Parkes top run-scorer at tourney

Young man on the move.

Young man on the move.

LEADING SCORER: Northern Districts under-19 cricket captain Thorn Parkes was the leading run-scorer at the national u19 cricket tournament in Lincoln this month. He scored 379 runs at an average of 75. Picture by Paul Rickard

Gisborne-born-and-bred Thorn Parkes is a young man on the move.

Parkes was the leading run-scorer at the national under-19 cricket tournament in Lincoln this month.

The 18-year-old left-handed batsman scored 379 runs at an average of 75 in his second year at the tourney.

Parkes captained the Northern Districts team who placed fourth of six teams.

He said he had “good guys” around him. They included vice-captain Jake Russ, wicketkeeper Ben Pomare and Oli White.

“For all of us, it was about learning to take opportunities,” said Parkes, Auckland’s Junior Cricketer of 2018.

He attended Te Hapara School and Gisborne Intermediate before his five-year stint at King’s College in Auckland.

In 2019, he will look to major in accounting as part of his commerce degree at the University of Otago.

Parkes said he was happy with his tournament form. He was timing the ball nicely, the pitches were great to bat on and the outfield was lightning-fast.

Former Black Cap Chris Kuggeleijn was head coach of the ND u19s.

“Thorn’s a smart player who understands the game, batted through three times for us and played only one rough shot in the whole tournament,” Kuggeleijn said.

“He knows what he can and can’t do, and has time to spare as a batsman. His footwork against the spinners has really improved.

“I’ve not seen many young players who can knock the ball into holes the way he can while also being able to line bowlers up at the end of an innings.”

Parkes batted at four and five in one-day games, and three and two in the Twenty20 matches. His plan centred around reducing the innings to workable blocks of four, three and two overs with an idea of where he and ND needed to be during those blocks (180 in the 36th over, 200 by the 40th), while remaining flexible.

In the five one-day games, Parkes scored 85 not out in a tie against Otago, 41 in the 148-run loss to eventual tournament winners Auckland, 35 in the 97-run win against Canterbury, 90no in the six-wicket victory over previously unbeaten defending champions Wellington and 86no in another tied match, against Central Districts.

In the T20 games, Parkes made six against Wellington in a 53-run win, 36 in a seven-run loss to Otago and nought in the eight-run loss to Canterbury.

Wellington’s Gareth Severin (370 at 46) was the tourney’s next highest overall run-scorer.

Northern Districts won three games and lost three, and in the 22-year history of the tournament are the only team to tie two games.

Parkes scored more runs than any other Poverty Bay cricketer selected to represent ND at u19 level, and is the first Poverty Bay player to be Northern Districts’ leading run-scorer at the tournament.

ND pathways head Peter Zanzottera managed the u19s and has seen hundreds of young cricketers grow in his five years with Northern Districts.

“Thorn has the values that we look for in young people,” Zanzottera said.

“He works hard, respects others and reflects on his own performances and ways in which he can improve. He’s very competitive.”

Parkes was in Lincoln from December 3 to 8 with King’s, leading their first 11 to third place in the six-school National Gillette Cup Tournament.

He scored 81no off 84 balls in the opening five-wicket win against Palmerston North Boys’ High, 46 in a 36-run loss to Christchurch BHS, six in a four-run loss to King’s High School of Dunedin, 82 in the one-run loss to this year’s champions Wellington College and 49no in the eight-run victory over national powerhouse Hamilton BHS. He scored 264 runs at an average of 88.

ND chairman of selectors Pat Malcon said Parkes had developed a wide array of shots, concentrated hard and batted time at this year’s u19 tournament.

“He is a positive batsman who can play straight, play the ball late and put pressure on bowlers — an important attribute across the different forms of the game,” Malcon said.

“On top of that, he’s a fine fielder — six catches and a run-out at the tournament — and is quick across the turf. He can also bowl useful leg-spin and is a good white-ball cricketer whose next challenge will be to convert that to success in the longer form of the game.”

In 2011, Parkes became the first Year 6 cricketer to be selected for the Poverty Bay boys’ primary representative team. That year, he scored 98no for Te Hapara as they took the MCC Bat off Central.

In 2012, Parkes scored two Milo Cup centuries for Gisborne Intermediate, and in 2013 he scored 200no in Gisborne Intermediate’s TW Syndicate Challenge, to go with two other centuries and a 79 in Milo Cup games. That year, he played for both the primary team and the Poverty Bay Year 9 and 10 side.

He has been in ND development squads for seven years.

Parkes made 54 on debut for King’s Colts against Rosmini College in Y9. Later that season he scored 134 against Howick College, and he debuted for the first 11 in the Gillette Cup finals in Lincoln in December 2014.

He was named the most valuable player of the New Zealand boys’ junior secondary schools’ tournament in 2015 and scored his maiden first-11 century, 126, against Shore Grammar School of Sydney in 2016.

Parkes had played his first A Grade game in Gisborne club cricket when he was 12.

As a 14-year-old playing for the Poverty Bay senior representative team, Parkes opened the batting against Northern Districts pacemen Scott Kuggeleijn and Jimmy Baker in a game against Hamilton, and scored 20 runs. This year he faced Black Caps leg-spinner Ish Sodhi.

Parkes also plays rugby, and this year was vice-captain of the King’s first 15. He made his first-15 debut at halfback as a reserve in 2016.

In the past two years, he has been selected in the Blues u17 and u18 squads.

But the passion of cricket coaches Steve Webb (Te Hapara), Glen Udall (Gisborne Intermediate), David McDonald (Poverty Bay) and Roy Goodyear (King’s) might just tip the balance for the summer code. Poverty Bay’s Sam and Robbie Tallott — potentially his teammates at Dunedin’s North East Valley club after Christmas — could nudge him further that way, too.

“Education comes before sport but I enjoy playing cricket,” Parkes said.

“If I could pass on just one thought to any young players here — because Gisborne has a lot of talent — it’s that you’ve got to believe in yourself and hold nothing back.”

Gisborne-born-and-bred Thorn Parkes is a young man on the move.

Parkes was the leading run-scorer at the national under-19 cricket tournament in Lincoln this month.

The 18-year-old left-handed batsman scored 379 runs at an average of 75 in his second year at the tourney.

Parkes captained the Northern Districts team who placed fourth of six teams.

He said he had “good guys” around him. They included vice-captain Jake Russ, wicketkeeper Ben Pomare and Oli White.

“For all of us, it was about learning to take opportunities,” said Parkes, Auckland’s Junior Cricketer of 2018.

He attended Te Hapara School and Gisborne Intermediate before his five-year stint at King’s College in Auckland.

In 2019, he will look to major in accounting as part of his commerce degree at the University of Otago.

Parkes said he was happy with his tournament form. He was timing the ball nicely, the pitches were great to bat on and the outfield was lightning-fast.

Former Black Cap Chris Kuggeleijn was head coach of the ND u19s.

“Thorn’s a smart player who understands the game, batted through three times for us and played only one rough shot in the whole tournament,” Kuggeleijn said.

“He knows what he can and can’t do, and has time to spare as a batsman. His footwork against the spinners has really improved.

“I’ve not seen many young players who can knock the ball into holes the way he can while also being able to line bowlers up at the end of an innings.”

Parkes batted at four and five in one-day games, and three and two in the Twenty20 matches. His plan centred around reducing the innings to workable blocks of four, three and two overs with an idea of where he and ND needed to be during those blocks (180 in the 36th over, 200 by the 40th), while remaining flexible.

In the five one-day games, Parkes scored 85 not out in a tie against Otago, 41 in the 148-run loss to eventual tournament winners Auckland, 35 in the 97-run win against Canterbury, 90no in the six-wicket victory over previously unbeaten defending champions Wellington and 86no in another tied match, against Central Districts.

In the T20 games, Parkes made six against Wellington in a 53-run win, 36 in a seven-run loss to Otago and nought in the eight-run loss to Canterbury.

Wellington’s Gareth Severin (370 at 46) was the tourney’s next highest overall run-scorer.

Northern Districts won three games and lost three, and in the 22-year history of the tournament are the only team to tie two games.

Parkes scored more runs than any other Poverty Bay cricketer selected to represent ND at u19 level, and is the first Poverty Bay player to be Northern Districts’ leading run-scorer at the tournament.

ND pathways head Peter Zanzottera managed the u19s and has seen hundreds of young cricketers grow in his five years with Northern Districts.

“Thorn has the values that we look for in young people,” Zanzottera said.

“He works hard, respects others and reflects on his own performances and ways in which he can improve. He’s very competitive.”

Parkes was in Lincoln from December 3 to 8 with King’s, leading their first 11 to third place in the six-school National Gillette Cup Tournament.

He scored 81no off 84 balls in the opening five-wicket win against Palmerston North Boys’ High, 46 in a 36-run loss to Christchurch BHS, six in a four-run loss to King’s High School of Dunedin, 82 in the one-run loss to this year’s champions Wellington College and 49no in the eight-run victory over national powerhouse Hamilton BHS. He scored 264 runs at an average of 88.

ND chairman of selectors Pat Malcon said Parkes had developed a wide array of shots, concentrated hard and batted time at this year’s u19 tournament.

“He is a positive batsman who can play straight, play the ball late and put pressure on bowlers — an important attribute across the different forms of the game,” Malcon said.

“On top of that, he’s a fine fielder — six catches and a run-out at the tournament — and is quick across the turf. He can also bowl useful leg-spin and is a good white-ball cricketer whose next challenge will be to convert that to success in the longer form of the game.”

In 2011, Parkes became the first Year 6 cricketer to be selected for the Poverty Bay boys’ primary representative team. That year, he scored 98no for Te Hapara as they took the MCC Bat off Central.

In 2012, Parkes scored two Milo Cup centuries for Gisborne Intermediate, and in 2013 he scored 200no in Gisborne Intermediate’s TW Syndicate Challenge, to go with two other centuries and a 79 in Milo Cup games. That year, he played for both the primary team and the Poverty Bay Year 9 and 10 side.

He has been in ND development squads for seven years.

Parkes made 54 on debut for King’s Colts against Rosmini College in Y9. Later that season he scored 134 against Howick College, and he debuted for the first 11 in the Gillette Cup finals in Lincoln in December 2014.

He was named the most valuable player of the New Zealand boys’ junior secondary schools’ tournament in 2015 and scored his maiden first-11 century, 126, against Shore Grammar School of Sydney in 2016.

Parkes had played his first A Grade game in Gisborne club cricket when he was 12.

As a 14-year-old playing for the Poverty Bay senior representative team, Parkes opened the batting against Northern Districts pacemen Scott Kuggeleijn and Jimmy Baker in a game against Hamilton, and scored 20 runs. This year he faced Black Caps leg-spinner Ish Sodhi.

Parkes also plays rugby, and this year was vice-captain of the King’s first 15. He made his first-15 debut at halfback as a reserve in 2016.

In the past two years, he has been selected in the Blues u17 and u18 squads.

But the passion of cricket coaches Steve Webb (Te Hapara), Glen Udall (Gisborne Intermediate), David McDonald (Poverty Bay) and Roy Goodyear (King’s) might just tip the balance for the summer code. Poverty Bay’s Sam and Robbie Tallott — potentially his teammates at Dunedin’s North East Valley club after Christmas — could nudge him further that way, too.

“Education comes before sport but I enjoy playing cricket,” Parkes said.

“If I could pass on just one thought to any young players here — because Gisborne has a lot of talent — it’s that you’ve got to believe in yourself and hold nothing back.”

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