Another Hart has ’em in a spin

Josh Hart dreams of playing for the Black Caps one day – and he certainly has the sporting pedigree for it.

His father Matthew played 14 tests and 13 one-day internationals for New Zealand from 1994 to 2002 – and represented Northern Districts for 15 seasons from 1990.

Adding to the genetic launching pad, Josh’s mother Sheree is a former badminton international who represented New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games in 1994 and 1998.

But there was “zero pressure” on the 13-year-old to play cricket from his parents, Matthew said.

“He’ll create his own path.  But he loves it so, you know, while he’s loving it and he’s doing well at it, training is never an issue when you love something.”

Josh Hart demonstrates in action against Cambridge High School Colts. Photo: Steph Bell-Jenkins.

Josh lives with his family in Cambridge but goes to school in Hamilton, where he is in year nine at St Paul’s Collegiate.

He played for Cambridge Junior Cricket Club from 2020 until starting high school this year and joining the St Paul’s Colts XI.

Matthew, who has coached Josh’s teams since his son started primary school, praised Cambridge Cricket Association club captain Steve Carter for the effort he put into the junior game.

“The Cambridge junior numbers are outstanding,” he said.  “There are lots of teams playing lots of cricket on Friday nights and Saturdays, so it’s a testament to the effort that people like Steve put into it.”

Matthew said becoming a Black Cap was all his son wanted to do.

Josh Hart bowls against Cambridge High School Colts. Photo: Steph Bell-Jenkins.

“His plan B is to be a cricket commentator at the moment, but I think you’ve got to get plan A sorted to become a cricket commentator…”

Josh’s skills were on display when The News snapped his St Paul’s team playing the Cambridge High School Colts recently, where he took four for 10 from five overs with spin.

Cambridge, chasing 200 runs following a superb knock of 102 by St Paul’s opener McKay Murray, were all out for 59.

“Our team bowled really well to keep Cambridge under 60,” Josh said.

“Cambridge bowled quite well, it was just McKay was the difference, probably, in today’s game.”

Josh’s family moved to Cambridge a few years ago to be closer to St Peter’s School where his older sister Tayla, a keen swimmer, is in year 13.

Matthew, who owned New World Matamata with Sheree for 10 years until April last year, said he was “between gigs’.

“I’m having a bit of kids’ time and doing other things”.

He recently joined the Tīeke Golf Estate board as an appointed member for three years.

Earlier this month he teamed up with friend Mark Brittenden to compete in the Coast to Coast multisport event, where the pair finished 75th out of 80 in the male veterans’ two-day relay in 18 hours and 38 minutes.

His contribution was a 7.5-hour, 30km run/hike over Goat Pass on day one and a 70km bike ride into Christchurch on day two.

He had never done anything like it before and is not planning to repeat the gruelling event again next year.

“But never say never.”

Josh Hart with his dad Matthew, pictured at a recent cricket game at Cambridge High School. Photo: Steph Bell-Jenkins.

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