Cricket in New Zealand

New Zealand’s cricketers are known as the Black Caps. Cricket was one of the first sports that the country played, but it was not until 1930, until they played their first Test Match, and the first victory against the West Indies at Eden Park in Auckland did not come until 1956.

Venues

Cricket is played throughout both Islands with the top test venues, like Eden Park in Auckland, the Basin reserve in Wellington, Carisbrook in Dunedin, McLean Park in Napier and Lancaster Park in Canterbury. Most of the test matches have been played at Eden Park, but the ground is shared with New Zealand Rugby.

New Zealand Cricket

“New Zealand Cricket” runs the country’s cricket and its headquarters are in Christchurch. The main domestic competition is the Plunket Shield which has six teams. The sides play against each other in 4- day games – both at home and away – plus there is the one-day format with the State Shield for 50 overs a side and the State Twenty20 competition.

There are around 100 professional cricketers in New Zealand, and overall, there is a playing pool of around 100,000 playing the game in the country. This is far less than the 500,000 in both Australia and the UK, but this has not hindered the progress of both individuals and teams on the international stage.

The national team has 21 centrally contracted players with the captain earning around 200,000 US dollars, whilst the lowest ranked player earns around 60,000 US dollars. These figures do not include appearance money and the earnings the players make from playing overseas. In 2015, New Zealand reached the final of the 50 over World Cup where they lost to Australia. In fact, they have played in seven World Cup semi-finals and are regarded as one of the best one-day sides in the world.

Kane Williamson – the captain and a true great with the bat

Kane Williamson is currently the captain of the national sides and is regarded by some as the best batsman in the world. He is only 27, but has already amassed over 5000 runs in Test Cricket averaging 51 every time he visits the crease. He has hit 17 Test Hundreds and one double hundred, and now lies in 5th place for the amount of runs he scored for the Black Caps. However, he still has plenty of time to go past the other players above him. His current average is way ahead of any other player with Ross Taylor being the second with 47.

Sir Richard Hadlee and his fearsome bowling action

Richard Hadlee was one of the best all-rounders worldwide who retired in 1990. He scored 3124 runs in the Test Cricket at an average of 27, but it was such a bowler that he really struck fear into the opposition batsman.

In the Test Cricket, Hadlee took 421 wickets at an average of 22 for each wicket, and there were times when it appeared that he carried the entire sides hopes on his shoulders. He saved his best performances for New Zealand’s arch rivals Australia where he took 130 wickets in the 23 tests he played against them. His career can be summed up by the fact that he took a wicket with his final delivery in the Test Match of cricket.

The current national side has never been stronger, and as well as being captained by Williamson they have other players who could get in the World XI. This side deserves and needs to win the World Cup in either the 50 overs or 20/20 format in order to cement their place in New Zealand sporting history.

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