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Emulating Sehwag helps Ingram prosper as opener

In an age where even club cricketers are professionals, an “amateur” Test cricketer is as scarce as an honest politician. Meet Peter Ingram, reports Amol Karhadkar.

cricket Updated: Aug 22, 2010 23:57 IST
Amol Karhadkar

In an age where even club cricketers are professionals, an “amateur” Test cricketer is as scarce as an honest politician. Meet Peter Ingram.

With just 13 appearances across three formats, the New Zealand opener is not a regular in the national squad. In fact, he is the only member of the Black Caps’ tri-series squad not to have a contract.

Whenever he is not playing for the country or Central Districts, his provincial side, the 31-year-old is in his school in New Plymouth teaching kids to mould objects out of metal.

“It (teaching) is my normal work. At high school, the senior boys (13-18 years) build their own motorbike frames. The junior do all sorts of things, like cheese knives,” said Ingram, who has a solitary appearance in the tri-series so far.

On whether cricket not being his main source of livelihood had impacted his game, he replied in the negative. “I’ve got a job to do,” says the burly batsman. “But I still want to do well.”

The urge to excel has transformed the right-handed batsman over the last four years. In his first five seasons of first-class cricket, Ingram averaged 19.47 in 63 innings. In the last four, his average has never dropped below 55.

Guess, who is responsible for the turnaround?

“I used to move my feet too much early on. Then I kept watching Virender Sehwag. I thought if he could score runs without moving his feet, so could I. Since then, I have scored heaps of runs. I am not as good as he is, but one day hopefully I will be.”

Ingram has been trying his best to spend time with his idol. “I have tried to have a chat with Sehwag, hopefully it will work out today (Sunday). We are trying to organise one. I want to have a talk on how he trains.”

What’s even more fascinating is that there is a wild side to him. Since his early years, Ingram has been an avid hunter. To take his mind away from cricket, he heads out to the dense forests in Taranaki on the western side.

Who does he target? “Mainly pigs. From 20 onwards, I used to go out with my uncle. Six years ago, I got my license and bought the odd gun. I travel way out, walk about half-an-hour into the bush to a little spot that I go to, you get a few pigs. Once you shoot them, cut them and carry it. It is beautiful to eat.”

That’s a multi-faceted personality, isn’t it?