RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
2016 New Zealand Cricket Almanack
2016 New Zealand Cricket Almanack
Edited by Francis Payne and Ian Smith

A Mower Book Published by Upstart Press Ltd.
B3, 72, Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland, New Zealand

ISBN 978-1-927262-65-8

Pages 575

RRP New Zealand $ 55.00

Francis Payne and Ian Smith are New Zealand's foremost cricket statisticians, who have been editing the Cricket Almanack for many years. The 69th edition of New Zealand Cricket Almanack is the 34th edited by Francis Payne and Ian Smith.

Well-organised and excellently produced, it is a great pleasure to review 2016 New Zealand Cricket Almanack. The publishers are to be congratulated on this outstanding production, which is a pleasure to peruse, handsome to handle and reasonably priced. Thanks to superb efforts of Francis Payne and Ian Smith, cricket's library has been enriched by the appearance of this Almanack over the years.

Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson have been named Players of the Year and Tom Bruce, Lockie Ferguson and Bharat Popli as promising players.

2016 New Zealand Cricket Almanack is a quality product from Upstart Press Ltd., deserving 100% marks for production, designing, formating and lay-out of scorecards apart from extraordinary black and white photographs. A veritable mine of information, the Almanack is an invaluable part of cricket enthusiast's kit bag and is the cricket lover's bible of New Zealand Cricket.

An absorbing compilation of the season's happenings, as in the previous years, is the highlight of this Almanack. The statistical highlights, covered in this section, are not to be seen in any other cricket publication and website. Some of the interesting Happenings covered in this Almanack are:

# The Chappell-Hadlee Trophy game at Seddon Park, Hamilton on February 8, 2016 was Brendon McCullam's last one-day international appearance and he had one final opportunity to become the first player to complete the double of 100 test sixes and 200 one-day international sixes. Requiring three for the landmark, he duly obliged, hitting Scott Boland over the boundary three times in seven balls during his splendid innings of 47 off 27 balls. McCullum also hit 91 sixes in Twenty20 Internationals.

# Bowlers found the wicket of Adam Voges particularly hard to come by during the past season. In Test matches against New Zealand and West Indies he had the following run of scores: 83*, 1*, 41, 119, 13, 28, 269*, 106*, 239, 60 and 10*. His sequence of 614 runs between dismissals easily surpassed the previous record of 497, achieved by Sachin Tendulkar in 2004.

# George Worker had the unusual distinction of scoring seven runs with one stroke when he made his debut for New Zealand in the first Twenty20 International against Zimbabwe at Harare on August 9, 2015. Worker, who had just brought up his fifty and was batting with Luke Ronchi, hit Sikandar Raza wide of cover and the batsmen decided to try for a third run. The throw from Taurai Muzarabani fell short and wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva came a few steps down the pitch to collect it. He had the stumps in sight from close range, with Ronchi trying to get home, but missed and ended up conceding four overthrows.

A detailed statistical section, covering New Zealand's Tests, ODIs and First-class cricket apart from the limited-overs records and Obituaries section, as always, are always exhaustive. Domestic cricket featured the inaugural Georgie Pie Super Smash Twenty20 competition, the Plunket Shield, the Ford Trophy and the women's fifty-over and Twenty20 competitions. There is also coverage of historic Hawke Cup season and age-group cricket, including the Under 19 World Cup.

Martin Crowe, who died on March 3, 2016, has been paid a rich tribute. Two other New Zealand cricketers - Michael Shrimpton and Richard Barber, who passed away last year, has been paid tributes in this year's almanack.

An indispensable companion, the book is a must for every cricket lover interested in New Zealand Cricket. This is a handsome, well-illustrated volume and would make an excellent present and grace any bookshelf.