Cricket: Blackcaps spinner Ajaz Patel auctions shirt from record-breaking 10-wicket haul to raise funds for Starship Children's Hospital

Blackcaps spinner Ajaz Patel is auctioning off a shirt won during his historic 10-wicket haul against India to raise funds for Starship Children's Hospital.

In December 2020, Patel created New Zealand cricket history by becoming the first Kiwi - and just the third player in the history of the game - to take all ten wickets in an innings, returning figures of 10/119 for the Blackcaps against India at Mumbai.

Patel's figures saw him overtake New Zealand great Sir Richard Hadlee's 9/52 against Australia as the best bowling performance by a Blackcap in test cricket.

Ajaz Patel celebrates a wicket against India.
Ajaz Patel celebrates a wicket against India. Photo credit: Image - Photosport

The shirt has been signed by every member of the Blackcaps' squad from the India tour, and has been framed with the match scorecard.

But as a means of raising funds for New Zealand's national children's hospital, Patel is generously donating one of the shirts worn during the match, in order to give back to Starship.

As the 33-year-old explains, his own experience at Starship when his daughter Hania was born inspired Patel to raise funds as a thank you for the care his family received.

Listed on TradeMe on Wednesday, the auction for Patel's shirt has already passed the $3500 mark, with all proceeds going towards a play specialist for the Starship Radiology Department.

"Obviously, my daughter was born at Starship," Patel says.

"When she was initially born, I remember she had a bit of a fever. They took her in for check-ups, and making sure she was OK. They gave her a short dose of antibiotics, but during that period when she was getting antibiotics, she was in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit).

Ajaz Patel is congratulated by his teammates.
Ajaz Patel is congratulated by his teammates. Photo credit: Image - Photosport

"She wasn't in too much trouble, but I remember I was sitting there with her, I remember looking around the room, and there were so many vulnerable babies, and the care and love they received from the nurse. 

"I just remember thinking as a parent for the first time, how amazing that is, but also how difficult that would have been for their parents to leave their children in such conditions.

"But at the same time, as a parent, it made me appreciate how much work goes into keeping little kids safe, and as a parent that piece of mind knowing they're being looked after as well."

This won't be the first time Patel raises funds for Starship either.

Boasting more than one piece of equipment from that 10-wicket haul, Patel is pledging to give more for the cause, as well as having something left over for himself.

"We get about four of them per series, and I think in Mumbai I went through all four," Patel continued.

"I've already given one away to a friend, who I'd promised one before - I probably shouldn't have made that promise too early.

"Obviously this one's going to get donated, and I've got two more, I'm planning to donate one more as well.

"I'll hold on to one, and hopefully the rest will help something else."

Last year, teammate Tim Southee famously raised over $40,000 for the treatment of eight-year-old Hollie Beattie by putting one of his World Test Championship final shirts on TradeMe.

That example spurred Patel to do the same for Starship, waiting until he had the appropriate piece of memorabilia to auction.

"Tim was always the catalyst in terms of the idea in my mind," Patel added. "I just needed a shirt that was capable of actually generating that attention."

The auction is scheduled to finish on Wednesday, May 11.