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Rance thrives with bat and ball

Seth Rance batting for New Zealand A in Vijayawada, India. PHOTO/SUPPLIED


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Greytown’s Seth Rance may be looking to further his cricket career as an allrounder after another successful stint with Furness in England’s North Lancashire League.

That was followed by a tour of India with New Zealand A, before he arrived back in the country on Tuesday.

Rance had a shortened English season due to commitments with New Zealand — which included making his Black Caps debut in May — but that didn’t stop him from helping his team to two titles, while amassing over 500 runs and taking about 70 wickets.

“Considering I spent a bit of time away with the Black Caps and I came back a week early, it wasn’t a bad season,” Rance said.

“It was nice because you get tarnished with a brush that you’re just a bowler, so it’s nice to do well with the bat.”

Rance also put his coaching hat on while in England, leading a senior team and a couple of junior sides to successful seasons.

The different attitude towards cricket in England was a refreshing change, he said.

“They think nothing of travelling two hours to a game on a Saturday, and in that sense they’re a lot keener than us to get out there and play.

“They play in the rain and on wet pitches, and it’s quite nice to have that refreshment of people really wanting to play.”

Tactically, the matches were more traditional in the sense that the aim was to bat long periods of time, and there were no power plays.

“It’s nice to try and work it out and learn how to play a different style of cricket,” he said.

From the lush English wickets where swing and seam bowlers often thrive, his next assignment was a tour of India.

Widely regarded as one of the toughest places to play in the world, Rance said he now appreciates that sentiment.

“It’s the complete opposite . . . it was high 30 degrees and 90 per cent humidity in one place we played at.

“They call it the toughest place to play, and I have an absolute understanding of that now and respect for any team that goes over there.”

He said the ball would turn a lot on the barren dustbowl pitches in India, while offering little swing for the quicker bowlers, meaning variations became vital.

“Hopefully my skill levels have improved after two years of travelling round and playing and bowling on different surfaces,” he said.

While disappointed to not be included in the Black Caps squad currently playing in India, Rance said he would be straight back into action with the Central Stags.

Their first assignment is a four-day Plunkett Shield match against the Northern Knights, starting in Mount Maunganui on Monday.

Rance always enjoys coming back to play for his beloved Greytown Cricket Club when given the opportunity, but said that was unlikely to happen this season.

“The only time I imagine I’ll play is if I happen to get injured and need to get some bowling under my belt, so I’d love to but at the same time if I do it’s not a good thing.”

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