Throwback: When Hadlee offered holidays to teammates to keep hold of prize car

Determined to keep his prize — an Alfa Romeo car, Richard Hadlee offered his New Zealand teammates a week’s holiday at his Lake Taupo resort.

Richard Hadlee poses with his Alfa Romeo car after winning the 'International cricketer of the year award' in 1986.   -  The Hindu Archives

Can a car presented as an award come with a price tag? It sure did for New Zealand pace legend Richard Hadlee who had to offer his teammates a week’s holiday to take one home back in 1986.

Hadlee picked up 33 wickets in three matches against Australia in a 1985-86 Test series, guiding the side to its first Test series triumph Down Under. He was recognised as the International Cricketer of the Year and won an Alfa Romeo Saloon.

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But there was a small issue with taking it home -- the Black Caps put all of the cash award into a team fund.

“There was a presentation on the Sydney Cricket Ground, and I was presented the keys to the car and (they) were going to ship the car to New Zealand, which I thought was nice,” Hadlee recalled while talking to Ian Smith in a Sky Sports podcast.

“There was a point of difference. It was an ‘object’, if you like. It wasn’t until we were on the plane home that management said to me, ‘Richard, you’re going to have to sell the car and put the money into team funds.’

“I said, ‘What if I want to keep the car?’, and he said ‘you’d have to put money out of your own pocket into team funds’ to whatever value the car was. I think it was about NZD 30-35,000, something like that.”

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Determined to keep the car, Hadlee eventually offered his teammates a week’s holiday at his Lake Taupo resort to ensure that he could keep the car.

“I think that stigma of keeping the car stayed around for a long, long time,” he said. “I like to think it’s all over now, but there were some people who were very, very bitter about the decision.”

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