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New Zealand v England 2022/23

‘It is totally at odds with the nightwatchman’ – David Gower left bemused by Stuart Broad Nighthawk role after chaotic end of play

David Gower was not very pleased with England deploying Stuart Broad as a NightHawk against New Zealand
by Wisden Staff 1 minute read

Former England captain David Gower was not pleased with England deploying Stuart Broad as a NightHawk on day two of the first Test against New Zealand in Mount Maunganui.

England had managed to get a 19-run first-innings lead and raced out of the traps in their second dig, registering a fifty-run opening stand. Both openers fell in quick succession, though, and England went from 52-0 to 68-2.

Under normal circumstances, Joe Root would have walked out to bat at No.4. On this occasion, however, it was Broad who came out to bat, being deployed in the NightHawk role Ben Stokes had talked about during England’s home summer last year. This role refers to the NightHawk throwing caution to the wind, playing his strokes and putting the bowlers under pressure during the final few overs of a day’s play.


Broad, sticking to his brief, tried to smash the second ball he faced over the ropes, but only managed a top edge that went miles up into the air. Luckily for him, New Zealand made a mess of the chance, the ball falling between bowler Scott Kuggeleijn and keeper Tom Blundell with neither claiming the catch. That, though, was enough for Gower to express his displeasure at the entire sequence, questioning what exactly the role of the NightHawk was and how it was something he simply could not understand.

“I was blissfully unaware of the term ‘NightHawk’,” said Gower on commentary. “Stephen Fleming looked at me and said it is NightHawk time. I said fine, where is the bottle. I am completely bemused by the point of the NightHawk. I am very happy to be told what the point is but when you come in, and on the second ball, you lob it up in the air, it is totally odds with the nightwatchman or morning watchman or whatever it might be.”

“I mean, yes, it was the one mistake Blundell made, obviously the communication between him and Kuggeleijn went horribly awry. But they should have had the NightHawk back in the falcon’s layer, with the hood over its head, back to sleep within seconds. I would love to be educated about this from those who know what the plan is,” Gower elaborated.

Broad managed to remain unbeaten at the end of day 2, with England managing to reach 79 for the loss of two wickets. With them leading by 98 runs, it would be interesting to see how Broad approaches day three and if he continues attacking.

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