A lifetime of commitment to New Zealand’s summer game has been recognised by South Canterbury Cricket.
One of the game’s stalwarts, Harvey King, has been recognised for his contribution to cricket in the region, with a life membership at the South Canterbury Cricket Association’s annual meeting.
King, a former Canterbury pace bowler and Junior All Black, said it was an honour to receive the accolade.
“It’s a huge thrill,” he said. “You don’t do this sort of thing for that kind of recognition, well, at least I don’t, but it’s great to be a life member because not too many cricket people are.”
King, who was at the helm of South Canterbury Cricket for close to a decade, before resigning in 2008, said the completion of the Graeme Blanchard Cricket Centre was a highlight, as was the South Canterbury side’s winning of the Hawke Cup in 2000.
“It was really good to get the [Graeme Blanchard Centre] built, because it meant a lot to everyone here.”
King had come a long way by the time he entered cricket administration.
As a fresh-faced 22-year-old, he had debuted for Canterbury in 1978, to play against Otago in Southland, which did not help his status with his employer. “I was working for Wrightson’s at the time and the boss was a bit upset, because I’d played the whole season for the South Canterbury junior rugby team, and I got picked for an under-23 [cricket] team and a New Zealand under-23 [cricket] team, and then I was picked for the Canterbury team, so the boss was really annoyed because I was never at work.”
He described the Canterbury side he came into as “very professional”.
King admitted he was nervous before the game, but managed to take seven wickets.
He also remembered his debut at Lancaster Park in Christchurch with fond memories. “My first wicket, I was hit for six, and I looked over at square-leg where [umpire] Fred Goodall was standing with his finger up. “The bloke had stood on his stumps.”
He said it was tough to choose which sport had given him the better on-field moment, rugby or cricket.
King said the honour of being the seventh current life member had to be shared with his family, who had been supportive of his time in the game for more than 30 years.