‘Genuine allrounders are like gold dust: Newest Black Cap Henry Shipley could fill a key need

Henry Shipley’s dream of becoming a Black Cap were forged in fierce Christmas Day clashes with his cousins ​​growing up in the central Canterbury plains.

That vision turned into reality on Monday with the 26-year-old Canterbury allrounder the newcomer in the Black Caps’ ODI squad for their tours of Pakistan (three ODIs) and India (three ODIs) in January.

Shipley, who hails from Greendale in Canterbury’s Selwyn District, comes from a talented family. His uncle is left-arm spinner Mark Priest, the former New Zealand international and Canterbury stalwart.

Former prime minister Jenny Shipley and husband Burton, a longtime basketball administrator and former Canterbury player, are relatives too. Henry’s father James, “a cricket tragic” who was once 12th man for Canterbury in 1985, is a cousin of Burton – which is Henry’s middle name.

“It’s just pretty cool. They’ve supported me the whole way there and the good thing about them is they’ve never been too high when it’s like this, or they’ve never been too low when it’s not like this. It’s been pretty grounding,” Shipley said of his family network about him.

Christmas Day cricket matches with the Shipley clan were always competitive affairs and where a young Henry first wanted to play for the Black Caps.

Henry Shipley is poised to become New Zealand's latest ODI player on their tour of Pakistan and India in January.


Henry Shipley is poised to become New Zealand’s latest ODI player on their tour of Pakistan and India in January.

He and his cousins ​​pretended to be New Zealand players, which frequently changed depending on who was batting or bowing, in their backyard battles.

“It probably came around Christmas time when I was little spending time with my cousins ​​and you get the match program from the last game you’ve been to and pretend to be each of the players. It’s always been a dream and it’s just cool to be able to say I’ve got there.”

Shipley has been knocking loudly on the Black Caps’ white ball selection door in recent summers.

His form over the past two seasons has been nothing short of outstanding with the right-arm pace bowler racking up the wickets, contributing handy runs, and impressing the Black Caps’ decision makers.

Canterbury's Henry Shipley speaks to media after being announced in the Black Caps' ODI squad on Monday.


Canterbury’s Henry Shipley speaks to media after being announced in the Black Caps’ ODI squad on Monday.

He was the leading wicket-taker in last season’s domestic Super Smash T20 competition (18 at 14.11) and is currently tied for second on the Ford Trophy one-day wicket-taking table (12 at 11.91), boosted by his hat trick against Wellington last month.

Black Caps selector Gavin Larsen described Shipley as a “genuine allrounder” and was excited to see what he could do if given the opportunity against Pakistan and India.

With the ODI World Cup in India in October-November next year, the matches will be an early chance for fringe performers to impress and push their selection cases.

“He’s tall timber and he’s a power hitter. He offers a really good all-round skillset. Genuine allrounders are like gold dust in cricket and we’d like to think he’ll develop his skills on this tour,” Larsen said.

Henry Shipley celebrates after taking the wicket of Wellington's Luke Georgeson to complete his hat-trick in a Ford Trophy one-day match last month.

Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Henry Shipley celebrates after taking the wicket of Wellington’s Luke Georgeson to complete his hat-trick in a Ford Trophy one-day match last month.

“He’s got good pace as well and because of his height he gets really good bounce too. He gets good batmen out. With his batting he’s got the ability to go big and clear the boundary, but there’s a really strong degree of batsmanship about his game as well.”

Shipley has risen through the ranks in Canterbury, gaining his first domestic contract in 2016-17.

Batting at No 4, he once scored 203 in a two-day interschool against Timaru Boys’ High for St Andrew’s College in 2013.

Henry Shipley's strong domestic performances for Canterbury have been rewarded with Black Caps' selection.


Henry Shipley’s strong domestic performances for Canterbury have been rewarded with Black Caps’ selection.

A proud Greendale man, who played for the club before they joined up with Darfield at premier level in Canterbury Country, Shipley hoped his story showed youngsters they could make it from anywhere. If cricketers worked hard enough and were committed, they could one day progress to the Black Caps – even from rural areas.

His Canterbury coach Peter Fulton, himself a former Black Cap, had always been an inspiring role model for him.

“Fults paved the way for country cricketers to get to the international game and to have him now coaching at Canterbury and having played with him for Canterbury and Canterbury Country it’s pretty cool. You know what rural people are like, they’re a pretty proud bunch and keep their head down and work pretty hard.”

White ball captain Kane Williamson, new test skipper Tim Southee, head coach Gary Stead and bowling coach Shane Jurgensen will return to New Zealand after the three-game ODI series against Pakistan in Karachi, ending on January 14.

Batting coach Luke Ronchi will take over as head coach for the three ODIs and three T20Is in India, with assistance from NZ Cricket network coaches Bob Carter and Paul Wiseman.

Tom Latham will captain the ODI series against India with Mark Chapman and Jacob Duffy replacing Williamson and Southee for the series.


New Zealand ODI squads v Pakistan and India: Kane Williamson (c) (Pakistan ODIs only), Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Tom Latham (captain – India ODIs), Henry Nicholls, Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell, Mark Chapman (India ODIs only), Mitchell Santner, Michael Bracewell, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Matt Henry, Tim Southee (Pakistan ODIs only), Adam Milne, Jacob Duffy (India ODIs only), Lockie Ferguson.

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