Southern man heading north

Shock! After a nine-year career with the Otago Volts, entertaining paceman Michael Rae will be available for Canterbury next season.

Otago Cricket today confirmed that Dunedin-born Rae has made the difficult decision to leave his home team the Otago Volts ahead of the 2023/24 Domestic season, and instead will be based in Christchurch where he and his wife have recently bought a house in order to be closer to family.

In a statement to his Volts teammates, Rae said that he “would have loved to have been a part of the team’s exciting journey going forward, but at the end of the day I’ve made the decision to put my family first.”

Until now, the Volts have been the tall, strong performer's only Domestic team.

With a distinct, wind-up action and plenty of strength packed into his big frame, he first represented the southerners in first-class cricket in the 2014/15 season, going on to make his T20 debut for the team in the Dream11 Super Smash in 2016/17 and his List A Ford Trophy debut the following season.

Across all those formats, he has notched up 105 appearances as a key component in the team's bowling attack, and he is one of just eight Otago men in history to have taken a first-class hat-trick in the Plunket Shield.

He'll leave the side with 44 first-class wickets in the blue cap (he also has four for New Zealand A), as well as 38 Super Smash wickets and 40 in The Ford Trophy. His best haul has been the stunning 7/35 against the Auckland Aces in Auckland in that format in December 2020, the Volts record for most wickets in a one-day innings.

Rae was the men's Dream11 Super Smash's leading wicket-taker this past summer with 16 wickets (just one shy of the Otago Volts season record, held by James McMillan), and joint top Ford Trophy wicket-taker alongside Central Stag Brett Randell with 18. His performances during the 2022/23 season saw him awarded him the Otago Volts Bowler of the Year trophy.

Otago Cricket CEO Mike Coggan wished Rae all the best for the future, with the relocation to Christchurch making Rae a possible future sighting in red and black.

“Since the first time I met Razor back in 2015, I was impressed - and to this day I have so much admiration for him," said Coggan.

"He is Otago through and through and an outstanding athlete who just keeps getting better every year.

"We will absolutely miss him and everything he brings to the Volts and Otago Cricket. His decision has been about putting family needs first and I fully respect that, and wish him and Annabel well in their next endeavours”.


Rae is the second Otago Volt to depart the team in recent weeks, following the recent retirement of allrounder Josh Finnie.






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