Cricketing brothers aiming high

07 June 2023 | News

Zak and Robbie Foulkes spent hours in their backyard playing out test match and limited-over cricket battles as they grew up.

Now the cricketing brothers are both at Lincoln University on Sports Scholarships, as well as pursuing Bachelor of Land and Property Management degrees, and aim to take part in those matches for real.

Zak, 20, played for the Canterbury Kings for the last two seasons, debuted in the one-day side in February last year, in the Plunket Shield squad the month after and then broke into the Twenty20 team in the Super Smash in January this year.

Robbie, 18, has made the province’s U19 side, and aspires to follow in his brother’s footsteps to the senior squad.

Dad Glen played for Canterbury Country, and Zak and Robbie, along with older brother Liam (who was also part of the backyard battles) now all turn out for Darfield in the same competition, and for Canterbury Country too.

Zak said the echoes of those games on the back lawn still resonated between the competitive trio, but they had "mellowed over the years".

He chose to attend Lincoln because he knew it would be a "good fit" for him.

"It’s a bit smaller and I felt like I would not get lost, and it has awesome facilities, such as the new LU Gym.

"The scholarship has really helped me to improve my game, and getting in front of the right people and the network of support that they put around you is second to none.

"You are put in all the right environments to succeed."  

The scholarship was also a drawcard for Robbie when he chose Lincoln.

"I saw it as great way to keep improving my game and to try and become the best I can be.

"I think it will help me a lot for next season, having the strength and conditioning work over the winter, as well as quality coaches to help improve the technical aspects."

Robbie said he had already seen improvements in his mental skills from the sessions he had done.

"My aspirations in sports are to follow in Zak’s footsteps and play for Canterbury, and with my degree I hope to use it to set up a good career in the future."

Zak wants to "give it everything and maximise the opportunities that I have been given".

"I want to just keep getting better and think this environment will give me the best chance to be the best I can be."

He said his degree had been very flexible around his cricketing commitments too. 

Perhaps they could follow in the footsteps of other famous sporting brothers like Scott and Jordie Barrett, who both came to Lincoln on scholarships to follow their sporting dreams, and who play together now in the All Blacks.

You can be sure that if Zak gets there, Robbie won’t be far behind.

Image: Cricket scholars Robbie, left, and Zak Foulkes.