Mark Sinclair Chapman, born on June 27, 1994, boasts a unique cricketing journey, representing both Hong Kong and New Zealand on the international stage. A left-handed batsman with a knack for slow left-arm orthodox bowling, Chapman’s story is one of dedication and versatility.
Early Beginnings and Diverse Roots
Born in Hong Kong to a Hong Kongese mother and a New Zealander father, Mark Chapman’s heritage is a blend of cultures. His father, Peter, served as a crown prosecutor for the Government of Hong Kong, while his mother, Anne, worked in the financial sector. Mark’s diverse upbringing laid the foundation for his cricketing journey.
Nurturing Talent in the East
Chapman’s cricketing journey began early. He attended Island School in Hong Kong and later moved to King’s College, Auckland, at the age of 14. Mark pursued engineering at the University of Auckland while honing his cricketing skills. His remarkable journey from the Far East to New Zealand would soon captivate cricket enthusiasts around the world.
Rise to Prominence with Hong Kong
At the tender age of 15, Mark represented the Hong Kong under-19 team at the 2010 Under-19 World Cup, showcasing his talent on the global stage. He made his World Cricket League debut for Hong Kong in the 2011 Division Three tournament against the USA at just 16 years old. In the final of the 2011 ICC World Cricket League Division Three tournament, Mark’s unbeaten knock of 70 played a pivotal role in Hong Kong claiming the title and securing promotion to World Cricket League Division Two.
Chapman made his List A debut against Uganda in the Division Two tournament, where he showcased his batting prowess, scoring 192 runs in six matches at an average of 38.40, including two half-centuries. His highest score came against the United Arab Emirates.
Dual Citizenship and Domestic Success
Mark Chapman’s journey in New Zealand’s domestic cricket began with his first-class debut in the 2015–16 Plunket Shield. His dual citizenship allowed him to represent Auckland without being considered an overseas player. His domestic career witnessed significant milestones, including his first century in a Twenty20 match on January 1, 2018, while batting for Auckland against Canterbury in the 2017–18 Super Smash.
In the 2017–18 Ford Trophy, Chapman emerged as the leading run-scorer, amassing 480 runs in eight matches for Auckland. His consistency at the domestic level earned him a contract with Auckland for the 2018–19 season.
A Historic ODI Debut
Chapman’s international journey took a historic turn when he was selected as vice-captain for Hong Kong’s squad in November 2015. On his ODI debut, he etched his name in cricketing history by scoring an unbeaten century against the UAE. Mark Chapman became the first Hong Kong player to achieve this milestone and the first player from an associate nation to score an ODI century on debut with a strike rate of over 100.00.
Switching Allegiance to New Zealand
Mark Chapman’s ambitions led him to switch his allegiance to New Zealand. In February 2018, he was added to New Zealand’s T20I squad, making his debut against England. This marked his unique distinction as the sixth cricketer to play T20Is for two international teams. His versatility continued to shine as he made his ODI debut for New Zealand against England in February 2018, becoming the tenth cricketer to play ODIs for two international teams.
A Remarkable T20 World Cup Journey
In August 2021, Mark Chapman was named in New Zealand’s squad for the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. His inclusion underscored his growing reputation as a versatile and impactful player on the international stage.
Records and Milestones
Mark Chapman’s cricketing journey has been marked by unique achievements. As of November 2021, he holds the distinction of being the first player with 50+ scores for two countries in T20Is. His remarkable consistency and adaptability have made him a valuable asset to both Hong Kong and New Zealand.
In the New Zealand tour of Pakistan in 2023, Mark Chapman continued to shine, scoring an unbeaten century of 104* in the 5th T20I. This remarkable feat not only leveled the series at 2-2 but also earned him the top scorer of the series title and the prestigious Man of the Series award.
Mark Chapman’s journey in cricket is a testament to his talent, adaptability, and unwavering dedication. As he continues to make waves on the international stage, cricket enthusiasts eagerly await the chapters yet to be written in his illustrious career.