Taieri's Jack Hunter (right) prepares to bowl to Black Caps
captain Brendon McCullum in a Dunedin club cricket match
between Taieri and Albion last year. Hunter has been picked
in the New Zealand under-19 team for the 2014 ICC Under-19
Cricket World Cup to be held in the United Arab Emirates
next month. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Taieri cricketer Jack Hunter is preparing to roll his arm
over on the unforgiving tracks of the Arabian Peninsula.
The 18-year-old was selected in New Zealand's under-19 squad
for the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup to be held next month
in the United Arab Emirates.
When contacted by the Taieri Times last week, the
right-arm medium-pace bowler said he was ''absolutely
stoked'' by the selection.
''It's been a pretty long process over 12 months to get it
finalised, so it's pretty awesome,'' he said.
Hunter played in a triangular series in Australia against the
hosts and India and dismissed Black Caps captain Brendon
McCullum in a club match in Dunedin late last year, but his
selection for the World Cup topped it all.
''This is what I have been working towards for the whole
summer, so this is right up there,'' he said.
In preparation for the tournament, the under-19s played in
the National Provincial A Tournament in January and Hunter is
a member of the Otago under-19 team playing in the National
Under-19 Tournament, which finishes today.
Bowler found the Canterbury wickets used for the under-19
tournament unforgiving - good preparation ahead of the World
Cup, he said.
''It's pretty tough up here for a bowler ... they are pretty
slow and pretty flat, but they reckon the Dubai tracks will
be similar,'' he said.
He took three wickets against the Central Districts under-19s
in an economical spell last Saturday.
Hunter went for 33 runs in his 10 overs during the four
wicket win by Otago.
''I got some wickets, which is pretty good because I have
been pretty dry,'' he said.
New Zealand plays two warm-up matches before starting its
campaign against Sri Lanka in Sharjah on February 14.
He was looking forward to the challenge of bowling on the
wickets in Dubai and Sharjah.
''It's going to be an awesome experience ... the cricket's
going to be pretty exciting,'' Hunter said.
The preparation and balance of the squad meant the team was
''pretty confident'' ahead of the World Cup, he said.
''We took a lot of confidence out of the last A tournament
because we came up against some big names, so we are trying
to win it [the World Cup] or if not at least make the