It was the phone call every cricket-mad Kiwi child dreams of getting one day.
Martin Guptill had suffered a hamstring injury at training and had been ruled out of the upcoming Eden Park match against South Africa.
The call turned a dream into reality for 20-year-old Glenn Phillips of the Howick Pakuranga Cricket Club.
“I wasn’t expecting it at all… your heart starts beating and you know what’s coming when he starts talking,” he said.
“When he said ‘yeah, we’d like you to play in this upcoming T20’ it’s sort of unreal because you dream about it and you don’t really know how to react except be ecstatic about it.”
The South African-born player described his debut against the Proteas as a big coincidence but says there were no mixed feelings out on the pitch.
“I’ve been in New Zealand so long, I have to consider myself a New Zealand citizen, but it’s kind of cool to play against the country of your birth.”
While walking out onto Eden Park would be an intimidating experience for many, Phillips didn’t let the pressure get to him.
“In the end it’s just more people, whether you’re being seen by 2000 or 30,000 ,” he said.
“Being able to calm my thoughts and think clearly with all the noise is the challenging part but I wouldn’t say it was any more nerve-racking than walking out to my debut for my domestic T20.”
He says the standard at international level cricket is something you can’t know what to expect until you’re playing at that level, but says his experience has given him an idea of what to work on to get to where he wants to be.
“In a couple of years, I’d definitely like to be consistent enough to make my ODI debut but if I get another T20 chance I’m definitely going to take it up,” he said.