Much respected Wellington Firebirds pace bowler Hamish Bennett has announced that the 2021/22 season will be his last, after a 17-year career that also saw him represent New Zealand Under-19, Canterbury, and of course the BLACKCAPS.
Bennett made his first-class debut for Canterbury in 2005.
“When I started out as a young kid bowling in the nets in Timaru, I never dreamed I would have gone on to enjoy the career that I’ve had,” said Bennett today.
“From Old Boys Timaru Cricket Club who got me involved in cricket at the start, Timaru Boys’ High School, South Canterbury Cricket, Canterbury Cricket, Cricket Wellington, and New Zealand Cricket, as well as all the other great clubs I’ve played for down the years, they’ve all played a role in helping me achieve my cricket dream.
“I’ve been so fortunate to work and play alongside so many great players, captains and coaches and I’d like to thank every one of them for their support over the years.
Bennett has made 265 domestic appearances for Canterbury and Wellington, amassing 489 wickets across all formats and establishing himself as one of the most reliable pace bowlers in the country.
In that time, he won 12 Domestic titles, including five Plunket Shields, two Ford Trophy titles, four men’s Dream11 Super Smash titles and a women’s Super Smash title as Wellington Blaze's bowling coach.
He captained the Firebirds to their Ford Trophy triumph in 2018, and was a key member of the Firebirds side that lifted the Plunket Shield and back-to-back Dream11 Super Smash titles between 2019 and 2021.
He finishes his career as Wellington’s third leading all-time T20 wicket-taker, behind only Jeetan Patel and Luke Woodcock.
“Men’s and women’s cricket in New Zealand is in an exciting place, so I’m looking forward to putting the feet up and watching the game grow from the sidelines," said Bennett.
“It’s been an honour to represent my family and my country for New Zealand and those memories and experiences will be ones that I cherish and tell stories about for the rest of my life.”
Bennett made his international debut for the BLACKCAPS in an ODI against Bangladesh in 2010 and made his sole Test appearance a month later against India in Ahmedabad.
He went on to make 31 appearances for New Zealand across all formats, taking 43 wickets, and was selected in the BLACKCAPS' squad for the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup in India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.
Firebirds head coach Glenn Pocknall praised the way Bennett has established himself as a leader in the Firebirds group.
“Hamish transformed himself as a cricketer when he made the bold move to Wellington in 2016,” Pocknall said.
“His achievements for Canterbury, Wellington and New Zealand speak volumes for what he has given to the game, and we wish him well in his future.”
Cricket Wellington CEO Cam Mitchell said Bennett’s contributions to cricket in the capital stretched further than just the Firebirds.
“Hamish has been at the heart of a Firebirds team that has experienced an unprecedented amount of success during his time in Wellington,” Mitchell said.
“His dedication as a player, but also to his coaching in both the men’s and women’s space, as well as his commitment to his North City club should also be commended.
“His career achievements speak for themselves, and we look forward to seeing what Hamish achieves after playing, and we have no doubt it will involve cricket in some way.”
Bennett will keep playing kindred cricket for the Old Tablelands Cricket Club in Martinborough, and will continue to pursue his career in coaching.
HAMISH BENNETT CAREER SNAPSHOT
79 matches, 261 wickets, best 7-50, 5wi 8, 10wm 1, average 28.49
1 Test, 0-47
List A (one-day) cricket
112 matches, 160 wickets, best 6-45, 5 4wi, 1 5wi, average 26.15
19 matches, 33 wickets, best 4-16, 3 4wi, average 27.03
87 matches, 78 wickets, best 3-15, average 28.55, SR 21.73
11 matches, 10 wickets, best 3-54, average 33.10, SR 21.50