks the Hawkes Bay competition structure is all wrong with undeserving teams playing in grades they shouldn’t, I assume he’s happy for his ton to have a asterisk next to it on his club’s honours board.

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  8. wat dabney (3,774 comments) says:

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  9. Reid (16,491 comments) says:

    Humans are driven by pain and pleasure. They move away from pain and toward pleasure. And they do a lot more to move away from pain than they do to move toward pleasure. This is what drives every human and you can see it happening all the time, if you know what you’re looking for.

    When someone is learning a new skill, they need to get some early wins which, even if they’re (in hindsight) easy, gives them confidence to keep playing when they get knocked back. If someone goes into an arena and gets knocked out of the park every time they step in, they won’t come back. You can see that in a video game, in sports, in a career, or in anything else. Imagine for example if you bought up a child by knocking them back every single time they tried to do something, in the name of “hardening them up.”

    This was not an opportunity for Findlay to demonstrate his skills, it was an opportunity to encourage young players. A CEO is supposed to understand people as well as understand the industry they’re in. He blew it with this behaviour and perhaps it’s time for another CEO to come in and knock him out of the park because now, his reputation from this incident will become a millstone around the neck of his own organisation.

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  10. GPids (19 comments) says:

    As someone with 30+ years of club cricket experience I’ve been on both the receiving end of situations like this in my younger days and I have been part of teams that have dished out a few hidings like these guys did to these schoolkids. The simple fact is that senior cricket and prem cricket grades are psychologically tough, always have been and always will be and they need to be to develop good cricketers because it’s such a mental game.
    These kids need to remember that its just one game. Next week they may face an opposition thats of their ability or worse. The downside of this experience is that it might have turned these kids away from the game, I hope that’s not the case. The fact is that club competitions across the country, particularly in the provinces are struggling for players and having schoolkids play against men is common and unavoidable if we are to have viable club competitions. I’m guessing he played in this game because his team was short of players. At this time of year with people still on holiday, they would have been struggling to find 11 players to play.

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  11. TimG_Oz (862 comments) says:

    You know, as CEO of HB Cricket, I’m sure Findlay could have enforced a mid-season relegation if he needed to.

    Much better than going out and being a wanker on the pitch, which is a bad look for the CEO.

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  12. Nostalgia-NZ (5,218 comments) says:

    The late Bob Cunis who was also a teacher use to turf thunderbolts at the 10 years old willing, or silly enough to face the fast bowler, seemed like no restraint, no one hurt and helpful toward a quick decision of playing either softball or cricket while waiting for the next rugby season. For most it was probably a ‘once’ type experience and a study of how intense the man was.

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  13. RRM (9,932 comments) says:

    :lol: LOL, yes because it’s important to nurture and cherish the delicate sensibilities of high school sports jocks… delicate wee petals that they are!

    [Brett: It hurts our feelings when you say we're not division 1 players!]

    Just remember, FIGJAM is frequently an issue in schoolboy sports. [ F*ck I'm Good, Just Ask Me. ]

    So before we condemn Finlay as a dick, consider the possibility that the schoolboys playing up a grade might have been getting a reputation around the place for being dicks, and this slapping to put them back in their place might well have been a chastising operation planned and carried out with extreme prejudice ;-)

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  14. Yogibear (366 comments) says:

    GPids – to some extent, I agree, but XY’s point about Findaly playing down a grade is also is critical here.

    Most Cricket Associations also have rules about players dropping down grades. A few years back I went through a month worth of applications to drop from a Prem side down a grade (to be blunt, I couldn’t cut it anymore, but the Association didn’t see it that way). The rules are there to prevent loaded games – mostly in terms of promotion and relegation, but also there as a control on vainity of players who prefer personal stats over competition.

    It seems if you are CEO of the local cricket association those rules don’t apply

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  15. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Seems to be fault on both sides. If does annoy me when schoolboy 1XIs play in mens grades. Sometimes this allows them to have two or three adult players in the team. The result is that you have a few overgrown boy PE teachers rounding out the team – keeping other students out of the team. If you want to play men’s division because you think you’re too good to your cohort, you shouldn’t whinge when the men players take you to the woodshed.

    But I would equally hope that the CEO would have felt embarassed about amassing such a huge total when, by his own admission, he’s playing down a division. He sounds like Kramer boasting about being the best at karate in his dojo when all the other participants were 9 year olds. Or that episode of Ever Decreasing Circles where Martin’s cricket team soar to victory on the back of former Cambridge Blue Paul Ryman’s efforts.

    It’s just not what cricket is about.

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  16. Longknives (4,763 comments) says:

    Who doesn’t love bashing the kids all over the backyard over summer?
    Then- once they finally get you out after you have belted them all round the neighbourhood- make an excuse about having to start the BBQ or something so that you don’t have to field!

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  17. rouppe (971 comments) says:

    Maybe he was just having fun… Cricket is a game after all. Maybe he doesn’t get much chance to have fun.

    You’re not against fun, are you David?

    It’s not as though he sought out these guys for humiliation. It was a scheduled match between teams entered in the grade

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  18. SGA (1,061 comments) says:

    Be curious whether or not there is more going on here – e.g., had there been some disagreement about whether this side should be allowed to play up a grade, etc.

    FWIW, I heard somewhere that they put down two catches before he’d made his first hundred.

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  19. dime (9,977 comments) says:

    Fuck some people are nancys!

    Maybe retire after getting a hundred? then what? after the game everyone gets a medal?

    Ya play to win.

    I remember in high school playing a team who were way better than us. I hadnt played in years, i was a drinker/stoner 6th former.. anyway, we somehow ended up playing this team that thrashed us. this dude was on fire. I think he hit 150+. around the 120 mark i remember thinking “cant he just retire! maybe they should make him retire!” then i gave myself 50 uppercuts and told myself not to be such a pussy.

    fingers crossed these teams play again and this guy goes for the magical 400.

    if these bitches stop playing cricket because of this incident then good riddance

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  20. Fentex (986 comments) says:

    As I understand it this school boy team was asked to go down a grade and they refused, so this hammering has been justified as teaching them a lesson about it – but that justification could only work if they were hammered by a team of players appropriate for the grade they were in – is a once first-class player such a person?

    Given the game was played in the premier grade, the highest the Hawke’s Bay Cricket Association plays in, he had no other he could play in. So assuming there’s no fundamental problem with general lack of competitiveness in the grade with some number of first class players in it doesn’t the point stand that those school boys are in the wrong grade?

    It still makes the guy somewhat of a dick for not bowing out having made the point if only to give his team-mates a chance to both get some batting in and also further make the point they’re all a grade too good for the school boys.

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  21. Ashley Schaeffer (487 comments) says:

    Or that episode of Ever Decreasing Circles where Martin’s cricket team soar to victory on the back of former Cambridge Blue Paul Ryman’s efforts.

    Thumb awarded just for the Ever Decreasing Circles reference. Loved that program.

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  22. Ashley Schaeffer (487 comments) says:

    Maybe the kids did deserve to be taught a lesson, but the cricket CEO and former first class player wasn’t that guy.

    If it was my kid though, I’d be telling them “Life lesson son. You’re gonna run into wankers throughout your life. Just roll your eyes and move on.”

    I wouldn’t be running to the newspapers about it.

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  23. dime (9,977 comments) says:

    Id just like to point out that he only faced 115 deliveries.

    If he had scored 65 off 115 it would have been ok?

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  24. David Farrar (1,898 comments) says:

    I was in now way suggesting his team does not win. I was suggesting that once the victory was beyond doubt, he could have retired. It is relevant that he was playing in a grade below his normal one.

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  25. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    I agree with Ashley Schaeffer.

    Having now read the article – which I perhaps should have done from the outset – I do see that there were issues with the boy’s competitiveness. The fact that they were mostly 15 and 16 also makes it all the more bizarre that they were playing mens grade cricket.

    But it’s even more clear that the CEO is very full of himself. I quote: “I now have other boys looking forward to having a crack at me so it’s a great opportunity for them to get a former first-class cricketer out.”

    IMHO this is a part – if a small one – of why cricket is circling the drain in this country. As a sport that can very easily take an individualised focus it does seem to attract a lot of grade-A narcissists. People who, because they have a scintilla of talent in the game, think they’re God’s gift. Of course, given our very small player base, they’re nothing globally (as the Black Caps demonstrate). Here, they are flat track bullies. They turn people off the game and so participation ever decreases.

    Having said that, as a very mediocre player myself I am not the best to judge.

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  26. dime (9,977 comments) says:

    “It is relevant that he was playing in a grade below his normal one.”

    isnt he a former first grade player?

    when black caps go back to play for their provinces, are they meant to retire?

    The dude is 42.. not like hes in his prime as a batsman

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  27. smttc (752 comments) says:

    I have asked one of Findlay’s mates (a former team mate and ex Yorkshire county cricketer) what he thinks of all this. I will be interested in his reply.

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  28. shoreboy57 (140 comments) says:

    The point is not someone got 300+ runs, that can happen. Rather it was the CEO of the Cricket Assn, a paid employee in a role to foster the game. Rather than doing so he acted like a prat. If he has a problem with the team being in that grade its in his power to fix it, but not by behaving like an idiot. Sure blast 100 or even 200 but move on, you’ve made your point.

    I Chair a sports organisation and our CEO also plays against teens. I have no problem with him beating them (if he can) but not to the point of humiliation, that does nothing for the game.

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  29. Yogibear (366 comments) says:

    Dime – HB is a two-tier prem grade (bizarre, but it is). So the second tier prem, but not really.

    Findlay’s club has 2 teams in the grade and he was playing for the second (lesser) team, in the second tier. What I know of that comp and those clubs is that he’d still walk into his club’s top team, even without the training commitment.

    and as for the time commitment/young family argument he spouts. Both prem tiers play the same hours and as far as I know, both train 2 nights per week – so that excuse is total bullshit.

    Don’t get me wrong, the kiddies shouldn’t be there. HB secondary school cricket has always been strong, so there is no need for them to play mens grade.

    Bottom line is there is vanity and ego on both sides

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  30. kowtow (8,512 comments) says:

    Slow news day.

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  31. In Vino Veritas (139 comments) says:

    Disagree that the guy playing in a lower grade is relevant. Bottom line is that this sort of thing happens all the time. I spent years playing senior cricket, but time and responsibilities mean its difficult to continue. So I went down to the reserve grade, where on occassion, the odd ex first class player would play as well. And kids got plastered. And DPF, when is victory beyond doubt in cricket? 30 years ago, who would have thought a team would score over 400 in a one dayer? Let alone have the score chased down. I was in a senior side that defended 46. And in a lower grade side when I was a kid that was bowled out for 9. And ended up winning. There are first XI cricketers here and round the world that play, or did play first class cricket while they were at school! Do their parents sook when they get smashed?

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  32. wreck1080 (3,922 comments) says:

    i think it is hilarious.

    It is like me joining my kids soccer team and scoring all the goals ha ha.

    Could be a decent plotline for a ben stiller movie.

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  33. 2boyz (262 comments) says:

    I wonder if it will be entered in the Hawkes Bay Cricket record books, something he should be truly proud of. I’m sure he made life long friends that day.

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  34. BlairM (2,341 comments) says:

    Reminds me of this video:

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  35. SGA (1,061 comments) says:

    wreck1080 at 10:37 am

    Could be a decent plotline for a ben stiller movie.

    Worse – Adam Sandler, I reckon.

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  36. Fentex (986 comments) says:

    Findlay’s club has 2 teams in the grade and he was playing for the second (lesser) team, in the second tier. What I know of that comp and those clubs is that he’d still walk into his club’s top team, even without the training commitment

    If this is true – that it was a two tiered competition and he was playing down from the tier he ought have been in then my sympathy for him and the team he played in wanes.

    Making a point that the boys were in the wrong grade by playing a ringer against them does not make the point it only serves to condemn him as a greater prat than he otherwise would be.

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  37. RRM (9,932 comments) says:

    Adam Sandler
    THE GAME BREAKER

    Yeah, works… I can see the poster already.

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  38. Jaffa (94 comments) says:

    Perhaps he should have let the poor little flowers win.
    Keep lobbing catches to them, until they finally caught one.
    Then everyone would be happy,………wouldn’t they?

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  39. reversespin (69 comments) says:

    A lot is being made of the notion that the boys might be in the wrong grade. Findlay was DEFINITELY playing in the wrong grade. A former (albeit mediocre and washed up) first class cricketer, not playing in the Premiers. What a douche…..

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  40. reubee (24 comments) says:

    First time I’ve read one of the crichq match reports https://s3.amazonaws.com/crichq-production-images/match_reports/reports/40357/1389417844/original.pdf

    It looks like there were two players a cut above the rest. The College team still made 170 so they weren’t that far off the bowling attack they faced. Problem with school teams and promotion/relegation is you get promoted with a strong group of players who then next year have left school. Better off with grading rounds etc.

    Also looking through the scoresheet, someone hit a 7. Keying error, or 4 overthrows when running 3?

    The thing that would frustrate me is that most of the batsmen for Napier Tech don’t get a hit They goto all the trainings etc but don’t get a decent hit because someone is staying in. That is the good thing about the twilight cricket and retire at 30 rule. Unless its the top grade, for the benefit of your team mates, you should have a team/grade rule that dictates that you retire at a certain score and come back in when everyone else has had the opportunity to bat.

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  41. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    Dime, Hmm a forty two year old needing to teach kids a lesson.
    I wonder if that school team when they face that club team again should invite Shane Bond who is getting on to bowl a few juicy bouncers at this prat ?
    Or would it be unfair to have an ex first class player facing up to 145 kh deliveries aimed at his head from an ex international bowler ?

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  42. smttc (752 comments) says:

    The reply from one of Findlay’s mates to the question “Unsporting or a bunch of cry babies?”

    “A bit of both. He probably should have pulled out at 100, but if the kids want to play with men then they have to accept that sometimes in their learning curve they are going to come up against people much better than them. And it’s how they cope with it and what they learn from it that counts.”

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  43. TimG_Oz (862 comments) says:

    The irony is that in a few days time, New Zealand could be asking Vijay, Pujara and Dhoni to retire early or declare in an ODI. Or invoke the mercy rule..

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  44. Shazzadude (529 comments) says:

    Wow, talk about PC gone mad. Is this a right wing blog, or a Green Party page?

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  45. nickb (3,687 comments) says:

    The irony is that in a few days time, New Zealand could be asking Vijay, Pujara and Dhoni to retire early or declare in an ODI. Or invoke the mercy rule..

    Have some faith!!! The Indians have traditionally been flat track bullies, though Pujara and Kohli look like breaking that perception. Hopefully we prepare some green seamers, although no doubt the overlords at the BCCI have warned us against it.

    I am definitely not on the kids side, and this is another tedious situation of people running to the media for a cry at the first sign of adversity, which I fucking hate. Still, this wasn’t a prems game so you would have thought even for your own teammates sake you could have retired once you got to 150-200 instead of needing to go Bradman and smack 16 year olds all around the park. If I was lower down the order I’d be pissed at not getting a bat. The guy does come off as a bit of a dick “would have been a privilege to bowl at me, a former first class player” etc.

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  46. SPC (5,636 comments) says:

    For the good of the club younger players had their chance with the top team and he joined the second side … . Wiser heads there prevailed.

    But if the club and fellow players were to be put first, why bat on and on and not let his teammates who feilded etc a chance at bat … . Must have been thinking for himself this time. The power of the bat took over …

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  47. Dean Papa (784 comments) says:

    It’s not a spectacular first class record, it has to be said

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/newzealand/content/player/37011.html

    Perhaps Findlay’s extended stay at the crease was him living out a fantasy, of what might have been, if he had been more talented. Perhaps in his mind the St John’s College First XI was the Windies of the 1980s, and it was Joel Garner and Curtley Ambrose he was nonchalantly dispatching to all corners of ground. Who here has not dreamt of being an All Black, or a Black Cap? I guess the real issue is whether it was appropriate behaviour for a CEO, and indeed if a CEO should be participating at all. I can imagine his opponents might be a little reluctant to send down a few beamers, or indulge in some sledging when it is the CEO batting. Doesn’t really seem fair.

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  48. Steve (North Shore) (4,564 comments) says:

    I hope the kids were watching how this was done. But sadly I think all of the boys got a lolly and a red stamp to show mummy

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  49. Max S (21 comments) says:

    I can’t believe your PC stance. If boys want to play cricket with grown men they need to take the good along with the hard knocks. The parents complaints are pathetic. They are all too happy when they precious sons get a player of Findlay’s calibre out, but react like spoilt brats when he takes tears their bowling apart. This is just one of lifes hard knocks, grow up and learn from it.

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