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Natalie Dodd breaks all-time T20 run record for Central Hinds cricket

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Central Hinds’ Natalie Dodd bats during the Dream11 Super Smash match against the Wellington Blaze at McLean Park on January 8. Photo / Photosport

Korakonui School deputy principal and Kaipaki Cricket Club rep Natalie Dodd is now the Central Districts Hinds’ Dream11 Super Smash T20 highest run scorer of all-time, and she didn’t even know it.

In the Hinds’ first time under the floodlights at Napier’s McLean Park last Monday against the Wellington Blaze, captain Dodd added the nine extra runs needed to secure the record – in just 49 matches for the province.

The previous record of 1208 runs was held by former White Fern and Central Hinds captain Jess Watkin, with Watkin now representing Northern Districts Brave.

Now in her 17th T20 season after previously representing Northern Brave, Dodd has since added to her runs tally and doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.

“It is pretty special, I love playing for the Hinds. I made the move to play for them 5/6 years ago. It is a really special team and I’ve loved playing for them,” former White Fern Dodd says.

“You always want to contribute as a team member, it shows I’ve been able to do that and I’m pretty proud of it. I had no idea where I was at [runs-wise], so it was a nice surprise.

“Being an opening batter, I guess my job in the team is to score runs.”

The precision top-order batter joined the Hinds in the 2018/2019 season and has been named the Central Hinds Player of the Year three times.

Cricket is in Dodd’s blood and every spare chance she has, she returns to play for her beloved Waikato-based Kaipaki team.

“I’ve been with Kaipaki for a long time now. My coach John Parker has been a big part of establishing that club. I guess that’s the reason I play for them,” Dodd said.

“It’s not just that it’s a great bunch of people to play for. One, I love cricket, two, it’s such a great atmosphere and a real family culture. [But also] to support my coach who’s given up hours and hours of his own time to work with me, to support that club that he’s put his heart and soul into.

“It’s an awesome bunch of people. There’s a few girls in there as well and not all men’s teams are so keen on having girls, but they’re so welcoming.”

Having Dodd represent the rural club side provides invaluable experience for the up-and-comers.

“There’s a few of the girls that have mentioned that they’ve followed my career going through. So, that’s been pretty cool to play alongside them but it’s great to also have the support of the boys when I’m playing for the Hinds,” she says.

“The colours are the same, green and yellow/gold, so it makes it pretty easy to slip back into club games.”

Jesse Wood is a multimedia journalist based in Te Awamutu. He joined the Te Awamutu Courier and NZME in 2020.

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