In the Media
Beyond the Bay Oval Lights - 2
Edition Two – October 2019
With the first class cricket season kicking off at the Bay Oval, with the Plunket Shield matchup between the Northern Knights and the Central Stags - a regular visitor to the Western Bay of Plenty international ground, will be master bat repairer Colin Henderson and his magic bag of tricks.
Colin has been hand crafting and customising his Centurion bats in Tauranga for over thirty years and has developed a reputation as one of the best cricket bat repairers in the world. Testament to his abilities to reinstate a bat to new, has been the call-up from international cricket visitors to the Bay Oval.
"It all started when I received a call from Jenny Gough at the Bay Oval, who had been contacted by the New Zealand Cricket team liaison that the Bangladesh side were in urgent need of some serious bat repairs". "The Bangladesh call-up in 2016, has been followed by trips to the Bay Oval to effect repairs with the West Indies, Sri Lanka and Indian teams".
It would be fair to say that Colin is the go-to man at the Bay Oval, when international visitors bats, need care and attention to bring them back to an as-new condition.
Colin Henderson first started making cricket bats by hand, for English firm John Newbery Ltd in Mount Maunganui during the 1980s and later started Centurion, after the closure of the New Zealand Newbery factory.
When the Newbery factory shut down, Colin followed his passion and travelled to the UK, spending time with renowned bat makers, brands and willow merchants. Upon his return Centurion was born. From there, Centurion quickly gained a reputation in New Zealand as a leading brand for quality, handmade English Willow cricket bats, with recognised popularity among first-class players including New Zealand Black Caps.
Colin hand made every aspect of the cricket bat (even the handles) through the 80's and 90's, building the brand and sponsoring a few young Black Caps. The highlight of which was a young Jeff Wilson, hitting the winning runs against Australia in a one-dayer in Hamilton in 1992, with a photo of Jeff hitting the winning runs taking pride of place in the Henderson household.
Colin has the ability to bring a bat back from the dead. Chunks of willow missing and major face cracks are just obstacles to overcome, as bats are stripped back to the bare wood and completely refurbished, to look like brand-new again. Bats that have gone soft can be repressed and new handles can give batsmen new found flexibility.
"My most sought after service is redistributing the weight of bats, especially for younger players, where we transfer the weight of a bat so it is more balanced and easier to score runs with".
Centurion Cricket Ambassador Brett Hampton grabbed headlines around the globe last season, when he and fellow ND (and Bay of Plenty) team mate Joe Carter tore a Central Districts bowler apart, to finish with a new List A (fifty over per side) world record of 43 runs in an over.
Carter and Hampton, came together when ND were in deep trouble at 95 for the loss of five wickets, in their Ford Trophy clash with Central Districts at Seddon Park in Hamilton. The onslaught took place in the 46th over, off the bowling of Willem Ludick, as the pair put the tar-seal outside Seddon Park under attack.
Hampton hit the first delivery for four, before he dispatched back-to-back no balls for consecutive sixes. Hampton struck a further six, before hitting a single to give Carter the strike. Carter continued the hitting, delivering three consecutive sixes to round out the 43-run over.
The mammoth over surpassed the previous List A world record of 39, which was set in Dhaka by Elton Chigumbura off the bowling of Alauddin Babu in 2013.
Hampton has been in blazing form this season with his Centurion willow weapon. Making an appearance for Greerton against Otumoetai Cadets in the Baywide Cup, “Hammer” took aim on the boundary ropes to blast 119 off just 48 balls, in a whirlwind innings that produced sixteen 6's.
The Centurion Cricket Co is a real family team with Colin the master craftsman at the helm. Oldest son Kayne is the General Manager of Centurion Cricket and second son Matt providing the photography for the brochures and social media marketing. Daughter Erika provides her marketing expertise gained from a strong commercial background.
Colin summed up the Centurion approach to cricket by saying “Our family team focus, is firmly on ensuring that all players have access to affordable yet high-performing cricket bats that they can carry with pride”.
In addition to the high quality affordable bats, the Centurion Cricket Co has a full range of some of the world best cricket equipment. For further information go to www.centurioncricket.co.nz.