tim southee

Born December 11, 1988, Timothy Grant Southee, or Tim Southee, is a New Zealand cricketer who bowls medium-fast and bats lower down the order who loves to whack sixes. One of the youngest players to play the game for New Zealand, Southee has already made 180 international appearances for his country across formats. Ever since he played for New Zealand in the Under-19 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cups in 2006 and 2008 — where he won the Player-of-the-Tournament award for his 17 wickets — he was earmarked as one for the future. Southee has lived up to the expectations by becoming a key member of the side. On his birthday, Chinmay Jawalekar looks at 14 facts about the man who is destined to become one of New Zealand’s greats.

1. Early days

Born in Whangarei, New Zealand, Southee grew up in Northland. Son of a farmer, he studied at Whangarei Boys’ High School and Kings College, Auckland.

2. Sports-nut

From the beginning, Southee was a sports freak. While at school, he excelled at both cricket and rugby. He played rugby through his secondary school career, representing Kings College first 15 as well as the Auckland Secondary School and Northern Region teams. As a matter of fact, he almost made it to the New Zealand schoolboys side as a blind-side flanker. However, he decided to give up rugby to chase his dream of becoming a BLACKCAP.

3. Earliest cricketing memory

Southee started cricket at a very early age. He once said during an interview that his earliest cricketing memory is getting up early on a Saturday morning playing kiwi cricket with a yellow bat and yellow stumps.

4. Under-19 World Cups

Southee represented New Zealand Under-19 side in two ICC World Cups. He first made an appearance during the 2006 edition in Sri Lanka, where his 55-ball 92 in the plate quarter-final against Ireland took his team to the semi-finals. In the same match, Ireland under-19 captain Eoin Morgan, who is now England’s limited-overs captain, scored 124. New Zealand eventually lost to a spirited Nepal team in the final.

Southee had a more successful 2008 edition in Malaysia, where he won the Player-of-the-Tournament award for his 17 wickets in New Zealand’s run to the semi-finals, where they lost to Virat-Kohli-led India colts. Only South Africa’s Wayne Parnell took more wickets (18), although he played one more match.

5. First-Class debut

Southee made his First-Class debut for Northern Districts on February 19, 2007 at the age of 18, having already played the Under-19 ICC World Cup 2006.

6. Early call-up to senior side

Southee had already played two Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) for New Zealand against England shortly before flying out to Malaysia for the Under-19 ICC World Cup 2008. The same year, he made his Test as well as One-Day International (ODI) debuts as well and became a teenage-debutant.

7. Sensational Test debut

19-year-old Southee made his Test debut against England at Napier in March 2008. The same Test also happened to be New Zealand’s then captain Stephen Fleming’s last. His first-innings 5 for 55 was New Zealand’s most productive bowling debut for 57 years. Southee’s scalps included the likes of Andrew Strauss, Michael Vaughan and Kevin Pietersen. Later, with the bat, Southee also recorded New Zealand’s fastest Test fifty — off 29 balls — when he smashed England bowlers all around the part during his 40-ball 77 not out that included nine sixes. His knock that came in the second innings could not avert New Zealand’s loss.

8. Blasting from the master

Southee’s career could have been over in March 2009 at the age of 20 when Sachin Tendulkar went after his bowling in an ODI at Christchurch. Tendulkar scored 163 off 133 balls and Southee gave away 105 off his 10 overs, which was the second-worst bowling figures in ODIs then. Southee was consequently dropped from the New Zealand team and was playing the Buchi Babu tournament for New Zealand ‘A’ in Chennai soon after. But he fought back and made his comeback to the team.

9. ICC World Cup 2011

By Southee’s own admission, getting selected for the ICC World Cup 2011 was one of the most special moments of his life. He made it more special by taking 18 wickets from the eight matches he played in at an average of 17.33. He finished behind only Shahid Afridi and Zaheer Khan, who were the joint-highest wicket-takers in that edition.

10. Tryst with franchise and County cricket

Southee wasn’t picked during the 2011 Indian Premier League (IPL) player auctions in January that year. But shortly after New Zealand were eliminated from the ICC World Cup 2011, his form led to the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) signing him for the 2011 season. On his IPL debut, Southee helped CSK to a two-run victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by conceding only six runs in the last over of the match. By opting to play in the IPL, Southee gave up the chance to join English County side Essex, but he did join them for the 2011 Friends Life T20 after the IPL. During a victory over Glamorgan, Southee took 6 for 16 including a hat-trick, establishing the record for best bowling figures for Essex in a T20 game. He later went on to play for Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the IPL.

11. ICC World Cup 2015

Southee had a terrific World Cup 2015 as he finished the tournament with 15 wickets, including the career-best performance of 7 for 33 against England. His contribution proved helpful as the team made it to the final for the time, where it lost to the champions Australia.

12. Partnership with Trent Boult

Southee and Boult were a force in age-cricket too, as they have been playing together since the Under-19 days. They have translated their formidable partnership into international cricket as well. Both have been the mainstay of New Zealand bowling ever since they started playing together. They shared 37 wickets amongst them during the World Cup earlier this year; one of the main reasons New Zealand could enter the final for the first time. In Test cricket too they are a Force Majeure. Their partnership augurs well for the New Zealand cricket.

13. Six-machine

Southee has silently gained the reputation of being a six-hitter. Traditionally a bowler, he can hit the long ball to a fair distance. Currently, he sits at the third position in the all-time list of most sixes for New Zealand in Tests. Skipper Brendon McCullum leads with 97 sixes while Chris Cairns is at number two with his 87-career sixes. Southee already has 55 sixes in his 44-Test career so far — more than even the established batsmen like Nathan Astle and Craig Mcmillan. Also, Southee leads the lists of most sixes hit by players batting at number eight or below in Tests and most sixes by players who have played 50 or less Tests.

14. Personal life

Southee lives on a sheep and beef farm in Whangarei with his family. He still helps out his father with the work at the farm but a busy international cricket calendar means he cannot spend much time with the family at the farm. His partner Brya Fahy is one of New Zealand’s most sought after make-up artists. She is based at Cambridge, New Zealand, and works with renowned salon The Sample Room. Their first child, a son named Cooper, was born in December 2012.

(A self-confessed cricket freak, Chinmay Jawalekar is a senior writer with CricLife and CricketCountry. When not writing or following cricket, he loves to read, eat and sleep. He can be followed here @CricfreakTweets)