If you’re a follower of cricket, Andrew Mathieson’s strong right arm bowl will be a familiar sight. He’s the guy best known for beating the record in 2014/2015 with the most wickets in a List A season with 31. He’s also the guy who in his first international game took a wicket with the first ball.
Born and raised in Hamilton, Andrew attended Hamilton’s Fraser High School before heading off to Wintec for further study. He’s been playing sports his whole life with cricket being his main interest from a young age.
Andrew’s been batting and bowling since the age of seven. His first break into the game came at a young age: “My brother and I played backyard cricket and I quite enjoyed it and one day his team was short of players so I stepped in and have been playing ever since.” And it’s been a pretty good game so far …
Having played at a national level since his late teens, Andrew went professional in 2010, playing for Northern Districts. Now a staple part of the Central Districts team, this year he even played a game for the Black Caps against England.
It was while he was playing club cricket and working in a pub in England that Andrew got the call up to play for the national team “The call was out of the blue” says Andrew “It was very exciting and I was pretty nervous. It was definitely the largest crowd I’d ever played in front of before and the crowd were really loud, calling out and trying to put us off.”
Did the crowd’s hollers affect him? “Not really, it’s just part of the game” he reckons, going on to state that he believes cricket to be a bit of a head game. “Cricket is a mental sport. It’s unpredictable, you can do everything right, put in all the training but on the day anything can happen.”
Off the field, Andrew studied at Wintec’s Centre for Sport Science and Human Performance, graduating in 2010 with a Diploma in Sport and Recreation. He credits the qualification with helping him continue to grow in his chosen sport “Studying Sport and Exercise Science has helped me improve my training efficiency and understanding of my body.”
It was while he was at Wintec that Andrew first hit the big time “I made my first major team when I was studying at Wintec. I made New Zealand under 19’s which involved a tour over in England. Wintec was very understanding even though I missed five weeks of study.”
Life as a professional cricket player requires a lot of sacrifice - living out of a suitcase as you travel with the team, always training and mentally preparing for the next match. But it’s not all hard work. Andrew says one of the things he really enjoys about professional cricket is the great team of people he plays with. When they’re not training, the team can often be found together. Today they’re even planning a trip to the beach with kayaks in tow.
No matter what he’s doing – study, work or playing cricket, it seems that Andrew is committed to working hard and getting the job done. When it comes to sport, Andrew has the following advice: “Professional sport is like an investment, it takes time, hard work and sacrifice. But with solid goals and persistence it can all pay off.”
So what’s the pay-off for Andrew? Having already played a game for the Black Caps, Andrew is clear about his future “My sporting goals are to keep improving so I can make the national team in a few years’ time.” Making the team would be a heck of a pay-off, and we’re sure it’s just a matter of time