Lance Dry worries about results, not the haters
Seventeen years on and the hatred shows no signs of subsiding.
On their own, the small matter of his 502 Pearce Cup wickets and the nine titles in succession would probably annoy people.
But there's just something about Lance Dry's demeanour that means somewhere, right now, a club cricketer is bound to be talking about how much they dislike the Eastern Suburbs captain.
"Most of them haven't even met me properly, but that's all right. It's their time they're wasting, not mine," Dry said this week.
"But people do seem to get pretty fired up about it."
Even his mates cop it on his behalf, like Easts' lower-grade stalwart Steve Pyke.
"Pykey texted me last Friday to say `there's a guy in here [Lovelocks] having a massive go at you'. I said `who is he?' and he said 'I don't know. I've never met him, I'm just standing next to him and he's teeing off about you'.
"I just said 'tell the mystery angry guy I said Hi'."
It's something that the 34-year-old admits he has probably earned.
"I wind people up on the field and I do that intentionally," said the St Pat's Town old boy.
"But it's within the spectrum of the game and it's just to get a rise or cause a distraction and some of the reactions are pretty entertaining.
"Some guys, it's water off a duck's back. Other guys just lose it.
"I don't lose any sleep over it. I've always been pretty hard-nosed and ruthless when I play. I don't know any other way."
It's worked for him and his club, but never translated itself into a long career at representative level.
The leg spinner played one match in 1994, as an 18-year-old, then four more five years later.
"I only ever got one decent bowl of 25 overs and got 4-90 [against Northern Districts] on a road at Seddon Park.
"I got James Marshall, Scott Styris, Grant Bradburn and Matthew Hart and then I was the 12th man or didn't get a bowl.
"Jeffo [Mark Jefferson] did most of the [spin] bowling."
The knock on Dry was that he didn't give the ball a big enough rip. He reckons it's why club players tend to revile him too.
"Because I just bowl straight leggies guys ask `how can you get people out?'
"But they need to ask themselves that, not me.
"It's not my fault they keep getting out. It's like I should be apologising. I've bowled it, it's pitched on middle, gone on and you've missed it. Gee, what a wanker."
Dry knows the sequence of Pearce Cups will end eventually and that his reaction will be closely monitored.
"I haven't won it plenty of other times, so it'll just be like then; disappointing. It's going to stop and when it does, I know everyone from the other clubs will be stoked."
But it will require something of a leap of faith to do it.
"I don't think there's anyone playing club cricket in Wellington that's ever won the Pearce Cup. Other than anyone who's played for Easts, like Sunnie [Chan], I'm pretty sure there's no-one at another club that's won it.
"So they'll obviously be pretty happy to get their first ever win."
A member of ANZ's commercial banking division, Dry won't give the game away when the streak ends. Having brought up 3000 career runs last weekend, he hopes another two or three seasons might provide sufficient time to bring up his maiden Pearce Cup hundred.
The Dominion Post