A decade on, tragedy of Christchurch earthquake still an aching pain for the White Ferns


Tuesday. February 22, 2011. Like most New Zealanders, it’s a date that Frankie Mackay, a Canterbury all-rounder and member of the White Ferns staff wouldn’t neglect anytime quickly. It was a day when a significant earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter Scale had despatched shockwaves throughout South Island, hanging at the coronary heart of Christchurch in Canterbury area, New Zealand’s second-most populous metropolis, inflicting wide-spread devastation and claiming as many as 185 lives.

Ironically, the day had begun on a hopeful word for Mackay, then 21, who was knowledgeable that she can be making her debut towards Australia in the upcoming ODI collection. Shortly earlier than 1 pm, the staff assembled at their resort at Cathedral Square for a follow session.

Mackay, had simply walked by means of the resort foyer and was out in the Square, when the floor beneath her started to shake vigourously. A panic-stricken Mackay had misplaced her sense of bodily perspective, when moments later, a big chunk of the magnificent Christchurch Cathedral’s tower caved in. Mackay, together with the relaxation of her team-mates scampered for cowl. When the quaking stopped, none of staff members had been injured, however they had been lined with mud from the particles.

They gathered gingerly outdoors the resort premises, the place some most popular to take a seat down as that made them really feel loads safer. Mackay added: “The White Ferns team had curled in little balls in the middle of the Cathedral Square.” A team-mate started to take away the rubble to see if anybody was trapped beneath. Mackay recalled seeing fireplace bellowing from the adjoining Press Building, dwelling of Christchurch’s morning newspaper, which had collapsed. When she noticed folks popping out with blood on their faces, the enormity of the state of affairs sunk in. It was not simply the beloved Cathedral. “You think, ‘we’re in a world of trouble here.’”

She would go on to say herself as an all-rounder with big-hitting prowess and parsimonious off-spin bowling. Between 2011-2014, she was a daily with the New Zealand Women’s ODI and T20 squads, a interval through which she travelled to the 2012 T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka and the 2013 One-day World Cup in India. A subsequent loss in kind relegated her to the sidelines. After a five-year hiatus, she returned for the T20 collection at dwelling towards India after being named the Burger King Super Smash Women’s Player of the Year at the annual New Zealand Cricket awards that season.

A decade since that horrific pure calamity, Trevor Auger, a former membership cricketer primarily based in Auckland, had launched a ebook titled: “The Warm Sun on My Face: The Story of Women’s Cricket in New Zealand,” which amongst different issues, chronicled vividly, the occasions from that chilly, damp February afternoon. Interestingly, Auger had not deliberate to incorporate this part in his ebook earlier than an opportunity encounter with Mackay in 2018. “My meeting with Mackay moved me profoundly. She was the catalyst, and it’s her account that I chose to write in detail in this book,” Auger instructed The Indian Express over the cellphone. The 676-pager, which was in the making for greater than 4 years, paperwork girls’s cricket in New Zealand from the late nineteenth century to the present legends of the White Ferns staff.

Auger was not in Christchurch or some other half of South Island when tragedy struck. Nevertheless, he provided a number of anecdotal proof of the mayhem and deep scars the chain of occasions had left in the minds of folks. “When the earthquake struck, I was working for the Ford Motor company in Auckland. But several colleagues from Christchurch office recounted with fear, when a top of the building of our office fell on a bus and crushed several people,” he defined. Apart from the loss of a number of harmless lives, the earthquake, Auger stated, was additionally accountable for wiping out the erstwhile Lancaster Park and partially devastating the Christchurch Cathedral — two monumental landmarks in the metropolis. “The Lancaster Park was integral to the city’s sporting ecosystem, with the venue regularly hosting international cricket and rugby matches. The earthquake had reduced it to rubble. It was only after this incident that the Hagley Oval was refurbished and put on the cricketing map. It hosted Sri Lanka in 2015, and then the World Cup that year,” Auger, who had labored as a press scorer at Auckland’s Eden Park, provided.

“The heart of the city is broken.”

For the previous 10 years, the Christchurch Cathedral, an imposing neo-gothic construction, constructed by fashionable English architect Sir Gilbert Scott, has been standing amongst particles and rubble, with its tower ravaged. Peter Beck, the cathedral dean, had instructed the BBC: “The heart of the city is broken.”

“It was built by immigrants from England when they arrived in New Zealand in the 19th century. For long, this structure has been the identity of this city. Just like New York has the Empire State Building, Christchurch is known for its namesake: the Christchurch Cathedral,” Auger famous. “Not sure when the restoration work will begin. There’s a lot of debate over who will pay for it.” Even in any case these years, there are a lot of New Zealanders, who’re still grappling with the after-effects. “Even now, when there’s even a slight tremor, my sister and nephew get paranoid,” Auger acknowledged.

Former White Ferns cricketer Elizabeth Perry was amongst the many who had been bodily and emotionally drained by the occasions of February 22, 2011.

Perry represented White Ferns at the worldwide degree for seven years from 2010 to 2017 as a reliable seam-bowling all-rounder. Apart from her stints in cricket, she additionally represented New Zealand internationally at hockey. In April 2019, Perry married New Zealand cricketer Maddy Green. She was additionally concurrently pursuing her Master’s thesis at the time on: ‘The travelling female athlete: cricket, migration and globalization’. The topic of her research concerned experiences of feminine athletes from New Zealand and Australia who migrate quickly to play cricket in England. It positioned the migration community of feminine cricket inside the fashionable world sport house and challenged the total notion of what the typical world athlete is right now. At one level, she thought of giving up her analysis and cricket too, earlier than household and pals helped her by means of that interval.

“This thesis has been a continual reminder of that day for me because of its connections to cricket, but I firmly believe that if it was not for this research I may not have continued my cricket career at all,” Auger quoted her, in his ebook.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here