Star Black Caps cricketer Luteru Ross Poutoa Lote Taylor, known to many as Ross Taylor, claims he would prefer the sport to market him as a role model to Pacific Islanders.
Ross Taylor celebrates his 18th ODI century. Photo: Photosport
Taylor is one of the best scoring batsmen at New Zealand cricket history.
He’s also the only Black Cap to possess scored 290 within an away game against Australia and is one of only three New Zealanders using 17 test generations under his belt.
As the commentators compliments his on-field pops, less often said is that his Samoan heritage.
Taylor stated he grew up knowing it was never the standard for island youngsters to play cricket.
“You realize, they are extremely physical people, big, and are exposed to rugby. I think once they’re exposed to cricket [and] the parents that are exposed to cricket as a sport, they might be able to push that onto their children also.”
Taylor stated his Samoan heritage ought to be encouraged more, therefore Pasifika children know they’ve each possibility of getting international cricket stars.
“There’s not a lot of [pacific] players that have played to be role models. I believe New Zealand cricket probably must use me at a promotional kind, getting to the colleges, promoting myself and my Samoan ethnicity.”
“There’s actually a lot of children who think I’m Māori rather than Samoan so I still get that quite often when I’m doing autographs after games.”
Murphy Su’a has been the first Pacific Islander to make the New Zealand Black Caps team in 1992.
He’s now on the Auckland cricket board and also can be dedicated to enhancing the diversity of New Zealand cricket.
Mr Su’a stated Pasifika children were showing huge potential in the sport, but lacked the funding support to keep them in the game.
“A lot of Pacific Island boys, you know, they are great cricketers, but they have been offered scholarships already for rugby. So we have got a real challenge there to keep and keep kids in the game.”
He said a shortage of diversity in cricket could be viewed in any way levels, including in the very top. He said it was reassuring to see that a few Pacific people coming through the rankings but considered they ought to be encouraged.
“Sean Solia from Auckland and James Baker from Northern Districts, the two of Samoan tradition, they have played New Zealand A’s as recently as last year, so that there are children coming through at the Under 19s.
“So that the dynamics are shifting, but do we actually continue to showcase that? We need to check at what are the pipelines to keep them from school or studying different methods to keep these children.”
New Zealand Head of Community cricket, Adrian Dales, stated Māori and Pacific people simply made up about five percent of their whole grassroots cricket inhabitants.
He said cricket needed to be encouraged at schools in which it wasn’t a popular sporting decision.
“I believe we will need to get cricket into a more colleges, a few of the very unconventional schools. I think what’s happened over the years is that cricket has gotten more and more the domain of traditional schools.”
He said Pacific folks had a natural propensity towards sport and had every ounce of possibility to become the next Ross Taylor.