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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Russell Crowe to star in new role in Wellington

Jonathan Millmow in Wellington's Dominion Post reports that Russell Crowe will be cast in a new role at Basin Reserve next Sunday.

New Zealand cricketer Stephen Fleming had the bright idea of staging an earthquake charity match, and then set about finding stars.  First, he nabbed Shane Warne, and then he talked Russell Crowe into playing a part, his arguments aided and abetted by Crowe's cousin, New Zealand cricketer Martin Crowe.

It didn't take any arm-twisting, apparently, though Fleming says that Russell Crowe jibbed at the first suggestion, which was to wield bat and ball.  "But he was happy to coach," he said. "He said to me 'I'll sit there and look self-important.  I do that well.'"

Though most of the world does not know it, Russell Crowe is a New Zealander by birth.  When he was small his father, a keen cricketer, shifted the family to Sydney.

The Canterbury side will be captained by Fleming, whose team includes Warne.  Martin Crowe will captain the Wellington eleven.  No one is sure yet which side Russell Crowe will coach, but Martin reckons he should be in Wellington colors.  After all, as he points out, Wellington was his birthplace.  Apparently, he had some talent as a cricketer -- was a useful number six or seven in the batting side, "and bowled like a poor man's Gavin Larsen in his heyday."  But coaching, it seems, is about his limit, now.

Tickets go on sale on Monday.


Linda Collison said...

I don't know much about cricket but I do admire Russell Crowe!

Caron Dann said...

Crowe also went to high school in NZ. The family moved to Auckland when he was 14. His parents ran a business catering for film sets. He moved to Australia permanently at 21. His great-great grandmother was Maori. However, on the recent Oprah special made in Australia, he said Sydney was his "home town" and didn't mention NZ.

Joan Druett said...

Wow, that is all new to me. Well, I knew he was aggressively Australian, but I didn't know he was tangata whenua, too!