New Zealand Cricket Board on Monday has unveiled a special trophy ‘Tangiwai Shield’ ahead of two-match Test series between New Zealand and South Africa, with first Test takes place on February 4 at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.
All New Zealand and South Africa Test series will be played for Tangiwai Shield, starting with upcoming Test series on Sunday. Tangiwai Shield holds a significance as it commemorate 70 years of Tangiwai rail disaster of 1953, which saw 151 people lost their lives.
The disaster is considered one of the worst in the history of New Zealand and former Kiwi pacer Bob Blair’s wife was one of 151 victims in the disaster. The tragic rail disaster was coincided with second Test between New Zealand and South Africa at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on the eve of Christmas, December 24. Bob Blair was part of the Kiwis team.
On the day of the match, New Zealand player woke up to the shocking news of the accident at their hotel. Bob Blair stayed back at the hotel as he was grieving over the demise of his wife and flags were lowered to half-mast to honour the victims of tragic Tangiwai rail accident.