High winds prove no issue for 11-year old cricket fan tasked with Black Caps coin toss

All eyes lifted skyward during the coin toss that would decide whether New Zealand or Bangladesh would bat the first ...
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All eyes lifted skyward during the coin toss that would decide whether New Zealand or Bangladesh would bat the first innings at Basin Reserve.

It seems like a simple action, but a Wellington schoolboy spent weeks practising tossing a coin with his friends ahead of the Black Caps vs Bangaldesh test match at the Basin Reserve.

Gaurav Navalkar, 11, won a competition to walk out onto the pitch with New Zealand captain Kane Williamson to toss the coin, deciding who would bat and bowl in the first innings.

Ahead of the toss, Gaurav, a keen cricketer himself, said he was feeling prepared for the task at hand despite the windy conditions.

Gaurav Navalkar, 11, flanked by Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim and Black Caps captain Kane Williamson.
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Gaurav Navalkar, 11, flanked by Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim and Black Caps captain Kane Williamson.

"It's my first ever test, but I'm more excited than nervous."

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He was entered into the online competition by his father Pradeep Navalkar and found out he had won just a few weeks ago.

"He called me to say I was doing it and I just couldn't believe it," Gaurav said.

The Wellesley College student is an all-round sportsman excelling in cricket, soccer and swimming and had been getting some advice from his teammates.

 

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"At my cricket practices, my friends have been asking me to do a shout-out and also helping me practice my coin toss.

"I like cricket because it's a good team sport and I get to play with all my friends."

Despite high winds, the toss went to plan with Williamson winning and the Black Caps opting to bowl.

While Gaurav said it was exciting to walk out with the captain for the toss, he admitted Williamson wasn't his favourite cricketer.

"My favourite player is probably Tom Latham. He's good."

Gaurav is one of 22 young cricket fans who will be taking the field as the coin toss kids during the ANZ International Series this summer. 

ANZ sponsorship and corporate marketing head Sue McGregor said it was important that all levels of the sport were supported.

"We're passionate about not only supporting elite cricket in New Zealand, but also all the grass roots fans and cricketers. 

"We're very pleased we're able to offer a young Kiwi this amazing opportunity."

The five-day test between the Black Caps and Bangladesh continues at Wellington's Basin Reserve until Monday, January 16.

 - Stuff

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