The Spin | Richard Hadlee put brilliance above bonhomie in one of the greatest careers

by Theguardian

Cricket

The New Zealand all-rounder had no time for posturing or histrionics, but stood alone as a master of the seamer’s craft

These days, everything has to be arranged and everything has to be ranked, particularly in sport. This is not all bad – in different times, Justin Langer might never have taught us the importance of “elite professionalism, elite learning, elite mateship and elite humility” – but for that, there is a quid pro quo. Naturally, much of the blame for this moral slippage lies with the Indian Premier League, as a result of whose draft enemies become friends and post-match patter turns into performative cliché. Whatever happened to good, honest, old-fashioned aloofness?

Richard Hadlee – star of New Zealand-England series past – epitomised such virtue, solely consumed by hitting the red thing with the wooden thing and chucking the red thing at the wooden things. When an expert such as Gordon Greenidge proclaims your belligerence, you know you’re on to something.

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