Anna Rossiter-Stead is used to working in a pressure environment, and the eyes of the cricketing world will once again be on her handiwork at the Basin Reserve this week.
The Black Caps take on Bangladesh in their opening test match of 2017, starting today in Wellington.
The Year 13 student from Solway College will take up her customary position in charge of the Hot Spot camera for the five-day game, a role the former Wairarapa representative cricketer has performed for the last three years.
Hot Spot is an infrared imaging system used in cricket to determine whether the ball has struck the batsman, bat or pad.
It is a position that comes with a great deal of responsibility.
“Looking after Hot Spot can be quite nerve-wracking at times, as you can’t risk missing any of the action,” Anna said.
“If you miss a ball and the umpire wants to review the decision that’s a big issue for Sky as the host broadcaster — millions of people are watching all over the world and they don’t want to see a blank screen!
“The DRS (Decision Review System) is very technical, but it’s the best tool at checking umpire’s decisions.”
Her first opportunity was handed to her by chance when her mother Catherine was the media manager for the Central Pulse.
She began working for Sky as a 13-year-old in 2013 and progressed through the ranks as a cabler, before eventually landing one of the most responsible positions on match day.
“I was really lucky because Sky needed someone to help out and asked mum if I was willing to have a go,” she said.
“I was supposed to be helping Mum by handing out media passes, but ended up being stolen by Sky which was awesome.”
It is a job that has provided many highlights, but one that stands out from her time behind the camera was watching every ball of Brendon McCullum’s historic 302 in 2014.
The sports-mad teenager has worked at most of the major sporting events in the capital during that time including All Blacks test matches, Silver Ferns netball games, the Wellington Sevens, Phoenix, Hurricanes, Lions and Central Pulse games and even a Joseph Parker fight in Palmerston North.
Solway had been great at accommodating her work for Sky, particularly when test matches take place during term time, she said.
“Obviously you don’t know if the game will go for the full five days, but the principal Mrs Rogerson has been really flexible about it.”