Sideline Sid has written a number of times about defined and clearly understood sporting pathways being the key to individual and team success.

He has also written about a group of Bay of Plenty cricket players who were born after the start of twenty-first century, who appear on a trajectory of professional cricket and beyond.

There is no better example of young talent going on to playing on the big stage, than the four Bay of Plenty representative players who made their senior representative debut before their 16th birthday.

Current Black Cap skipper Kane Williamson, former Black Caps Daniel Flynn and Mathew Hart, and current young Bay bowling star Tim Pringle, all wore the Bay of Plenty Cricket senior representative uniform while still at secondary school.

One of the current crop of rising stars, in Ben Pomare, Fergus Lellman, Taylor Bettelheim and Tim Pringle along with women's star of the future Nensi Patel, wrote his name into the Bay of Plenty Cricket representative record books over the weekend.

Taylor Bettelheim became just the third (and youngest) Bay of Plenty player since the Bay's first representative game in 1932, to break through the 200 run mark.

Opening the innings in the Bay of Plenty Fergus Hickey Rosebowl match against Waikato Valley, Bettelheim carried his bat throughout the BOP innings, to finish with 211 not out to his name.

Taylor's huge total came from 325 balls with 19 4's and two 6's.

What made the performance even more remarkable, was that it was his second successive Bay representative century, taking his tally to four from just 15 Bay of Plenty appearances.

The Bay of Plenty opener is following in illustrious footsteps behind AZ (Alex Lees) and JF (Joe) Carter. Lees, who played in the BOP for just six weeks in early 2017, is a English County player, who left his mark in New Zealand with two centuries and the Bay of Plenty highest score of 223.

Joe Carter is a long serving ND and Bay player, who has also earned New Zealand A selection and became the first Bay player to crack the two hundred run plus mark, with a 215 not out against Poverty Bay in 2014

Bettelheim has made a dramatic impression since his Bay of Plenty debut against Waikato Valley in March 2019.

In just 15 games he has hammered a amazing 868 runs, and is likely to bring up the one thousand run milestone, well before he receives his Bay of Plenty baggy cap that recognizes 25 representative games.

Sideline Sid
Sports correspondent & historian