Richard Chilton with a copy of the book, on the history of New Zealand women’s cricket, started by his late wife Adrienne Simpson, and completed by Trevor Auger. Photo / David Haxton
We know a lot about the history of men’s cricket in New Zealand. But what about women’s games? Not much. Until now.
An authoritative and entertaining new book looks back on more than 150 years of New Zealand women’s cricket from its humble beginnings to its heyday on the international stage.
Games, players, challenges and obstacles, nothing was missed in “Warm Sun on My Face”, written by Trevor Auger and the late Adrienne Simpson.
The book’s origins go back to the late 1990s when Adrienne, a passionate cricket follower, started research and gathered a lot of material to write about.
“She did very thorough research and had lots of files and photos from her early days,” said her husband, Richard Chilton.
Adrienne hoped to release the book in conjunction with the 2000-2001 Women’s Cricket World Cup, which was held in New Zealand, but the scale of the project forced her to change her plans.
“He had compiled the book and wrote about two thirds of it, and the rest seemed to be cut and pasted as he wanted, but then he got cancer and started to become unwell.”
Adrienne died on 4 December 2010, at the age of 67, before she could finish her book.
In early 2011 Richard, from Paraparaumu, submitted manuscripts and research material to the New Zealand Cricket Museum, in the Basin Reserve, Wellington, for safekeeping in their archives.
“I put it all together into four large archive boxes, which included many audio tapes of when she interviewed an older female cricketer, and took it to a museum.
“The boxes contain a lot of material.
“They’re filed in and I don’t think about it anymore.”
As of 2013, Jamie Bell has become director of the museum, and with an interest in cricket history, recognizes a treasure trove of four boxes, which has the team coming together to turn Adrienne’s book project into a reality.
In 2017, Trevor Auger, who has been involved with cricket for most of his life, was tasked with completing the book, which he has done very well.
“It was an invitation that was easy to accept, especially when I saw the wealth of material Adrienne had collected,” he said in the introduction to the book.
“Her four cartons have now grown to seven, but this book could not have been written without Adrienne’s hard work or the constant inspiration her efforts gave me.
“I am proud to share the authorship of this book with him and I apologize that we never met.”
Richard, aware of plans to complete his book, discovered on December 4 last year, 10 years after his wife’s death, that the book was strongly supported by New Zealand Cricket and the New Zealand Cricket Players Association and many more. others, have been published.
“That’s kind of scary.”
The length and quality of the finished product took him by surprise.
“It’s a wonderful book and Adrienne will be very happy.”