Former New Zealand offspinner Peter Petherick, who became the first bowler from New Zealand to take a hat-trick in Tests, has passed away in Perth at the age of 72.
Petherick and James Franklin are the only bowlers to have taken a hat-trick for New Zealand in Tests. Further, Petherick is one of the only three bowlers along with Maurice Allom and Damien Fleming to have taken a hat-trick on Test debut. He did this against Pakistan in 1976 at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, when he scalped Javed Miandad (who was also on a debut), Wasim Raja and Intikhab Alam. However, his match haul of five wickets could not ensure his team a victory – New Zealand lost by six wickets.
He made his Test debut at the age of 34 and played six matches for his national side, taking 16 wickets at an average of 42.56.
His hat-trick on debut is not the only fascinating part of his story; he was working as a mechanic when he got a call-up to play for Otago in 1975-76. His first season saw him taking 42 first-class wickets at an average of 20.16, which included his first-class best of 9 for 93 in an innings.
Former team-mate and New Zealand wicketkeeper Warren Lees told the Dominion Post, “Most of his bowling was flight and guile and he had a wee bit of outswing with his slower arm ball.”
“There was minimal effort in his run-up, it was a three-metre shuffle to the wicket.”
After retirement from cricket, Petherick became a lawn bowls player.