One of the greatest fast bowlers and all-rounders in cricketing history talks to us about travel, food and India
OLT: Which is your favourite destination in the world?
Richard Hadlee: I enjoy going to different countries. England, because it’s the home of cricket: it has beautiful cricket grounds and it’s easy to get around and enjoy all the history there. I also like the Pacific Islands, like Fiji—lying around on the beach on a deck chair, lovely hotels and lagoons. I like to relax and switch off on a holiday. I’m a bit boring, really.
OLT: Have you taken up any sports after retiring from cricket?
Richard Hadlee: I enjoy playing golf on courses around the world. In fact, I live on a golf course in Pegasus. I love some of the courses around the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast in Australia because they have a lot of water and trees, birdlife and wild animals around.
OLT: You’ve come to India multiple times on cricketing tours. What was that experience like?
Richard Hadlee: My first trip in 1976 was a mixed bag. I fell quite ill during that tour. We came in October so we had trained in very cold conditions back home and within a few hours we landed up in the heat and humidity of Pakistan first, then India. My most memorable tour was in 1988 when we managed to win a Test match at Wankhede.
OLT: What do you pack for a trip?
Richard Hadlee: Apart from the necessities, I carry binoculars, a camera and my music on an iPad. I love my music. My playlist has easy and sentimental tracks, country and western music; for instance, Simon & Garfunkel, Westlife, Céline Dion, Dixie Chicks, etc.
OLT: Where do you feel most at home?
Richard Hadlee: At my home in Pegasus, just north of Christchurch city. We’ve also got a little holiday home at Hanmer Springs, just over an hour from Pegasus. It’s a small alpine village with a population of 700 people. The big attractions there are hot mineral pools, forest trails and horseriding. That’s my getaway place.
OLT: What’s your favourite dish? Do you like Indian food?
Richard Hadlee: I’m a very basic eater. My favourite dish would be roast lamb with vegetables and roast potatoes. I also like Chinese and Thai food. As far as desserts go, I like a simple fruit salad with lots of ice cream. In Indian cuisines, I find chicken korma to be very palatable when eaten with rice.
OLT: What is Christchurch’s biggest attraction?
Richard Hadlee: There’s a whole new city coming up now. The earthquakes in 2010-11 did some damage, but we’re rebuilding. New buildings and a convention centre are coming up; a rugby ground is being installed; the Hagley Oval has been revamped into a beautiful new venue for cricket. And we’re lucky to have four very well-defined seasons in New Zealand.