If you’re a follower of cricket and appreciate local talent, Andrew Mathieson’s strong right arm bowl will be a familiar sight. He’s the guy best known for beating the record in 2014/2015 with the most wickets in a List A season with 31. He’s also the guy who in his first international game took a wicket with the first ball.
Born and raised in Hamilton, Andrew attended Hamilton’s Fraser High School before heading to Wintec for further study. He’s been playing sports his entire life, with cricket being the main interest from a young age.
Andrew’s been batting and bowling since the age of seven and his first break into the game came at a young age.
And it’s been a pretty good game for him so far…
Having played at a national level since his late teens, Andrew went professional in 2010, playing for Northern Districts. Now a staple part of the Central Districts’ team, he also played a game for the Black Caps against England last year.
It was while playing club cricket and working in a pub in England that Andrew got the call-up to play for the Black Caps.
“The call was out of the blue,” says Andrew. “It was very exciting and I was pretty nervous. It was definitely the largest crowd I’d ever played in front of and they were really loud, calling out and trying to put us off.”
Did the crowd’s hollers affect him? “Not really, it’s just part of the game,” he reckons, going on to state that he believes cricket to be a bit of a head game.
“Cricket is a mental sport. It’s unpredictable, you can do everything right, put in all the training but on the day anything can happen.”
Off the field, Andrew studied at Wintec’s Centre for Sport Science and Human Performance, graduating in 2010 with a Diploma in Sport and Recreation. He credits the qualification with helping him continue to grow in his chosen sport.
“Studying Sport and Exercise Science has helped improve my training efficiency and understanding of my body.”
It was while at Wintec that Andrew first hit the big time.
“I made my first major team when I was studying at Wintec. I made New Zealand under 19s which involved a tour to England. Wintec was very understanding even though I missed five weeks of study.”
Life as a professional cricket player requires a lot of sacrifice – living out of a suitcase while travelling with the team, constant training and mentally preparing for the next match. But it’s not all hard work.
Andrew says one of the things he really enjoys about professional cricket is the great team of people he plays with. When they’re not training, the team can often be found together, not just for cricket-related activities – they recently headed to the beach with kayaks in tow.
No matter what he’s doing – study, work or playing cricket, Andrew is committed to working hard and getting the job done. When it comes to sport, he has the following advice: “Professional sport is like an investment, it takes time, hard work and sacrifice. But with solid goals and persistence it can all pay off.”
So what’s the pay-off for Andrew? Having already played a game for the Black Caps, he is clear about his future.
“My sporting goals are to keep improving so I can make the national team in a few years’ time.”