In Australia and New Zealand, the sea that separates the two countries, the Tasman Sea, is commonly known as the Ditch, and moving from one country to the other is colloquially referred to as crossing the ditch. In this crossing, the migration has mostly been one way. Russell Crowe moved to Australia from native New Zealand to further his acting career. Chris Cairns, ex-Kiwi all-rounder, now lives in Canberra and works with a real estate firm. The one famous attempt of going the other way was by two Aussie adventurers, Justin Jones and James Castrission, who did so in a two-man kayak!
Luke Ronchi is also going against the tide, but the former Australia international who has now switched loyalties thankfully has something more stable than a kayak in high seas!
In Vizag, with the New Zealand A team, the 31-year-old spoke of his shift and why his Kiwi roots made it a simple choice.
“Just the desire to play international cricket was the main reason. In Australia, the chances weren’t really there and I thought why not try. If it didn’t happen, it didn’t happen, but I had to give it a go,” he said.
BACK TO ROOTS
Born in New Zealand, Ronchi’s family moved to Perth when he was 7.
Ronchi discussed the move back with wife Shaan, who’s from New Zealand, and decided to further his international ambitions in the country of his birth.
During the Champions Trophy, he came out to open against his former teammates in a match which was eventually washed off, though not before he got a dose of his own medicine, in a manner of speaking.
“Playing against guys who I’ve grown up playing with was different. A couple of guys did say something (sledge) but they were just trying to be silly,” he chortled.
If he needs any inspiration for the difference a change in scenery can bring, he needn’t look far. When Adam Gilchrist first moved from New South Wales to Perth, because of lack of opportunities, he was booed at the WACA because he was replacing Tim Zoehrer, who had built up a cult following during his maverick career.
“Zoehrer was the man for a long time at Western Australia. And Gilly turned up out of nowhere. He got booed a bit but now when you look back, perhaps that was the best thing he did.”