The McCaw Lewis Northern Districts Maori men’s team start a 3 match programme with a game against a Kaipaki Invitation team at Kaipaki on Sunday. Captained by Waikato Valley stalwart Leighton Parsons, the first team for 2017 is a mix of experienced senior players and young promising Maori cricketers identified at the Northern Districts Senior Secondary Schoolboys tournament in December.
The team is:
|Leighton Parsons||Waikato Valley||Ngati Porou|
|Keith Vincent||Waikato Valley||Te Arawa|
|Bayden Morey||Counties Manukau||Te Rawara|
|Timoti Weir||Poverty Bay||Tainui|
|Thomas Hayes||Poverty Bay||Ngati Porou|
|Josh Bates||Poverty Bay||Ngati Porou|
|Ryan Neves||BOP Lakelands Sec Schools||Ngapuhi/Ngati Kahungunu|
|Mikaere Leef||BOP Coastlands Sec Schools||Ngati Ranginui/Ngati Pukenga/Ngapuhi|
|Chris Tupaea||BOP Lakelands Sec Schools||Tainui/Ngati Porou|
|Ben Pomare||Tauranga Boys/ ND U17||Ngati Mutunga/Ngai Tahu|
|Lachie Holt||WV Sec Schools||Ngati Raukawa|
The Northern Districts Maori cricket development programme aims to provide opportunities for Maori cricketers to play at representative level and to encourage talented young players to keep playing once they have left school.
The other games on the 2017 calendar see the Maori team play on two of New Zealand’s best grounds. They meet the NZ Croatia team at Cobham Oval, Whangarei on March 12 and Waikato University at Seddon Park, Hamilton on April 6. Other young players will be given opportunities in these fixtures.
The Maori team toured to the Cook Islands in 2014 and a return trip is planned for September this year. The Northern Districts Maori Women’s team have also toured to the Cook Islands, in 2015 and 2016.