Scott Kuggeleijn over Trent Boult? Really?

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When the weather allows New Zealand to get onto the field for the first Test against England, their attack will be without Kyle Jamieson (stress fracture) and Matt Henry (looming child). It will also be without Trent Boult because apparently no one has really decided on a selection policy for him and his situation yet. That means Scott Kuggeleijn has made the squad.

The Boult situation seemingly boils down to ‘technically available but never actually picked’ now that he’s no longer a contracted player.

Head coach Gary Stead said New Zealand would, “give priority to the locally contracted players,” before adding: “It does not mean we have ruled Trent out from anything in the future.”

So what does that amount to? He’ll only get picked once every other professional cricketer in the entire country is unavailable? Is that the position?


Boult has declined a national contract and New Zealand clearly want to be fair to other players. This fiercely-held commitment to common decency means they have instead picked Scott Kuggeleijn, a man who – like most cricketers – wasn’t convicted of rape in 2016 or 2017.

He wasn’t convicted in any other year either, but he did stand trial on those two occasions. There was a hung jury first time around and second time he was found not guilty.

Outlining their position on Kuggeleijn’s availability, New Zealand have previously said that, “The court is the most appropriate forum for judging matters as serious as this.”

This is true. But then the court was only concerned with determining whether Kuggeleijn had definitely raped someone. It wasn’t concerned with matters fractionally less serious than that. Many would argue that behaviour fractionally less serious than ‘definitely legally rape’ can also be a bit bad. These people may also argue that some of Kuggeleijn’s behaviour as outlined in his own words during the trial falls into the ‘a bit bad’ category.


A national sports team can, if it wants, choose not to pick someone, even without a rape conviction to point to as justification for the decision. If you believe that national sides are there to provide entertainment and to serve as a fun thing for the people of that country to get behind, then when a player’s behaviour impinges on those things, it makes sense to factor that in.

The All Blacks have famously operated a “no dickheads” policy and discussions about Kuggeleijn often bring suggestions that the Black Caps could do the same. While everyone has a slightly different understanding of what consitutes a dickhead, it seems safe to assume that quite a lot of people would be comfortable assigning that label in this instance.


But then, you know – second chances? We’ve all learned from our mistakes, even if none of them were as bad as Kuggeleijn’s. If you go down that route, the question becomes whether or not he seems like a person ready to grasp a second chance and use it as an opportunity. Has he learned? Is he now more likely to behave in a way where not quite so many people would think he’s a dickhead? You don’t need to give someone international caps to explore these things. A lot of New Zealanders will already have formed opinions based on his behaviour and public pronouncements since 2017.

And fair’s fair. Maybe Trent Boult could also be given a second chance for his heinous decision to decline a national contract while remaining available to play for the national side. Boult bowled England out for 58 in 2018. Maybe that could be factored into selectorial decision-making? If we were a New Zealand fan pondering which of two entirely-available seam bowlers might get picked for the Test team, maybe we’d like to see the potential for that level of fun and enjoyment given a little more weight.

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  1. Not to be too lighthearted in the face of such a serious subject, but….


    He should be locked up just for his name. It’s a rollercoaster ride. Too many consonants, or too many vowels? Looks like an anagram of ‘juggling’, but isn’t. And how are we pronouncing it? To rhyme with brine, or mean, or pain?

    Surely the most ridiculous cricketer with a name starting with a K followed by two consecutive Gs since Kraigg Brathwaite.

    1. Without wishing to over-riff on the light-hearted punning about a bloke with a potentially serious dick and/or dickhead problem…

      It seems to me that the name Kuggelejin is alluding to a spirit-like creature from the Islamic world who conjures up baked starchy dishes that Jewish mothers tend to bake:

      …which makes little or no sense. As does the selection.

      Was just killing time ahead of the toss and team announcement, folks. Now I’m off to bed. I hope this is the through the night thread, but I’ll re-join you in the morning.

      Yup, they’ve gone with

  2. As a kiwi I hate that kuggelign has been selected. The black caps dropped Jesse Ryder and for a period Doug bracewell because of their own no dickheads policy. It feels like the oublic goodwill mccullum and Kane built 10 years ago is being ripped up.

    Nobody is a fan of not selecting boult either. It’s like NZC have learned nothing from the windies 10 years ago.

    I see NZ cricket as being at a nadir right now. It’s my understanding kuggs was being booed all night on Friday. This might explain why he was such a sulky looking twat and why him and Blundell had their weird Pakistani stand off

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