Nelson’s Jon Routhan will return to the indoor cricket World Cup next year, this time as a coach. Photo: Jonty Dine.

Routhan’s new role


New Zealand indoor cricket legend Jon Routhan is still searching for that elusive World Cup title.

After playing in three campaigns where the Kiwis came agonizingly close to dethroning the almighty Australians, Jon’s next shot will come in 2020 as a coach.

The Nelson College for Girls director of sport was named alongside former teammate Leigh Kelly to lead the side in their quest for an inaugural title.

Jon, who represented New Zealand from 2004-2017, brings a wealth of experience to the helm.

He is confident they have assembled a quality core of players capable of ending the Australian dynasty which dates back to the mid-nineties.

The Aussies have won 19 consecutive World Cups since the tournament’s inception in 1995.

“I have been through some heartbreak.”

He says he is excited about the prospect of a shot at revenge with a new team.

“Leigh and I had talked about it before, threw our names in the hat and were lucky enough to be selected.”

However, there is a lot of cricket to be played between now and the global competition in Sydney next year.

This year sees the introduction of the Asia/Pacific Cup which will take place in Singapore in April.

Jon says the game has caught on quickly in Asia and countries such as India and Sri Lanka have already proven themselves as more than competitive against the world champions.

“It will be a good opportunity to gauge where we are at and see the new players take the court.”

He says they drew a line in the sand when selecting their 25 players.

“They had to have been playing provincial cricket which meant there were a few guys that were unavailable through outdoor commitments.”

The squad is riddled with talent including young guys the Gardner brothers, Mitchell and Braden.

“They have been playing really well for Canterbury at provincial level and I’m looking forward to seeing how they go,” he says.

Jon also cites Taine Jolley and Corey Perrett, who both played for New Zealand at Under-22 level, as exciting young prospects.

“We want to play positive and put a lot of emphasis on what we do with the ball.”

Jon has previously coached the NZ colts’ side as well as the Southern indoor team, but this will be his highest honour to date.

“It’s exciting, they are young, raw and can do some really funky things with the ball.”