Nathan Watt.   5 July 2000  – 22 May 2018.

Nathan Watt.  5 July 2000 – 22 May 2018.

The recent and sudden passing of Nathan Watt left the Wellington school cricket community in deep shock. Nathan first played for the HIBS first XI in 2015 as a year 10 student and was a good team man right through to his death.

During this time Nathan assisted his school and his team in winning numerous regional titles, and also a national one day cricket title. In his cricket career Nathan played 72 matches, took 74 wickets and scored 421 runs in his four seasons with the HIBS 1st XI.

Nathan was a big, strong athletic young man and his fielding skills saw him win his first selection to the 1st XI. He had a powerful throwing arm and could catch with complete surety in the deep. As a tidy medium fast bowler with an unorthodox action, he could be relied upon to break that stubborn partnership, to get you that special wicket and to ultimately change the game – something he often did for the 1st XI. Nathan also achieved the singular distinction of taking a hat-trick at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Cup finals at Lincoln in 2016.

His hockey striking skills transferred seamlessly into his cricket and it will be difficult to forget his batting performance in the 2017 Secondary Schools Cup final at Ngati Toa Domain. Nathan provided a wonderful exhibition of power hitting and subtlety to assist the HIBS 1st XI to their win and a place in the National Finals at Lincoln University in Canterbury.

Nathan always played the game with humble integrity and a “quietness” that made him a daunting adversary. His celebrations, when he took a wicket, were usually muted with a shaking index finger at about elbow height. He was a great influencer and he had a big impact on the younger players stepping up to play in the First XI. He would take these youngsters under his wing and encourage, cajole and at times be pretty stern, ensuring they were ready and able to step up to the rigours of the College Sport Premier league cricket competition.

Nathan’s work ethic at training was exemplary. He would bowl tirelessly without a break ensuring that our top order batsmen got full benefit of his energy and his very best deliveries. He would then lead the fielding drills, running hard and making catching and ground fielding look easy, always giving encouragement and leading by example.

His parents Peter and Lea were avid supporters and tireless assistants to HIBS cricket. It was a great joy to have Nathan’s younger brother Harrison selected to the 1st XI to play with his brother. Both Peter and Lea were very proud of this achievement by both boys.

The loss of Nathan leaves a space that will never be filled; he was a respected opponent, a supportive, trusted team mate with a wry sense of humour, a competitor to be reckoned with and a genuine, humble young man.

You have taken your last catch, bowled your final over and hit that last boundary to cow corner Nathan.

Thank you for all you have taught us.

Mark Borthwick.