First Māori woman inducted into MCC Lords cricket club

By Eru Paranihi

Former White Fern cricketer Maia Lewis has recently been inducted as an honorary member of the MCC Lords cricket club in England. Lewis is the only Māori woman to be inducted and the second Māori behind Adam Parore.

The offer that Lewis received now has her sitting alongside the greatest players in International cricket.

Lewis (Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Maniapoto) says, "It's pretty special and was pretty much out of the blue. I just sort of got an email, and a letter in the post saying would you like to be an honorary member. I think it's because I've been a past captain of the New Zealand women's cricket team."

The explosive batsmen who amassed a total of 78 One Day Internationals, and has a top score of 105, has seen many changes since her debut in 1992.

"The woman players now are professionals, so they get paid to play all around the country. There's a lot of women's leagues like the Big Bash as well.

“The whole professional era is coming into women's cricket which is the way it should be."

Lewis's biggest achievement is captaining the White Ferns at Lords. She has experienced many highs and lows of the game and has featured at many World Cups. But, there is one missed opportunity that still gets to her today.

"Disappointing for me I wasn't part of the 2000 world cup when they won. I've been part of lots of World Cups, and I've been able to travel the world and make lots of friends as a cricketer, and even make a profession of it as well."

Former Black Cap and now mortgage broker Adam Parore is the only other Māori to make the list. With many other top Māori players currently in the Black Caps and White Ferns squads like Trent Boult and Lea Tahuhu, that number could be more according to Lewis.

"I don't think you can go past Suzie Bates, she's the captain of the White Ferns at the moment. She's a fantastic Māori role model, as well as being into basketball."

Lewis is expected to head over to England, where she will formally receive her life membership. This will put her alongside names like Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, and Sir Richard Hadlee.