World Cup Wins and Earthquake Survival

It was the morning of September 4, 2010. Haidee Tiffen was tossing and turning in bed, sleep long ruined by an anxious puppy.

Published: 17th July 2015 04:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th July 2015 04:44 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI:  It was the morning of September 4, 2010. Haidee Tiffen was tossing and turning in bed, sleep long ruined by an anxious puppy.

Tiffen, who had turned 31 just four hours earlier, lay in bed pondering the different flavours of her birthday cake when the first earthquake struck Christchurch.

World Cup.JPG“The puppy woke me up. She sensed that something was about to happen,” Tiffen, who is in India as coach of the touring New Zealand women’s cricket team, begins in an emotional monologue that lasts more than a minute. “So I was actually awake and could respond.”

The quake destroyed her home and made her move to Auckland, but she retains her perspective on life. “Losing my home wasn’t great but I’m lucky. People lost their lives while some others lost their mothers and sisters. You can replace bricks and mortar but you can’t replace people.”

The quake changed her outlook. “Yeah, definitely (whether she looks for exits when she’s in a room or movie theatre). You’re a lot more prepared and you see things differently. Even now, you’re on edge and think a little bit about your safety.”

The conversation shifts to happier moments and Tiffen, part of the winning World Cup team in 2000, has loads of them. “After we won the final in the last over, I threw my cap like it was my graduation ceremony. Then I was running from the boundary to get a stump before it hit me, ‘I want my cap, I had just thrown my winning cap into the crowd and I want it back.’ So the people in the crowd went ‘what’re you doing?’ and I went ‘but I want my cap back’. I’m yet to get it... but it was a golden moment.”

Coaching the White Ferns isn’t Tiffen’s only job. “I’m also a (PE) teacher, yes (at Kelston College). But I don’t have many problems as I’m just doing some relief teaching now and hence, it’s a flexible thing.”

Tiffen, whose career began in 1999, went on to create history in 2004 when she was part of the Kiwi side that played in the first ever (including men) international T20 match against England in Hove.

The former all-rounder was another New Zealander taken in by the Black Caps’ performance at the World Cup this summer. “They just ignited our country with their brand of cricket,” she says with a voice raising a few decibels. “They made playing cricket cool again to such an extent that I’m now seeing girls pick up bats.”

If Tiffen continues at the helm, expect that trend to continue.


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