Tuesday. February 22, 2011. Like most New Zealanders, this history will not be forgotten by Frankie MacKay, founder of Canterbury and White Ferns anytime soon. It was a day when an earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale sent shock waves across the South Island, striking the heart of Christchurch in the Canterbury region, New Zealand’s second most populous city, causing widespread devastation and claiming up to 185 lives.
Ironically, the day began with a hopeful note for MacKay, who was 21 at the time, who was told she would make her debut against Australia in the upcoming ODI series. Just before 1 p.m., the team gathered at their hotel in Cathedral Square for a training session. She had just walked toward the hotel lobby toward the door when the ground beneath her began to shake vigorously. A panicked Mackay wrapped herself around a pole in the hallway. Her overseas teammates lost their sense of physical perspective when much of the magnificent Christchurch Cathedral tower collapsed. When the earthquake stopped, none of the team members were injured, but they were covered in dust from the debris. They met very gingerly outside the hotel building, as some people preferred to sit down because it made them feel more secure. Mackay added, “There was a White Ferns curled in the middle of the field.”
A colleague began clearing rubble to see if anyone was trapped underneath. Mackay recalls seeing a faint fire from the adjacent Press Building, home of the Christchurch morning newspaper, which collapsed. When she saw the people bleeding from their faces, the gravity of the situation sank. It wasn’t the only beloved cathedral. “You think,” We are in a problematic world here. “
Mackay will continue to assert herself as a multi-level player with a great knack for hitting and stingy bowling. Between 2011-2014, she was a regular with the New Zealand women’s ODI and T20 teams, during which time she traveled to the 2012 T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka and the 2013 World Cup for a day in India. The subsequent loss in shape brought it to the sidelines. After a five-year hiatus, she returned to the T20 series at home against India after claiming the title of Best Female Burger King Super Smash at the annual New Zealand Cricket Awards that season.
A decade after that horrific natural disaster, Trevor Oger, a former cricketer for an Oakland-based club, released a book titled: “The Warm Sun on My Face: The Story of New Zealand Women’s Cricket”, among other things, is clearly dated, the events from it. Cold noon midsummer in February. Interestingly, Oger did not plan to include this section in his book prior to meeting MacKay in 2018. “I deeply touched my conversation with McCay. It was the catalyst, and it was her account that I chose to write in detail in this book,” Oger told The Indian Express via the phone.
Cricket 676, which has been in preparation for more than four years, documents women’s cricket in New Zealand from the late 1800s to the current legends of the White Ferns.
Oger was not in Christchurch or any other part of the South Island when the tragedy struck. Nevertheless, it provided many anecdotal evidence of the chaos and the deep scars that the chain of events left in people’s minds. “When the earthquake struck, I was working for Ford Motor Company in Oakland. But several colleagues from the Ford Motor Company in Christchurch narrated how the front of a neighboring building fell onto a bus and crushed several people.”
Aside from losing many innocent lives, Oger said the earthquake was also responsible for destroying the former Lancaster Park and partly destroying Christchurch Cathedral – two huge monuments in the city. “Lancaster Park has been an integral part of the city’s sporting ecosystem, with the venue regularly hosting international cricket and rugby matches. The earthquake has caused irreparable damage. Only after this accident was the Hagley Oval renewed and placed on the cricket map. Sri Lanka hosted in 2015. Then, the World Cup that year, ” introduced Oger, who was working as a scorer as a scorer at Eden Park in Auckland.
The heart of the city is broken
For the past 10 years, Christchurch Cathedral, an imposing neo-Gothic building built by the famous English architect Sir Gilbert Scott, has stood among the ruins and rubble, with its tower destroyed. “The heart of the city is broken,” Peter Beck, dean of the cathedral, told the BBC.
It was built by immigrants from England when they arrived in New Zealand in the 19th century. For a long time, this structure was the identity of this city. Just as New York has the Empire State Building, Christchurch is known by its name: Christchurch Cathedral, “Oger pointed out. I’m not sure when the restoration work will begin. There is a lot of controversy over who will pay for it.”
Even after all these years, there are still many New Zealanders who are still grappling with the after effects. “Even now, when there is a slight tremor, my sister and my nephew feel very anxious,” said Auger.
Trevor Auger, a former cricketer for the club, is based in Auckland.
Former White Ferns cricketer Elizabeth Perry was among the many who were physically and emotionally drained by the events of February 22, 2011. He represented Perry White Ferns internationally for seven years from 2010 to 2017 as a professional bowling alley. Aside from her stints in cricket, she has also represented New Zealand internationally in hockey. In April 2019, Perry married New Zealand cricketer Maddy Green.
At the same time, she was pursuing her Master’s thesis at the time on: “Traveling Sports: Cricket, Migration and Globalization.” Her subject matter included experiences of female athletes from New Zealand and Australia migrating temporarily to play cricket in England. The Women’s Cricket Migration Network has defined the global modern sporting space and challenged public perception of what a typical international sports day would be. At one point, she considered giving up her research and cricket as well, before family and friends helped her during that time.
“This thesis has been a constant reminder of that day for me because of her connections to cricket, but I firmly believe that were it not for this research, I might not have continued my cricket career at all,” he said.
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