When Leo Carter was on the verge of making history, one hit away from becoming the first professional cricketer from New Zealand to smash six sixes in an over, surprisingly, he wasn’t thinking of dispatching the final ball of the over into the stands. Instead, the 25-year-old batsman was worried about a kid in the stands, who was struck by Carter’s previous six.
“When I hit the fifth one it actually hit a little boy in the crowd so I was actually pretty concerned about him, I was trying to call out for physio (to check on the boy)… so yea I wasn’t really thinking about it,” Carter told RNZ Summer Times.
“It was pretty cool. The six balls sort of come along quite quickly, but yea I was just more thinking we need a big over and yea it just sort of happened really… it was pretty funny how it all worked out.”
One over is what it took to make Carter a famous name when he woke up the next morning. After all, he had joined a list comprising names such as Gary Sobers, Ravi Shastri, Herschelle Gibbs, Yuvraj Singh, Ross Whiteley and Hazratullah Zazai, who in one or other form of competitive cricket had hit six sixes in an over.
“Some pretty big names, and then there’s me,” Carter told Stuff.co.nz. “I just thought it (hitting six sixes in an over) would never happen. It’ll sink in probably more over the coming years than at the moment. It’s going to be a pretty awesome story to tell later on.”
With the Canterbury Kings needing 64 to win off 40, Anton Devcich was assigned the responsibility of bowling the 16th over, and Carter took full toll, scoring half a dozen sixes to bring the equation down. He remained unbeaten on 70 off just 29 balls as the Kings won by seven wickets and with seven balls to spare.
As the Kings were finally lifted from the bottom of the table, Carter explained what was going through his head midway into the over.
“After a couple I went down to Cole [McConchie] and sort of said ‘Do I keep going, or what should I do’, and he just told me ‘Keep going’,” said Carter. “It was pretty cool to see how happy the kids were, because that’s how I was when I was younger, watching some far greater players than I am. I reckon that was probably the best part about it, how excited everyone else was.”