Harefield is delighted to welcome Otago Volts run machine Nick Kelly to the club for their 2022 Home Counties Premier League campaign.
Prolific domestic batter
Kelly is an Australian-born batter playing for the star-studded Otago Volts side in New Zealand domestic cricket. He joined the Volts in 2019/20, following four seasons with Northern Knights (2015/16-18/19).
Since heading to the deep south, he has become one of New Zealand cricket’s most prolific domestic batters. He has excelled across the three formats, particularly dominating first-class cricket with 579 runs at 44.53 (2020/21), and 390 runs at 65 (2021/22) at the point of writing.
Recent first-class double…
His latest first-class tally includes a magnificent double century against a Central Districts bowling attack including Blackcaps’ Doug Bracewell, Blair Tickner, and left-arm prospects Ray Toole, and Ben Wheeler. Kelly struck an undefeated 234* from only 245 balls, an innings that featured 25 fours and 9 sixes.
From North to South
An explosive left-hander, Kelly played 14 red and 55 white-ball matches for the Knights before his move south, since his debut 2015/16 season. He scored 849 List A runs at 35.37, including two hundreds and six half-centuries during his stint with the Knights.
Known as a powerful and innovative striker of the ball, whilst he became an integral member of the Knights List A and T20 sides, red-ball opportunities were limited, hence his move to join Otago for the 2019/20 season.
Kelly, who also bowls useful left-arm spin, initially broke into the Knights set-up following several prolific seasons for Counties Manukau and Northern Districts as the National Provincial A Tournament.
He made first-class debut against Auckland (October 2015), but it was the following summer where he started to make waves, particular in 50-over cricket. Kelly struck an impressive 343 runs at 49, to include a brilliant 103-ball 118 (7x4s, 5x6s) against a Wellington attack that included the likes of Jetan Patel, Luke Woodcock, Scott Borthwick, and Brent Arnel. Kelly’s exploits saw him finish sixth on the Ford Trophy run charts.
The following summer, Kelly continued his Ford Trophy domination, finishing sixth on the run charts with 313 runs at 39.12, including his second List A hundred – a brilliant 106 from 92 balls, including 7 sixes, before taking 2-55 in the second innings with his left-arm spin (the wickets of Jimmy Neesham and Mike Rippon).
Where it all began…
A former New Zealand Under-19 player, who represented his country during the Townsville Under-19 Quadrangular Series in 2012, Kelly was always destined for Knights honours. During the same 2011/12 season, Kelly starred for the senior Counties Manukau provincial side and was named the Northern Districts’ High Performance Development Academy “Player of the Year”.
In 2012/13, Kelly made his ND ‘A’ debut and has therefore played four National Provincial A Tournaments averaging 38.40 (2014), 35.20 (2015), 35.50 (2016) and 45.75 (2017) with the bat, whilst also making useful contributions with his left-arm tweak.
He produced several notable ‘A’ Tournament scores, including a brilliant 74-ball 102 (9x4s, 4x6s) when chasing down Canterbury’s 294. In January 2015, he belted a breath-taking Twenty20 37-ball 97 (9x4s, 9x6s) when promoted to open in pursuit of Otago’s 148. In 2017, he plundered scores of 90 (from 72 balls) against Auckland following his 33-ball 57 vs the NZ U19s. During the 2018/19 season, he also struck an incredible 129-ball 200 for Manukau City in their Counties-Manukau Premier match against Papakura.
Kelly has also enjoyed success abroad, whilst playing for Downham Town during the 2015 and 2016 seasons. He churned out 1,529 runs at 80.47 and took 50 wickets at 19.82 to finish runner-up and top of the batting and bowling charts respectively in the Premier Division of the Norfolk Cricket Alliance. He returned and whilst he failed to replicate his prior numbers, he still managed 605 runs at 40.33 alongside 23 wickets at 21.04. The former Knights, now Volts run machine then returned for a replacement stint for Rochdale in the Lancashire League, hitting a high of 130 amongst 385 runs at 38.50.
And set to return in 2022…
Kelly is in the form of his life, and following his domestic season will return to the UK having recently signed with Harefield for their 2022 Home Counties Premier League campaign.