Two cricket fans in New Zealand are $NZ50,000 ($46,684) richer after taking spectacular crowd catches at international Twenty20 matches at the weekend.
A promotion with NZ beer brand, Tui, gives fans wearing the label’s distinctive orange T-shirts the chance to change their life – but they must take a clean catch, one-handed, and in a safe manner at select international fixtures across the ditch.
If it sounds hard to do it is because it is; the promotion had gone off just once all summer before Friday’s historic and high-scoring clash between Australia and New Zealand at Eden Park in Auckland.
Auckland university student Mitchell Grimstone bucked the trend, though, amazingly catching a Ross Taylor six with his left hand before admitting: “I’m not left-handed!”
Watch the catch below
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) February 17, 2018
Grimstone, 20, was mobbed after his catch in scenes of utter jubilation. He later told the New Zealand Herald: “Everyone was jumping all over me.
“It was just mayhem after that. It was amazing. I still can’t believe it.”
As you would expect from an accounting student, Grimstone plans to be smart with his money.
“It’s a lot of money. I’ve got to be smart about it,” he said.
“I won’t give up my job. I’ve still got to work. I wouldn’t do that.”
Only two days after Grimstone’s grab, South African-born Rudi Bosman repeated the feat, catching a six off England’s Dawid Malan with one hand during his side’s two-run victory over New Zealand in Hamilton.
And once again, the crowd catch sparked a crazy celebration.
“I couldn’t believe it actually stuck … I had to get up pretty quick and it just stuck in the hand,” Bosman told The AM Show.
“I’ll pay off some of the debt and put some towards a house deposit … I think that’s the sensible thing to do.”
‘We’re totally stoked’
The ‘TUI Catch A Million’ promotion is in its third year, and fans are only eligible if they are sitting in designated ‘catch’ zones and wearing the trademark orange shirt.
The shirt is given away when Tui beer is bought in bulk, or can be bought online (for $NZ25) or in venues (for $NZ30).
A Tui spokesperson told The New Daily that the massive financial prize is tax-free for the catcher – the company absorbs the tax – and that the promotion had been a major success.
“We’re totally stoked with the promotion,” they said.
“It’s great to see so many Tui ‘Catch A Million’ T-shirts in the grounds and it has definitely added to the on-field excitement.
“People are getting really excited in the venues and that’s great … there was a bit of a lull in New Zealand cricket for a while.
“Security were getting particularly heavy-handed with punters … this was brought in to add some more excitement to the stands.”
Dunedin builder Craig Dougherty also won $NZ50,000 after meeting the criteria with a one-handed snaffle in New Zealand’s one-day victory over Pakistan on January 13.