Bowled over

In what he calls ‘‘a bloody honour’’, Queenstown’s John Cushen (pictured), who turned 74 on Thursday, has been selected to represent New Zealand at the inaugural over-70s Cricket World Cup in England in July/August.

The pace bowler was named after playing for a composite team at the national over-70s tourney in Wellington last week.

“In the last game I bowled seven overs on the trot and took 1 for 20-odd, that was OK.

“I had the longest run-up at the tournament and can show you some skin off my knees and elbows from diving to save a few fours.”

Cushen’s played for the over-70s NZ side before, and the over-60s, and captained the South Island over-70s when they beat Australia, but says there’ll only be two older players in the team going to England.

‘‘There’s a big difference between a 70-year-old and a 74-year-old.’’

He’s also had some health challenges of late and says his heart only ticks at about 44% – “the top two pumps are no good”.

Meantime, he’s also playing for Otago at the over-60s inter-provincials in Napier.

‘‘I’m playing more cricket now than when I was good,’’ he quips.

Back in the day, Cushen played for both the NZ under-19 and U23 sides, but despite a successful first-class career representing Otago and Auckland, during which he took 194 wickets over 20 years, he never attained full NZ honours.

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