New Zealand Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia

New Zealand Cricket Folk Heroes Dipak Patel and Mark Greatbatch Play in Java Legends Tour

Ambassador Taylor with Mark Greatbatch, Dipak Patel, and the Embassy's James Waite

Ambassador David Taylor opened the Lance Cairns Pavilion at Taman Olah Raga Pancawati International (TOPI – the Pancawati International Sports Park) on 1 May. Former New Zealand cricket representatives Dipak Patel and Mark Greatbatch were present at the short ceremony and each captained New Zealand sides in the Java Legends cricket sixes tournament. Greatbatch’s New Zealand team reached the final of the tournament, having eliminated Dipak Patel’s New Zealand Embassy side in the semis. Indonesia won the competition with a team of young players from West Java.

Greatbatch also participated in a cricket coaching session at the British International School on 28 April.

Created by New Zealand expatriate Robert Baldwin, TOPI is a centre for cricket development in West Java and is used extensively by local schools for physical education. TOPI also hosts regular cricket competitions among Indonesians and expats. That Indonesia won the 2011 Java Legends, beating expat teams that included former international players, is testimony to the successful development of cricket in West Java by the Bogor Cricket Association, with support from TOPI. The Bogor Cricket Association has worked for several years to introduce cricket into Indonesian schools and foster promising Indonesian players.

The naming of the TOPI pavilion after Lance Cairns reflects the support the Cairns family has given to TOPI and the strong connection between TOPI and former New Zealand players. New Zealand cricket great Chris Cairns visited Jakarta in 2009 and 2010 to raise funds for TOPI and played in the inaugural 2010 Java Legends tournament.

Lance Cairns, Chris’ father, was a key member of the highly successful kiwi squads of the 1970s and 1980s. His six sixes smashed from his legendary bat – the shoulder-less Excalibur – at the MCG in 1983 was one of several episodes that defined this great era for New Zealand sport. Later that year Cairns took ten wickets at Headingly to help secure New Zealand’s first ever test match victory on English soil. His 135 test wickets at an average of 32 places him among the top echelon of New Zealand test bowlers. Son Chris went on to become one of the best cricketers produced by New Zealand.

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