When the New Zealand cricket team (note not BLACKCAPS™) first toured South Africa in 1953 they had never won a Test Match and were given no show against a ruthless South Africa, on pitches tailored to support their fast, mean quick bowlers.
The cricket was tough, and victory was ultimately beyond New Zealand’s grasp, but it wasn’t the cricket that ensured that the series became a NZ sporting legend. The 1953 Second (Christmas Day) Test is famous for the profoundly moving story of one player, Kiwi fast bowler Bob Blair, and his story has been brought to the stage by talented actor Jonny Brugh (Sugar & Spice) and it’s playing now at BATS.
During the rest day of the Test, Blair got the news that his fiancée Nerissa Love had been killed along with 150 others in the Tangiwai Rail Disaster. When play resumed on Boxing Day nobody expected Blair to play any further part in the game. Without giving too much away, the rest (as they say) is history.