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Neil McKenzie

For the English footballer, see Neil MacKenzie.
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Source: Cricinfo, 27 April 2013</td></tr></table> Neil Douglas McKenzie (born 24 November 1975) is a South African cricketer. He is a right-handed opening batsman who played for South Africa, making his first appearance in 2000. Strong on the leg side, he is also a very good player of spin. He plays for the Highveld Lions in South African domestic cricket and has also played county cricket for Somerset and Durham.

Early and personal life

Educated at King Edward VII School, McKenzie was a promising junior cricketer, captaining the South African Schools and Under-19 sides. McKenzie is married to one of the most famous South African models, Kerry McGregor. His sister, Megan, is also a leading model in South Africa.

Cricket career

His Test debut came as an opening batsman in a tour of Sri Lanka but like his father Kevin McKenzie he soon cemented his place in the South African middle order before returning to the side as an opener later in his career. McKenzie made his maiden Test hundred against New Zealand in 2000–01. Another century soon came, against Sri Lanka at Supersport Park but it would be his last for seven years. From there on in he could not convert his twelve 50s into hundreds although he came close when he was run out by Damien Martyn for 99. After a series of low scores was dropped from the side. After showing excellent form in domestic cricket, and due to successive poor performances by opener Herschelle Gibbs, he was recalled to the South African Test squad three and a half years later for the second Test against the West Indies at Newlands. Opening the innings, McKenzie scored 23 before a torn calf muscle meant he was unable to bat in the second innings and would miss the third Test of the series. A further development as a result of his recall was that Somerset announced that it was unlikely that McKenzie would return to the club for the 2008 season, having played in 2007 as a Kolpak player. It was subsequently announced that he would play part of the 2008 season for Durham as an overseas player.[1]

During a test against Bangladesh begun on 29 February 2008, McKenzie was involved in a world record 1st wicket partnership of 415 with Graeme Smith.,[2] McKenzie registering a career best 226. He continued his form in the next Test against India when he registered scores of 94 and 155 not out.

In the first Test against England at Lord's in July 2008, McKenzie batted for over nine hours in a 447-ball innings of 138 to help his side save the match having been asked to follow on on the third day.[3]

Neil McKenzie training at the Sydney Cricket Ground in January 2009

During 2008, McKenzie became one of only twelve players to score more than 1000 test runs in the calendar year. The year, however, ended in disappointing fashion as he was shown to be out of form in series against Bangladesh and Australia. That then led to him being dropped from the test squad, after the second test.

He played his first ODI since 2003 against Australia and made a hard fought 63 in the first ODI, while also playing his part in a successful 4–1 series win, which made South Africa the number 1 ranked ODI team in the world. With Graeme Smith fit again, McKenzie lost his place in the next ODI squad.

He was however named as one of five cricketers of the year by Wisden, a prestigious award, dating back more than 125 years, for his form in the away series in England.

Later career

In January 2010, McKenzie joined English county side Hampshire as a Kolpak player for the 2010 County Championship.[4] On 5 August 2011 McKenzie hit his career best first-class score of 237 in a County Championship match against Yorkshire.[5] Not only did he make his highest score, but during his innings a number of records fell. Himself and Michael Carberry set a new Hampshire record for the 3rd wicket in first-class cricket, setting a partnership of 523 runs to surpass the previous best partnership for the 3rd wicket, which was set by George Brown and Phil Mead in 1927.[5] The partnership with Carberry was also the highest for any wicket for Hampshire, surpassing the 411 set by Robert Poore and Teddy Wynyard in 1899.[5] Their partnership was the 11th time in first-class cricket that a partnership has passed 500 runs, currently ranks 9th on the all time list.[6]


External links

Neil McKenzie
File:Neil McKenzie.jpg
Personal information
Full name Neil Douglas McKenzie
Born (1975-11-24) 24 November 1975 (age 40)
Johannesburg, Transvaal Province, South Africa
Batting style Right-handed
Bowling style Right-arm medium
Relations Kevin McKenzie (father), Megan McKenzie (sister)
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 277) 20 July 2000 v Sri Lanka
Last Test 6 March 2009 v Australia
ODI debut (cap 59) 2 February 2000 v Zimbabwe
Last ODI 30 January 2009 v Australia
ODI shirt no. 4
Domestic team information
2010–present Hampshire
2004/05–2009/10 Lions
2008 Durham
2007 Somerset
1999/00–2003/04 Northerns
1997/98–1998/99 Gauteng
1994/95–1996/97 Transvaal
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 58 64 257 270
Runs scored 3253 1688 17,423 7,754
Batting average 37.39 37.51 45.60 37.82
100s/50s 5/16 2/10 48/81 10/54
Top score 226 131* 237 131*
Balls bowled 90 46 930 255
Wickets 0 0 10 4
Bowling average 51.90 62.00
5 wickets in innings 0
10 wickets in match n/a 0 n/a
Best bowling 2/13 2/19
Catches/stumpings 54/– 21/– 229/– 82/–