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The Story of Christopher Mary Kuggeleijn

Chris Kuggeleijn, who was born on 10th May 1956 will always be remembered for the part of the dismissal which gave Sir Richard Hadlee the world record.

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Last updated: 10.05.2019
Christopher Mary Kuggeleijn | Sports Social Blog

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Chris Kuggeleijn, who was born on 10th May 1956 will always be remembered for the part of the dismissal which gave Sir Richard Hadlee the world record. Born in a family with Dutch origin Kuggeleijn’s middle name is Mary and he is assumed to be the only male test player to have that middle name.

Kuggeleijn was a handy offspinner and middle-order batsman and had a long career for Northern Districts. He played two test matches and 16 ODIs for New Zealand. Based on some good performance in the domestic cricket he was selected for New Zealand for the first time in the 1987-88 season. The opponents were England and his performance was steady. He was also selected for their next assignment, Sharjah Cup and for the subsequent tour of India.

The main talking point of New Zealand’s tour of India was Hadlee. People were curious to see how quickly  Hadlee could break Botham’s world record of 378. And it did not take too long! Indian captain Dilip Vengsarkar won the toss and decided to bat. Kuggeleijn made his debut for New Zealand and was in action from the beginning. The first ball of Hadlee’s second over moved slightly and got the nick of the Indian opener Arun Lal and was sharply pouched by Kuggeleijn. That way along with Hadlee, even Kuggeleijn and Arun Lal also became part of the history and record books.

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Except for that catch it was not a very memorable debut for Kuggeleijn as he got only Kiran More in the first innings. By the end of the second day quite a few New Zealand players were sick due to Indian condition and food. Kuggeleijn was one of them and could not bowl in the second innings. While batting he scored zero in both innings and is the only player to score a pair of zero on debut for New Zealand against India.

He was also selected to play the second test and scored seven runs in the first innings. However, he scored another duck in the second outing and did not get a wicket in the 19 balls he bowled as India romped to a 10-wicket victory.

Kuggeleijn played ODIs in India and also at home against Pakistan next year but with other spinning options like John Bracewell and Deepak Patel, he never got a chance to play test match again.

Post the international experience, his performance lifted in domestic cricket but a test match call remained elusive. Post-retirement he became a coach and a school teacher. His son Scott recently made his New Zealand debut and is also a part of IPL for Chennai Super Kings.


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