In the Media
Beyond the Bay Oval Lights 4
Edition Four - November 2019
A chance seating arrangement at the historic Black Caps v England First Test at the Bay Oval, led to this story of an English couple that have travelled the globe in the last decade and a bit, following the fortunes of the English national cricket team.
A call-out from Bay Oval's Jenny Gough, who had a couple to be seated on the pavilion terraces prior to the match start, saw Martyn Hill and wife Ann sit alongside the writer.
The retired couple, who are very independent traveller’s who like to make their own arrangements, are on their seventh trip overseas, following Martins beloved England team. Not being able to access dedicated seating at the Bay Oval from the Northern Hemisphere, saw Martyn contact New Zealand Cricket who put him in contact with Jenny G. "Jenny could not have been more helpful". "I can place you on seats on the terrace, and when difficulties arose transferring the money, told me to pay from them when we arrived at the Bay Oval".
Born in England, the couple have resided in Scotland since 1977, but regularly travel back each summer to catch numerous top-level cricket encounters.
Their first overseas cricket journey following the English team, was to the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies. The 2010/11 season saw them in Australia "We were on hand when England achieved the rare feat of winning the ashes series in Australia".
Further trips to Sri Lanka and India in 2012, South Africa in the 2015/16 season and Sri Lanka again in 2018, have brought them to New Zealand for their seventh cricket pilgrimage.
"So far we have yet to see England lose a series overseas which doesn't bode well for New Zealand" said Martyn with a laugh.
Martyn and Ann’s New Zealand odyssey kicked off in Scotland on the first day in November, with stop overs in Thailand and Tasmania in Australia, with the couple arriving in Auckland just two days before the first-ever test match at the Bay Oval. "This is our longest ever trip, stretching to seven weeks, as we wanted to see some more of the world on the way out and home". "We are going to see some of New Zealand and are going to Rotorua before the Hamilton test and then spend a week in the South Island before leaving your beautiful country".
Martyn was full of praise for the Bay Oval “It has a country feel to it unlike many of our test venues that are just concrete jungles”.
Put in the hot-seat Martyn to name his favourite England players over the years, he nominated Andrew Strauss as captain and batsmen, saying Strauss beautifully combined being a supreme captain in tandem with being a superb batsman. His pick of the England bowlers was Jimmy Anderson while he delved back in time for his wicket keeper nominating Godfrey Evans.