Every three weeks Nelson Weekly editor Andrew Board sits down with someone interesting for a chat over a pint [or two] of delicious beer at either the Vic Brew Bar or Burger Culture.
We call it “Beers, Burgers & Banter” and this week he interviews former Black Cap, current Black Cap selector and new Nelsonian Gavin Larsen at the Vic Brew Bar on Trafalgar St.
You had a ten year, 121 ODI and 8 test match career. What was the highlight of it for you?
I get asked that a lot and it sounds cliché but it’s almost every time you pull the shirt on you pinch yourself and say ‘you’re representing your country, this is pretty cool’. Tongue in cheek, I would have like to have played a few more tests and I think I got shafted by the selectors, so it’s a twist of irony that I’m now a selector. Specific highlights, the ’92 World Cup, the run that we had, the infamous semi final. We would have won that world cup if we won that game – I’m convinced of that.
Now that you are a Black Cap selector do you think there are a few players who think you’ve shafted them?
I’m sure my face is already on a few dart boards.
You played in the ’92 world cup and were on the organising committee for the 2015 world cup. What were the similarities between the two?
The competitiveness of the players was the same but apart from that it was almost polar opposites in the way the tournament was set up, planned, structured, delivered. It was like apples and oranges. It was the best two years of my life from a career point of view, it was an amazing experience.
Nelson played a role in that world cup, hosting three games. What were your thoughts on how the city hosted the cup?
I would have to say that I was absolutely thrilled that Nelson was on the radar because I’d been down here, I’d seen Saxton and I could see the potential. I think I understood the vibe of city and how it was getting behind the world cup. We were doing a ground-zero build so I spent a lot of time down here in Nelson.
Did that time here during the world cup influence your decision to move here?
Yeah, it was massive – massive. I’d spent a lot of time in Nelson anyway, with my wife and family, and we’d always loved it as a holiday destination. We were looking for a bit of a lifestyle change and the Black Caps selector role allows me to not be based in any one location and it’s not a 12 month full-time role, so it gave us a bit of flexibility about where we could live.
Are you here for the long haul?
I hope so, I hope we’re here forever. We’ve settled in really well, we’ve met the neighbours and Mapua is a really neat little community.
What can you do enhance cricket in Nelson?
David [Leonard, Nelson Cricket CEO] runs a really good show and clearly has a strong board behind him. The thing that smacks me between the eyes is that you have a really good boutique cricket ground, really good training facilities and brand-new indoor training centre, you’ve got other potential in terms of grounds around the region and you have the sunshine. All that, to me, equals destination of choice and it equals cricket development in my mind, so I think there are some special opportunities down here.