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Monday, 13 May 2013

Former Black Cap brings cricket tips to Matamata checkout

Matamata locals looking to take out their next game of backyard cricket may be able to pick up some batting and bowling tips next time they do the groceries at New World.

Former Black Cap Matthew Hart and his wife Sheree have moved to Matamata from Auckland, and took over the store ownership on Monday. 

The retired all-rounder played both semi-professional and professional cricket from 1990 until 2005, including 14 test matches and 14 one-day internationals for New Zealand.

The move is a welcome return to the area for the couple, as Matthew was raised in Te Puke, and Sheree grew up in Hamilton, it's also a shift they hope will benefit their young family.

"We have two little ones (Tayla 6, Josh 2) and raising them in the countryside versus the city made sense, and from the minute we arrived everyone has been very welcoming and friendly."

Hart, who previously owned New World Papakura, spent six months working in the Matamata store in 2010 as he completed the New World Trainee Operator programme and says nearly three years later many of the staff remain.

"'There's a lot of familiar faces here which is great, Ewan (Atherton) the previous owner has done a great job, I've got big boots to fill but we'll do our best to follow in his footsteps and add value where we can".

As for the possibility of a New World Matamata Cricket team in the next inter-provincial tournament?  "Not just yet" says Hart, but he has confirmed that a coaching role for the Matamata College First XI may be on the cards.

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