63 | Sir Richard Hadlee Greatest Kiwi of All Time 2023

63 | Sir Richard Hadlee Greatest Kiwi of All Time 2023

Greatest Kiwi Of All Time: No. 63 - Sir Richard Hadlee (Down 13 from 50 last year)

There are very few players in the history of cricket who have carried the fortunes of their team to the same extent as Sir Richard Hadlee. 

By the time he retired from international cricket in 1990, at the age of 39, Hadlee was already being referred to as a great of the game. 

Hadlee was the first player to ever reach 400 Test wickets in international cricket, a feat that at the time many believed was almost impossible to achieve. 

Hadlee was a genius with the ball in hand, but was also a match winner with the bat too. A rare feat amongst cricketers and one of the big reasons why he is acknowledged as one of the greatest all rounders of all time, alongside Garfield Sobers, Sir Ian Botham, Imran Khan, Kapil Dev, Jacque Kalis and Keith Miller. 

One of five sons of Walter Hadlee, the former New Zealand captain, his love for cricket began at an early age, and in the early 70's he blasted his way on to the New Zealand cricket scene by forming a dangerous new ball partnership with his elder brother Dayle. His quick and whippy, side-on action made things uncomfortable for all the greatest batsmen of his era, as his pace, bounce and movement were second to none. 

His first world class bowling masterclass came in Wellington in February 1978 - five years on from his debut - when his 10 wickets, including 6 for 26 in the second innings, set England up for their first ever defeat against the New Zealand. 

However, it was for the Australians that he saved his best efforts, and his 15-wicket haul in Brisbane in 1985-86 remains one of the most talked-of moments in Trans-Tasman rivalry. Hadlee was on fire. 

After retirement he went on to become an outspoken media pundit, and later the chairman of New Zealand's selectors.

Hadlee was inducted into the ICC cricket hall of fame in 2009 - a fiting nod to one of the Greatest Kiwis of all time!