Blair Tickner made his debut against India in February 2019 and took the wicket of Rishabh Pant as New Zealand won the match by four runs to win the series 2-1. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
New Zealand's cricketers have often pursued jobs which have been totally different from their cricketing careers. Ewen Chatfield, who was Sir Richard Hadlee's opening bowling partner, drives a taxi to earn a living. Bert Vance, who was a domestic stalwart, runs his own chain of clothing stores with the name Vance Vivian. Andrew Jones, who was a solid middle order batsman for New Zealand in the 90s, co-owns a film company. Chris Harris, who was one of the best all-rounders from New Zealand, works as a medical representative. Nathan Astle, one of the best openers that the country, is a speedway race driver.
There is one more addition to the list of New Zealand cricketers who have done a different job and that is Blair Tickner, a 26-year-old pace bowler from Napier, Hawke's Bay. Tickner made his debut in the final Twenty20 International against India in Hamilton and he got the wicket of Rishabh Pant for 28 as New Zealand won the match by four runs and the series 2-1. Tickner was the star in the game at Nelson against England in which he took 2/25 in four overs, including the wickets of Tom Banton and James Vince as New Zealand won the match by 14 runs.
In the build-up to the Twenty20 International in his hometown of Napier, Tickner revealed that he actually owns a coffee shop and he is good in making coffee. In an interview with stuff.co.nz, Tickner revealed that he owns the cafe for the last six months and previously ran two coffee carts in Aramoana in Central Hawke's Bay in the cricket off-season.
"I still make a coffee. We've got fulltime staff now, so I don't do as much in the summer. If we get busy with the Black Caps there I might have to get the tools out and start making some coffee. I'll be getting their wallets out and we'll be getting the money behind the till. Rossco [Taylor] has been asking for freebies all week, but I know he's got a hefty wallet, so he'll be paying in full," Tickner said.
Prior to his debut, Tickner had made decent strides in domestic cricket in New Zealand. In 2017, he took a hat-trick in the Plunket Shield competition for Central Districts against Wellington but it was in the Super Smash tournament where he made a mark, taking 21 wickets in 11 games for Central Districts.
Tickner did not have a good time in Napier in the match against England, where he was smashed for 50 runs in his four overs as Dawid Malan became the second England player to hit a century. Malan and his record 182-run stand helped England reach their highest score in Twenty20 Internationals with 241/3 and they won the match by 76 runs. However, Tickner has made the jump from serving coffee to playing for the Blackcaps.