Our Stags and Aces super fans give us the good oil for 2018/19

Fans' week - Aces & Hearts and Stags & Hinds

It's the fans that make the Burger King Super Smash what it is. All this week we're talking to die-hards from around New Zealand to gauge how they're feeling before we get back underway on 22 December.

Read the rest of our fan previews: 

Auckland Aces and Hearts - Ruth Thielke

Which teams do you support and why?

The Aces and Hearts!

My grandmother, famously, was a member and big Auckland cricket supporter, and I used to wag high school to go and hang out with my Grandma at Eden Park. I'd catch the bus down Dominion Road to see her sitting in the stands and watch Bracewell and Snedden and Martin Crowe, Willy Watson, Danny Morrison... and I never grew out of it!

What's been the highlight in your time supporting them?

It was the 2011 (I think) T20 final, here at Colin Maiden Park. I *think* Batesy took a triple wicket maiden. That was awesome, Hoppy was the captain, we had Guppy, Andre Adams, Dutchy, Colin Munro...

The atmosphere in the crowd was just amazing, it was one of those hot sunny days, a bouncy castle, beer tent.. everyone was very chilled and had a great time, loads of kids, older fans, the lot. And great cricket too, lots of sixes, we had to get out of the way of a few!

Will you be heading to any matches this year?

Yes, and typically I'll take a bunch of people, it's not something I'd go to on my own.

What's the key to enjoying a successful day out at the park?

Sunscreen. And bubbles! Shade is a big one! And people to talk to. I'm pretty well known and one of the regulars, all the old guys come by for a chat, and I love that, it's a whole different social group. Everyone asks after everyone else, it's great.

Who's your player to watch in this year's competition?

Absolutely - Sean Solia! He's been magnificent. 

For the women, I love watching Amelia Kerr, she's amazing.

What are your thoughts on the alignment of the mens and womens competitions this year?

It's awesome, it's the best thing we could have done. People will be able to catch the game easily cos it's right there in front of them, I'll definitely be watching! They're already great, but the more attention, the better.

Who do you consider your biggest rivals?

All of them! I don't think we've got one particular rival, it's always competitive. There's great players in every team. I know you want me to say Northern Knights but I'm not going to! We can beat every one of them so it's fine!

If you could have any player in world cricket turn out for the Aces or Hearts, who would it be?

Sunil Narine, he'd be awesome, I'd love to see him play close up. The spinners are vital in white ball cricket.

For the Hearts, Suzie Bates, she's one player I'd love to see live, even better if she played for us.

How would the Aces go in the BBL or IPL?

I reckon we'd be right up there and compete in the Big Bash. IPL is a different kettle of fish, with the pitches and crowds, you don't know what's going to happen. But you never know...! If we picked up some Indian stars and they could come back and play in the BK Super Smash, that would be cool.

Follow Ruth on Twitter at @sillymidoff.

Central Stags and Hinds - Andrew Frame

Which teams do you support and why?

The Central Stags and Hinds, because I'm born and bread in the beautiful Hawke's Bay region. I've got to know a few of the guys through playing club cricket here in Hawke's Bay... and while we've been a bridesmaid but never a bride for the Super Smash recently including last year when we were in the box seat right up until the final unfortunately.

What's been the highlight in your time supporting them?

Winning the Plunket Shield was a recent high point, along with so many of our players making the BLACKCAPS squad, including this weeks' hero Ajaz Patel!

Also the Hinds' Rosemary Mair plays for my club, Old Boys Marist - I've played with Rachel Priest and Abby Burrows, who've also been in the team in recent years.

Will you be heading to any matches this year?

I certainly hope to - my daughter will be five in December and she's just starting to get into her sport, it will be cool to take her along.

What's the key to enjoying a successful day out at the park?

I'm just looking forward to a good day's cricket! I've been playing since I was at primary school, which is 30 plus years ago, and have been playing senior club cricket for the last decade and a half. You get to appreciate cricket and watch the game unfold, you're just watching out for the nuances, tactics and skills that come out. 

Who's your player to watch in this year's competition?

For the Hinds, certainly Rosemary Mair, having watched her come up through the club scene here in Napier, she's been doing very very well, hopefully she'll get in the New Zealand side in the not too distant future.

For the guys, they've been doing well, guys like George Worker, have been doing the mahi and getting the treats, it's great to see them recognised, and for locals to see their players on the international stage.

What are your thoughts on the alignment of the mens and womens competitions this year?

I like the way they're lined up - the double headers are attractive, you're getting two games for one, which certainly helps. It's great to see the equality of air time too, it's great viewing, which we've missed out for a while!

Who do you consider your biggest rivals?

Probably the Northern Knights, with the amount of BLACKCAPS that are in the side now, but then I guess they don't always get to play, and the Stags are often their own worst enemy for eh same reason..

If you could have any player in world cricket turn out for the Stags or Hinds, who would it be?

We've had Mahela Jayawardene the last couple of years, he's been all right... possibly Sangakkara? He's a very popular and talented player, I think he's been playing for Surry in England, he's a gamechanger!

I'd like to see some of the English players here during their winter to play a few games and see how they go. Jimmy Anderson or Joe Root, someone like that, that'd would be brilliant.

For the Hinds, I'd love to see Rachel Priest back, she used to train at our club and when she was in the nets, you'd want to be in the cage next to her, it was the safest place to be! She just smoked everything, it was quite glorious.

How would the Stags go in the BBL or IPL?

In Big Bash, I couldn't see why they wouldn't go too badly with a couple of overseas players - in the IPL, India is a tricky place to play, so you'd need a few local players in the team to get to grips with the grounds.

Who are the real stars of NZ cricket Twitter?

For fans, definitely Michelle Langstone, she's just a cricketing machine and a really awesome lady too! I'd put myself in, batting at 11! There's Leg Gully, who lives down here, A Cricketing Buddha, there's heaps of passionate fans!

And the commentator and ex-player, Peter McGlashan, he's a Havelock North boy.

Anything else you want to add?

After a hiatus on McLean Park, it's great to have it back in action this season both domestically and internationally!

Follow Andrew on Twitter at @NapierInFrame