He’s a renowned international cricketer but he still calls Howick home.
Mitch McClenaghan began his illustrious career on the pitch of the Howick Pakuranga Cricket Club many years ago.
Since then, he’s gone on to play for the Auckland Aces, Black Caps and in the Indian Premier League.
These days, he’s focusing on domestic T20 after turning down a contract with New Zealand Cricket, but he’s still involved heavily at helping out at his local club – a “Howick Pakuranga Cricket player through and through,” he says.
He’s also just helped bring the latest exercise craze out east with an F45 studio in Howick, following in the footsteps of his Sydney Thunder teammate Shane Watson, who co-owns multiple F45 gyms in Australia.
McClenaghan, 31, says he was drawn to F45 while recovering from a knee injury.
“[I was] trying to find a way to stay fit throughout my career. I was massively into crossfit but when I started international cricket I found it wasn’t something I was capable of maintaining because it was time-consuming and needing to be technical as well which brought injuries into my cricket.”
He says the intensity of cricket has changed and players who aren’t physically fit will also struggle with performing mentally.
“F45 meant I could manage my injuries [with] short and sharp sessions. Now I’m getting older I’m interested in getting the most out of my workouts and not screwing my body up.
“Cricket’s become more professional and T20’s taken over international cricket. You need to be fitter, you need to be more agile and …it’s more of a power sport than it was potentially 15-20 years ago.”
McClenaghan says the rise in social media and online keyboard warrior abuse has made it harder to develop a cricket career in the spotlight.
“You can already see with young kids, how much harder it is day to day. As you get older you start getting thicker skin but when people start abusing 16/17 year olds starting out, that’s not okay.”
He says it’s time to make a stand and stick up for the next generation coming through.
“I think it’s going to be harder for young cricketers coming up with social media, career’s going to be in the spotlight and everyone will have access to them.
“If there’s ways of raising awareness and having ramifications down the line…if we identify it now then hopefully something happens with it,” he says.