Photo Credit: Otago Cricket
This Tuesday’s Dream11 Super Smash in Dunedin will be Hamish Rutherford’s final game as “Ruds” retires from all cricket after 16 summers in the New Zealand Domestic game.
At 34, the lifelong (and second generation, after father Ken and uncle Ian Rutherford) Otago Volt and former BLACKCAP will bring down the curtain on a career that began in the 2008/09 season for the blue and gold, the summer in which the young left-hander debuted in all three formats.
Now he has 5,207 first-class runs for Otago from 79 games: fourth on the Volts’ all-time first-class runs honours board after Craig Cumming, Neil Broom and another great left-hander, Bert Sutcliffe.
The top order stalwart will finish third on Otago’s all-time List A one-day list with 2,552 from 77 games, behind only Broom and Cumming.
And in T20s, there’s one last chance at the University of Otago Oval to add to his current career tally of 2,758 from 128 Volts games that again is behind only his good mate Neil Broom who finished on 2,926. He recently went past Broom’s appearances record in the format. His final match will stretch that record to 129.
Rutherford has been blunt about his reasons for pulling the pin now, mid-season: he doesn’t think he’d get selected for the remainder of the Plunket Shield and Ford Trophy anyway; and the aches and pains of a long career are beginning to take a toll on his body.
He’s embodied the team’s self-deprecating nickname: the Voltarens, and had layoffs with concussion over the years after coming off second best against various quicks.
So this is how it ends. On his own terms. On his home turf.
Rutherford played all three formats for the BLACKCAPS, chiefly between 2012/13 and 2014/15, with a T20 International recall in 2019.
His Test best was his sole century – a resounding 171 against England at his home ground in Dunedin, on Test debut. You’d think it couldn’t get much better than that for an Otago lad, and it turned out to be his only hundred in any format for his country.
In the Domestic arena, his record has the numbers. He captained the Volts for a long time, and scored 17 first-class centuries in his overall red-ball career, a dozen of them for the Volts. The occasional 99 was rued.
He also played for Derbyshire, Essex, Worcester and Glamorgan in the UK’s County Championship.
Brutal on his day, he scored 13 one-day hundreds with a best of 155 against the Central Stags in 2019/20 that just bettered his 154 against Cantebury the season before, at the peak of his powers.
Tomorrow will be the 194th T20 of Rutherford’s overall career. He’ll retire holding the first wicket partnership record for his team, set with Anaru Kitchen against the Stags in a stunning world record (at the time) match for the number of runs scored in a T20 Domestic game, back in 2016/17 at Pukekura Park.
He’ll also retire as the Volts’ most-capped T20 player with 128 matches, and it will be some time before any of his current teammates catch him.
Don’t miss a chance to see Rutherford one last time if you’re anywhere near Dunedin, to farewell him in person at Uni Oval from 4PM. Let’s hope the weather plays ball.
And if you’re further afield, catch it live on TVNZ+ as the Otago Volts get ready to raise a glass to the legend in their final Dream11 Super Smash match of the season.