Abbotsford School pupil Jacob Gilbert has his cap
autographed by New Zealand cricketer Kane Williamson. Photo
by Craig Baxter.
Smashing 63 not out in a cricket match last year was
Jacob Gilbert's undoubted sporting highlight - until yesterday,
when he was given the chance to meet his life-long cricketing
hero Brendon McCullum.
The 10-year-old Abbotsford School pupil and cricket fanatic
will get to go on the field with McCullum today and toss the
coin for the New Zealand v West Indies cricket test at the
University Oval in Dunedin.
For Jacob, it was a complete surprise when Black Cap Kane
Williamson turned up to the school's assembly yesterday, but
an even bigger shock came when he announced Jacob had won the
''Brendon McCullum is my hero. I pretend to be him when I'm
batting. I can't wait to meet him.
''Getting 63 not out was a highlight, but this ranks right up
Jacob has played cricket since he was 5 and is a batsman and
bowler in the Green Island Cricket Club and Dunedin Metro
He also plays a little rugby, water polo - anything with a
ball that moves.
But such is his passion for cricket, he plays constantly out
on the front lawn when it is dry; and much to his mother's
ire, he plays in the hallway or the lounge when it is wet
Kirsty Gilbert said she and her husband, David, had both
learned to become quite good bowlers to keep up with Jacob's
Although Jacob can toss a coin, he said he would not be
taking any chances, especially with such an important job to
do in front of a large crowd.
As soon as he left school yesterday, he said, he was going
home to practise coin-tossing.