Sports correspondent & historian
The retirement of ND and Bay of Plenty Cricket legend Daniel Flynn flew under the radar for many cricket fans with the sudden closure of the 2019/20 cricket season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Universally known as 'Flynny' to the wider cricket community, the Rotorua born cricket star was a shining example of the Bay of Plenty Cricket age-group pathway, which led him all the way to the ultimate honour of playing cricket for his country.
Forty-nine games in the Black Cap uniform, including 24 test matches that produced 1038 runs at an average 25.94, with a highest score of 95.
However, it was in the top-order furnace of first class cricket that Flynn carved out an outstanding professional career.
'Flynny' had loyalty in spades, playing his entire NZC Major Association cricket for ND (Northern Districts) for 16 seasons, since making his ND debut in the 2004/05 season.
Flynn always jumped at the chance to wear the Bay of Plenty blue and gold uniform, when other cricket commitments allowed, turning out for the Bay side on three occasions in the just completed season.
He also loved nothing better than turning out with his mates at the Mount Maunganui Cricket Club, in Baywide cricket, when time allowed.
While an extremely accomplished Limited Overs and T20 player, it was the longer game of the four-day Plunket Shield that he made an indelible mark in NZC Domestic Cricket.
One Hundred ND First Class games produced 6265 runs at an average of 37.34 runs per game, with a big double century of 241 against Otago during the 2010/11 season, the icing on the cake.
Flynn finished his career with a myriad of ND records during which he captained the ND Plunket Shield team on 47 occasions.
He also holds the record of most ND first class centuries with 20 three-figure scores.
Daniel Flynn also posted an impeccable record when he was available to represent his province.
First selected for the Bay while at Tauranga Boys' College, he is part of the very select group of young men to play for Bay of Plenty before reaching school leaving age.
He joins Black Caps Mathew Hart and Kane Williamson, along with current Bay player Tim Pringle, in wearing the Bay of Plenty representative uniform before turning sixteen years of age.
The ND master blaster has numbered 23 games in the Bay strip, posting 673 runs including two centuries with a highest score of 119.
Flynn's three BOP games in the recently concluded season, brought a new dynamic to the side when he walked out onto the field.
Huge respect was shown to him by his team mates, which were reciprocated with quiet words of advice and support throughout the encounters.
Bay of Plenty representative coach Charles Williams said in his 2019/20 season review “Although we had a very young side, we have also been very lucky to have an extended period of availability of Daniel Flynn. Having someone of his caliber around the team has been invaluable and you know that Flynny is always very happy to pass on his knowledge to both players and myself”.
While the cricket season came to a premature halt, the ensuring break has give the ND legend plenty of time to contemplate his future, which is sure to ensure continued involvement with cricket.