Sir Richard Hadlee backs the Canterbury Kings

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 05:00 26/06/2014
Sir Richard HAdlee
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LEGENDARY BOWLER: Sir Richard Hadlee shows his bowling technique to young players at the ICC Cricket World Cup countdown launch.

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Canterbury Cricket's bold move to swap red and black for royal purple and to drop the Wizards name for their Twenty20 team has received the tick of approval from New Zealand cricketing royalty.

Sir Richard Hadlee yesterday congratulated his former association on the move which will see Canterbury's T20 team play in purple and gold as the "Kings".

The association will retain the red and black colours in their one-day campaign and play one and four-day cricket with no nickname at all, just as "Canterbury".

Canterbury cricketing greats Chris Harris and Brian Hastings joined Hadlee in applauding the move.

"I think it's a very good decision and a good initiative," Hadlee said.

"It separates the two forms which has happened all over the world. And I like the fact the 50-over team and the first class team will play as Canterbury."

Harris, who played more than 200 matches for Canterbury, said: "I love the concept."

He also liked the mix of moving into the future while still respecting the association's past.

"Twenty20 is the commercial arm of the business and it sounds like they needed to do something different so good on them."

Hastings, who played 73 first-class matches for Canterbury as part of his 20-season first-class career, said he was initially dubious about the change of colours, but appreciated what the current administration was trying to do.

"But I like the Kings and the royalty theme. And I commend them for making a change, even to the colours, because something needed to be done; cricket, like a lot of sports, is losing ground."

A theme consistent with all three was "what have they got to lose"?

The answer is: not much. Canterbury as the Wizards in red and black attracted about 1000 people per game and was not making money from T20 cricket.

"And if it wasn't working, then they'd be silly not to make some changes, wouldn't they," Harris said.

Initial feedback on social media has been largely negative. The name switch has come under little criticism, but the move away from the traditional red and black has.

Canterbury Cricket boss Lee Germon wanted to reiterate the side would still wear red and black in one-day cricket.

Some punters on Facebook and Twitter said following the path of Indian Premier League and Big Bash League teams was a negative while some said they would not support a Canterbury team not playing in red and black.

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