It's a rainy day in Christchurch and Trent Boult is bowling in the nets on the sidelines of the Bert Sutcliffe Oval at Lincoln. He's all of 15 and is here accompanying older brother Jono, four years his senior, who's attending the national under-19 selection trials. The junior Boult catches the attention of the late Mike Shrimpton, renowned selector and coach, and he walks up to the left-arm swing bowler for his details. Shrimpton though is shocked when informed that neither is the slight teenager from Tauranga up for selection here nor is he part of the Northern Districts under-17 squad back home.
"Shrimpton called ND and asked why Trent wasn't in the team. That's how he got picked and very soon he was in the national under-19 squad and was hitting a last ball six to win a match against an under-19 India side led by Virat Kohli," the senior Boult recalls to Cricbuzz.
We are at Christie's Flooring where Jono works as a Sales Consultant. It is a quiet weekday afternoon when you walk through the doors asking for him. And he's right there behind the main counter, typing away on his work computer. He happily leaves his desk though to talk when asked about his slightly more high-profile brother. The 34-year-old played first-class cricket himself for Northern Districts during a six-year career and even played in the Champions League on Indian soil back in 2014. But he hasn't forgotten about his competitive backyard battles against his younger brother when they picked up cricket after moving from their original hometown of Rotarua.
"He didn't get very good at batting and he just kept bowling. Always a lot of arguing. Someone saying they're not out or out and a few punches thrown around. Cricket Betting Tips We were 15 or 16 when we started taking cricket seriously. He was always a left-arm seamer and had that natural whippy release and wrist action," says Jono.
The older of the two Boult brothers reveals how the man who would go on to be the leader of the Black Caps' new-ball attack wasn't always a first-pick in his early teen years. And he puts it down to him being at the wrong school, the Otumoetai College, which never had a great school. It in fact at one stage led to the youngster even questioning whether he should leave the sport.
Former New Zealand opener Llorne Howell's father Glynn was the one who had to intervene and make sure one of the most talented cricketers to emerge from this country wasn't lost entirely to the game.
"What happened was that my father, he was coaching the boys in Tauranga. Trent one day came to the academy and bowled. My father was like this guy's got the skill. But maybe we don't know the mind. At Tauranga, there's big cricket school called the Tauranga Boys. So in the U-17 boys team, they were 12 boys from the school. But Trent was from Otumoetai. So he came up and asked my father, why he can't make it to the team. My father told him you have a lot of skill and it will happen," recalls Howell, who then oversaw the rise of both Boult and future captain Kane Williamson.
He too reminisces about how Boult always had the ability to swing the ball prodigiously and remembers a game where he ran through a tougher opposition purely with his trademark movement of the ball and pitch-perfect yorkers.
"We won a lot of games with the Cadets, and in one match when he was quite young, he got 7/5. It was the same. One day he got very angry with me because I told him he was bowling length, like in India. I told him bowl fuller, because they will never hit you then. He was around 18 or 19," says Howell.