Bay of Plenty Cricket Player of the Month Awards

Sideline Sid
Sports correspondent & historian

With plenty of time on his hands, Sideline Sid was cleaning up some of his cricket files the other day, when he stumbled on his Bay of Plenty Cricket Player of the Month Awards that date back to the dawn of the new millennium.

Amongst the myriad of award recipients were a small number of teenage winners.

Many youngsters show great potential with some fulfilling their sporting dreams, while others drop out of sight.

The BOPCA 2003 December Player of the Month winner has gone on to become a superstar of the game.

Below is a statement from 2003:

"Thirteen-year-old Tauranga youngster Kane Williamson confirmed his immense potential and talent at the Northern Districts under 14 cricket tournament played in Gisborne 1/5 December 2003.

"Captaining BOP Coastlands, who finished the tournament in first place with an unbeaten record, Kane produced four amazing performance at the batting crease.

"Three centuries and 91 not out from four turns at bat produced 420 runs and a batting average for the tournament of over one hundred."

During March 2007, it was the turn of Tauranga Girls' College all rounder Kirby Samkin to provide further evidence that she was one of the rising young stars in New Zealand women’s cricket, with an outstanding performance in a NZCT Secondary Schoolgirls match.

In a performance that earned her the March Player of the Month, Samkin took total control against Rotorua Girls' College.

“Samkin was in majestic form with the bat as she posted an unbeaten 151 runs to lead her side to 278/8. She ended the match with the distinction of scoring the first century on the brand new Bay Oval at Blake Park," says a statement following the match.

Samkin went onto play for the Northern Spirit on 28 occasions, before retirement beckoned.

The next rising star to win Bay of Plenty Cricket recognition of achievement was Rotorua Year Eight representative Hayze Perham, in December 2012.

"Hayze simply blasted the Western Bay Year Eight side out of the game smashing 172 runs in his sides 335/7. The hugely talented youngster blasted an incredible 16 sixes and 11 fours in his whirlwind innings," says a statement at the time.

Like Kane Williamson before him, Hayze Perham was a multi-talented youngster who had a multiple choices in his future sporting vocation.

Today, Hayze plies his trade as a member of the New Zealand Warriors Rugby League Club.

The January 2015 Player of the Month award winner was selected for the Bay of Plenty Women's team while still a Year Eight student at Tauranga Intermediate.

“Nensi Patel gave a taste of her immense potential taking 4/26 against Waikato Valley including White Fern Nicola Brown. She followed up her debut against Hamilton with a further three wickets at a cost of 28 runs, which included White Fern Natalie Dodd for a duck in the first over of the game."

At 17 years old, Patel had already played 19 games for the Northern Spirit.

During the second half of the 2019/20 representative season, 18-year-old Taylor Bettelheim earned the January and March Bay of Plenty Cricket player awards, with two outstanding performance which resulted in a brace of centuries.

Six years prior, Bettelheim had won the March 2014 player of the month with the accompanying citation stating "Taylor Bettelheim, who is captain of the Tauranga Intermediate in the Active Post Cup competition, smashed a century apiece in two Bay of Plenty Active Cup eliminators during March".

"Facing John Paul College from Rotorua, the Tauranga Intermediate skipper was in sublime touch as he hammered 106 not out, as his team cruised to victory. In the next round of the Bay of Plenty Active Post Cup series, Taylor again took to the opposition bowling blasting an unbeaten 107 against Te Puke Intermediate to lead his team to victory."

On March 1, 2020, Taylor continued his cricket journey making his debut for Northern Districts A against Wellington A.


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