Fortune finally smiles on Reeve | india | Hindustan Times
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Fortune finally smiles on Reeve

To most, New Zealand is a pleasant holiday destination. To countless Indian immigrants it is a chance to give their children better opportunities. To Dermot Reeve, New Zealand is a second chance at life, reports Anand Vasu.

india Updated: Mar 28, 2009 00:16 IST
Anand Vasu

To most, New Zealand is a pleasant holiday destination. To countless Indian immigrants it is a chance to give their children better opportunities. To Dermot Reeve, New Zealand is a second chance at life. Reeve was born in Hong Kong, made a name for himself as a fine all-rounder at Warwickshire and one of the foremost innovators in limited overs cricket in England. In 2005, a newspaper expose of Reeve's cocaine addiction put paid to his career as a colourful commentator for Channel4 and destroyed his relationship with Warwickshire forever. Reeve needed a fresh start, and he chose New Zealand.

Shunned by the county he led to three titles in 1994, Reeve transplanted himself, his wife and three children 14,000 miles from their home in Birmingham to New Zealand. Even this was only possible because of the generosity of the Warwickshire public who supported Reeve’s benefit to the tune of 500,000 pounds.

Reeve, once known as The Ego, started from scratch, playing club cricket at lower levels, staying low-key and attracting no attention. Slowly but surely, though, he got the monkey off his back, and now coaches the Central Districts (CD) team in the domestic competition.

Blair Furlong, Chief Executive Officer of CD describes Reeve as someone who ‘doesn't let the grass grow under his feet’ and says the coach has a firm ‘no moan, no groan’ policy with the players.

“He's innovative and has taken the team to a new level. One part of his CV is players taking individual responsibility.” With CD in next week’s domestic final against Auckland, the Reeve-CD partnership has certainly worked so far.

He doesn't give interviews anymore — claims they only get him in trouble — but in the past has spoken with remarkable honesty of his troubles. In January 2008 he spoke to a Christchurch newspaper in what he vowed would be the last time he spoke of his travails with cocaine. Calling it a “dark chapter” Reeve said he was “ashamed” but that the support of his family and professional help had saved him. “If someone is out there and struggling (with drugs), ask for help,” he had said.

In Reeve’s time there was little knowledge about just how widespread the drug abuse problem was in county cricket but since then the England and Wales Cricket board has set up a support network for players.