After a mutual understanding between both the cricket boards, it has been decided that all the future Test series between New Zealand and South Africa will be played for the Tangiwai Shield. It will start with the upcoming two-match Test Series between both teams, starting with the first Test in Mount Maunganui on February 4.
This trophy has been decided to commemorate and give a tribute to the unfortunate and one of the most tragic disasters in New Zealand i.e. the 1953 rail disaster. It was a train heading to Auckland from Wellington in which 151 people were breathed for the last time in their lives; onboard passengers also included Nerissa Love, former New Zealand pacer Bob Blair’s fiancé; she also lost her life in this tragic train accident.
The tragedy took place just around the second Test between New Zealand and South Africa which was being played at Ellis Park in Johannesburg. Pacer Bob Blair was also playing for NZ in that match; the visitors had restricted SA to the score of 259 runs for the loss of 8 wickets.
Cricket Boards express their feelings on this initiative
But the New Zealand pacer Bob Blair left everyone in a big shock when he came out to bat for New Zealand after bearing the pain of this news and an announcement of his withdrawal from the Test match.
However, something very tragic was waiting for Blair and both the teams as well, they all woke up on the morning of Boxing Day to the unbelievable and unfortunate news of this tragedy.
“The background to this Test match is one of the most sad and moving and heart-breaking stories imaginable,” said Scott Weenink, Chief Executive of New Zealand Cricket.
“It's also an uplifting story of incredible courage and resilience and in terms of the South African team and public, great compassion and empathy. I'm delighted to see this very important part of cricket history properly recognised and acknowledged,” he added later.
Apart from that, the Chief Executive of Cricket South Africa, Pholetsi Moseki also spoke about this initiative of ‘Tangiwai Shied’.
“On behalf of CSA, I send my best wishes to everyone who was touched by this tragedy, and to both teams contesting the inaugural trophy. The teams of today and tomorrow must know where they came from, and I'm sure the Tangiwai Shield will do much to assist with that,” Moseki said.