When Hamish Rutherford phoned his father to tell him he'd
made New Zealand's T20 squad, the conversation didn't quite go
"When I rang him I had poor reception," he said of the call
to former test captain Ken. "It sort of went in and out. I
think I might have heard him say ' ... serious?"'
He was, and it's a good selection too.
The Otago lefthander has been in good touch for the HRV Cup
champions, plays with a pleasing positive intent and now has
the chance to fill a hole at the top of the order in the
What you sense he doesn't particularly want to hear ad
infinitum is talk about following in his father's footsteps.
Ken Rutherford played 56 tests, averaging 27.08, and 220
first-class games, at 39.92 with 35 hundreds.
There was a hint of "it is what it is", but Rutherford the
Younger is distinctively his own man and bats the other way
round from his father, too.
"There's no family pressure," the 23-year-old said.
"I never had pressure on me growing up from Dad. I have the
name I've got and I have just got to do what I've done to get
"I got here on my own bat, so I want to create my own
Ken Rutherford will be at Eden Park tomorrow (Sat) for the
first T20 in the ANZ international series, having returned
earlier than planned from South Africa. He's lived in the
republic and Singapore for many years.
Father and son chat and get together when they can, but this
is a young man making his way on his own terms. For
geographical reasons more than anything, the son hasn't been
greatly influenced by his father.
"When I've seen him I've trained with him, especially in the
last two years, to get as much as I can out of him."
Rutherford contributed 300 runs at 27.27 in the HRV Cup at a
strike rate of 140, and took 162 off Northern Districts in a
Plunket Shield match last week.
Rutherford looked the part in the New Zealand XI games
against England at Whangarei, although he faces a significant
step up tomorrow.
"It was a very good experience to have a look at their
bowlers and just get a taste of it."
He won't move away from his batting philosophy.
Rutherford cuts hard and is happy to loft his shots over the
"That's my role in Otago and up here. You don't want to go
away from what's got you here in the first place," he said.
He had no inkling an international call-up was looming.
"A few people joked about it, but I hadn't thought about it.
"I try and stick in the moment and think about what's coming
next, not worrying about all the exterior things."
It says a bit about Rutherford that he's not thinking further
than this series, apart from helping Otago win the Plunket
They sit second, a far from insurmountable 13 points behind
Central Districts with two matches apiece remaining. The
blood runs thick blue and gold in proud southern men.
- David Leggat of the NZ Herald