Hadlee Challenges Southee to Break his NZ Test Wickets Record

Sir Richard Hadlee has set Tim Southee a target to beat his New Zealand test wickets record.

The country’s greatest test wicket taker was speaking on a video call after the 33-year-old Southee was awarded the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal at the New Zealand Cricket Awards on Thursday – the supreme award for the 2021/22 season.

Hadlee praised the Black Caps star’s efforts and claimed he could yet surpass him as New Zealand’s most prolific test cricket bowler.

“No doubt the 400 test wickets are in sight and maybe that magic number 431 is in the back of your mind,” Hadlee told Southee, who is in India playing in the IPL.

“So, I’ll be watching that with some interest and if you are to reach that mark, I’m prepared to sit here and say, ‘it’s time for me to let it go’. I would be very satisfied and pleased that it would be you to do it – so there you go, there’s a wee bit of motivation for you.”

Southee sits third on the all-time NZ list with 338 test wickets – 23 fewer than Daniel Vettori and 93 behind Hadlee.

Southee took 36 test wickets at 23.88 and 12 wickets over the T20 season at 19.75 over the NZC awards judging period.

“You’re a very deserving winner,” Hadlee added.

“We go back 14 years to when I was part of the selection panel who first picked you and to watch you develop over the years into the fine-tuned bowler you are now has been quite remarkable.

“You seem to be in total control of your game and bowling as well as you ever have. You’ve got a simple technique which is easy to repeat, and your skill sets have gone to another level.”

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