The Wellington Firebirds have landed another promising name in preparation for the 2021-22 season, with former Otago Volts allrounder Nathan Smith making the move to the Capital.
The allrounder visited the Basin Reserve for the first time since officially becoming a Wellington player and said he was looking forward to making the Basin his home.
“It’s obviously an awesome place to play cricket, it’s a lovely ground, with great history and it’s actually my favourite ground to play at in New Zealand, so to be able to call it home now is pretty cool.
“I’ve definitely found myself just drifting in the outfield when I’ve played here before just taking in the surroundings, so it’s a pretty cool place to be.”
The 22-year-old made over 80 appearances for Otago since debuting at the age of 18 but said the time had come for him to make a move to further develop his career.
“The resources and facilities here in Wellington, as well as the coaching staff that they have set here are pretty impressive.
“The specialist batting and bowling coaches as well as the opportunity to work alongside Hamish Bennett are massive drawcards.
“It’s always excited me to work with Hamish and to have two top-class coaches above him supporting Pockers as well is pretty exciting.”
Smith said he was looking forward to joining forces with some familiar New Zealand Under 19 faces including Ben Sears, Finn Allen and Rachin Ravindra.
“I think the first time I met Rachin it was at an Under 17 tournament and he was about 13 playing for Wellington!
“A left-arm orthodox spinner chirping away and from there he’s obviously gone from strength to strength, and you can tell he plays with that confidence on the field, so to be able to play with him, a world-class player now in the BLACKCAPS is going to be pretty cool.
“What Finn’s done since he came to Wellington is impressive and it’s just a testament to what Cricket Wellington do.
“They’ve got a number of BLACKCAPS here now and that just comes from the processes and the culture that they have in place, so to throw myself amongst that is going to be pretty exciting.”
A New Zealand Under 19 and New Zealand A international, Smith amassed over 1500 runs and over 100 wickets in his time at Otago and brings a winning mentality to a Firebirds side that has enjoyed lots of success in the last three seasons.
“I want to win as many games as possible here,” said Smith.
I want to make the move and just help this team win so yeah; I’m really excited to get started.”
The Firebirds will name their sixteenth contract player next Tuesday before they begin their pre-season preparations in August.
Article added: Monday 21 June 2021