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Broke leg on football field, now back to take wickets


WHEN Andrew Gibbs broke his leg playing football last year, he was told he might not walk for 18 months.

But, after a lot of rehab, the former Poverty Bay cricket captain is due to return to the crease for the rep side tomorrow.

Bollywood Stars Poverty Bay are travelling to Waikato to play Hamilton B in the Basil McBurney Trophy competition.

The fact the 50-over game is in Hamilton, rather than Gisborne, caught Poverty Bay on the hop and some players were unavailable, so Gibbs’s experience may be invaluable.

Gibbs was playing goalkeeper for the Ngongotaha football club against Cambridge in the Northern League second division in June when the injury happened.

He cleared the ball and then collided with a Cambridge player, who was shown a red card.

His leg severely broken, Gibbs required major surgery and follow-up surgeries. He went to a physiotherapist three times a week, swam every day and hit the gym.

A medium-pace bowler who plays his club cricket in Rotorua, Gibbs got four games under his belt in reserve grade before Christmas and was then asked to play in the Central Indians top side.

He said the leg itself was strong but he did not have the same flexibility as before.

Turning out for Poverty Bay this season had appeared unlikely but Gibbs worked hard to get his body right.

“I’m certainly glad to be donning the colours again this weekend,” he said.

Captain Nic Hendrie said the side would not be at full strength, so that kept expectations in check, but they “will want to still win”.

Hendrie scored two fifties this week for Northern Districts A in a three-day game against Auckland A in Manurewa.

“I’m feeling good at the moment,” he said.

“The ball is coming off the bat nicely. I need to keep it going.”

Coach Lance Cairns said Hendrie was an outstanding talent, an opener who kept out good balls and would take toll of the loose ones.

The Bay also have in their ranks Thomas Hayes, a former Kevin Hollis Glass Pirates batsman who plays club cricket in Hamilton.

Bollywood Stars High School Old Boys leg-spinner Parminder Kulaar is new to the side.

Cairns said that if Poverty Bay batted first, they would need to make use of the full 50 overs, keeping enough wickets in hand to profit towards the end of the innings.

“The bowlers must know the line they want to bowl,” he said.

“You restrict scoring by knowing where the ball is going.”

Cairns emphasised “the proper way to play the team game”, which was not about ego.

“You still have to play for your teammates.”

Poverty Bay: Nic Hendrie (c), Scott Tallott, Bruce Kerr, Thomas Hayes, Jak Rowe, Graham Hudson, Matt Crampton, Josiah Turner, Andrew Gibbs, Paul Stewart, Jake Rowe, Parminder Kulaar.


COMMITTED: Goalkeeper Andrew Gibbs, (second from right), contests a cross. Gibbs broke his leg playing football for Ngongotaha last June and was told he might not walk for 18 months. He is set to play cricket for Poverty Bay tomorrow. Rotorua Daily Post picture
Medium-pace bowler Andrew Gibbs sends down a ball for Central Indians in Bay of Plenty cricket. Bay of Plenty Times picture
CAPTAIN’S KNOCK: Nic Hendrie scored an unbeaten ton for Poverty Bay yesterday, leading the team to an emphatic victory over Waikato Valley’s second 11. File picture by Liam Clayton