Former New Zealand fast bowler Ewen Chatfield, also known as ‘The Naenae Express’, has finally called it a day on his cricketing career at the ripe age of 68. The decision came after Chatfield was “slogged” all over the park playing for Naenae Old Boys in Wellington on Saturday.
“It might seem silly but I have standards, even at 68, and if I can’t play to those standards, I thought it is time to flag it,” he told Stuff.co.nz.
The bowler played alongside great Richard Hadlee in the 70s and 80s and was also famous for his exploits as a number 11 batsman, who could frustrate the opposition with valuable runs down the order.
He is most remembered for his last wicket partnership of 44 with Geoff Howarth in a Test against England in 1975, which was also his debut match. In the same encounter, he was hit on the head with a bouncer for Peter Lever that fractured his skull, and his heart stopped beating.
A timely CPR from England physiotherapist Bernard Thomas saved his life.
The incident led to a debate about bowling bouncers to tailenders.
Chatfield had hoped to score a ton before retiring, but unfortunately could not better on his previous best of “fifty something”. In fact, in the last match of his career, a golden duck is all he could manage.
Although he did not want it reported, he suggested a headline for his career.
“The Naenae Express has run out of steam,” he said. “I would not mind that as a heading."