The New Zealand cricket team, nicknamed the Black Caps, are the national cricket team representing New Zealand. They played their first Test in 1930 against England in Christchurch, New Zealand, becoming the fifth country to play Test cricket. It took the team until 1955–56 to win a Test, against the West Indies at Eden Park in Auckland. They played their first ODI in the 1972–73 season against Pakistan in Christchurch.
The New Zealand cricket team became known as the Black Caps in January 1998, after its sponsor at the time, Clear Communications, held a competition to choose a name for the team. Official New Zealand Cricket sources typeset the nickname as BLACKCAPS.
As of February 2014, New Zealand have played 391 Test matches, winning 75, losing 158 and drawing 158.
The reverend Henry Williams provided history with the first report of a game of cricket in New Zealand when he wrote in his diary in December 1832 about boys in and around Paihia on Horotutu Beach playing cricket. In 1835, Charles Darwin and the HMS Beagle called into the Bay of Islands on its epic circumnavigation of the Earth and Darwin witnessed a game of cricket played by freed Māori slaves and the son of a missionary at Waimate North. Darwin in The Voyage of the Beagle wrote:
several young men redeemed by the missionaires from slavery were employed on the farm. In the evening I saw a party of them at cricket.
The first recorded game of cricket in New Zealand took place in Wellington in December 1842. The Wellington Spectator reports a game on 28 December 1842 played by a "Red" team and a "Blue" team from the Wellington Club. The first fully recorded match was reported by the Examiner in Nelson between the Surveyors and Nelson in March 1844.
The first team to tour New Zealand was Parr's all England XI in 1863–64. Between 1864 and 1914, 22 foreign teams toured NZ. England sent 6 teams, Australia 15 and Fiji 1.
On 15–17 February 1894 the first team representing New Zealand played New South Wales at Lancaster Park in Christchurch. NSW won by 160 runs. New South Wales returned again in 1895–96 and NZ won the solitary game by 142 runs, its first victory. The New Zealand Cricket Council was formed towards the end of 1894.
New Zealand played its first two internationals (not Tests) in 1904–05 against a star-studded Australia team containing such players as Victor Trumper, Warwick Armstrong and Clem Hill. Rain saved NZ from a thrashing in the first match but not the second which NZ lost by an innings and 358 runs – currently the second largest defeat in NZ first-class cricket.
In 1927 NZ toured England. They played 26 first class matches, mostly against county sides. They managed to beat Worcestershire, Glamorgan, Somerset, and Derbyshire. On the strength of the performances on this tour NZ was granted Test status.
In 1929/30 the M.C.C toured NZ and played 4 Tests all of 3 days in duration. NZ lost its first Test match but drew the next 3. In the second Test Stewie Dempster and Jackie Mills put on 276 for the first wicket. This is still the highest partnership for New Zealand against England.
NZ first played South Africa in 1931–32 but were unable to secure Test matches against any teams other than England before World War II ended all Test cricket for 7 years. NZ's first Test after the war was against Australia in 1945/46. This game was not considered a "Test" at the time but it was granted Test status retrospectively by the International Cricket Council in March 1948. The NZ players who appeared in this match probably did not appreciate this move by the ICC as NZ were dismissed for 42 and 54. The New Zealand Cricket Council's unwillingness to pay Australian players a decent allowance to tour NZ ensured that this was the only Test Australia played against NZ between 1929 and 1972.
NZ played its first matches against the West Indies in 1951–52, and Pakistan and India in 1955/56.
In 1954/55 NZ recorded the lowest ever innings total, 26 against England. The following season NZ achieved its first Test victory. The first 3 Tests of a 4 Test series were won easily by the West Indies but NZ won the fourth to notch up its first Test victory. It had taken them 45 matches and 26 years. In the next 20 years NZ won only 7 more Tests. For most of this period NZ lacked a class bowler to lead their attack although they had 2 excellent batsmen in Glenn Turner and Bert Sutcliffe and a great all-rounder in John R. Reid.
In 1973 Richard Hadlee debuted and the rate at which NZ won Tests picked up dramatically. Hadlee was one of the best pace bowlers of his generation and played 86 Tests for NZ before he retired in 1990. Of the 86 Tests that Hadlee played in New Zealand won 22 and lost 28. In 1977/78 NZ won its first Test against England, at the 48th attempt. Hadlee took 10 wickets in the match.
The best example of NZ's two star players (R. Hadlee and M. Crowe) putting in match winning performances and other players making good contributions is NZ v Australia, 1985 at Brisbane. In Australia's first innings Hadlee took 9–52. In NZ's only turn at bat, M Crowe scored 188 and John F. Reid 108. Edgar, Wright, Coney, Jeff Crowe, V. Brown, and Hadlee scored between 17 and 54*. In Australia's second innings, Hadlee took 6–71 and Chatfield 3–75. NZ won by an innings and 41 runs.
One-day cricket also gave NZ a chance to compete more regularly than Test cricket with the better sides in world cricket. In one-day cricket a batsman doesn’t need to score centuries to win games for his side and bowlers don’t need to bowl the opposition out. One-day games can be won by one batsman getting a 50, a few others getting 30s, bowlers bowling economically and everyone fielding well. These were requirements New Zealand players could consistently meet and thus developed a good one-day record against all sides.
Perhaps New Zealand's most famous one-day match was the infamous "Under arm" match against Australia at the MCG in 1981. Requiring six runs to tie the match off the final ball, Australian captain Greg Chappell instructed his brother Trevor to "bowl" the ball underarm along the wicket to prevent the New Zealand batsman from hitting a six. The Australian umpires ruled the move as legal even though to this day many believe it was one of the most unsporting decisions made in cricket.
When New Zealand next played in the tri-series in Australia in 1983, Lance Cairns became a cult hero for his one-day batting. In one match against Australia, he hit six sixes at the MCG, one of the world's largest grounds. Few fans remember that NZ lost this game by 149 runs. However, Lance's greatest contribution to NZ cricket was his son Chris Cairns.
Chris Cairns made his debut one year before Hadlee retired in 1990. Cairns, one of New Zealand's best allrounders, led the 1990s bowling attack with Danny Morrison. Stephen Fleming, NZ's most prolific scorer, led the batting and the team into the 21st century. Nathan Astle and Craig McMillan also scored plenty of runs for New Zealand, but both retired earlier than expected.
Daniel Vettori made his debut as an 18-year-old in 1997, and when he took over from Fleming as captain in 2007 he was regarded as the best spinning allrounder in world cricket. On 26 August 2009, Daniel Vettori became the eighth player and second left-arm bowler (after Chaminda Vaas) in history to take 300 wickets and score 3000 test runs, joining the illustrious club. Vettori decided to take an indefinite break from international short form cricket in 2011 but will continue to represent New Zealand in Test cricket.
Shane Bond played 17 Tests for NZ between 2001 and 2007 but missed far more through injury. When fit, he added a dimension to the NZ bowling attack that had been missing since Hadlee retired.
The New Zealand team celebrating a dismissal in 2009
The rise of the financial power of the BCCI had an immense effect on NZ cricket and its players. The BCCI managed to convince other boards not to pick players who had joined the rival Twenty-20 Indian Cricket League. NZ Cricket lost the services of Shane Bond, Lou Vincent, Andre Adams, Hamish Marshall and Daryl Tuffey. The money to be made from Twenty-20 cricket in India may have also induced players, such as Craig McMillan and Scott Styris (from Test cricket) to retire earlier than they would have otherwise. After the demise of the Indian Cricket League Bond and Tuffey again played for NZ.
52This is a list of active players who have played for New Zealand since the beginning of 2013. Players in bold have a central contract for 2013–14.
Note that New Zealand's first Test win against Australia was in only the sixth match between the two teams; despite making their Test debut in 1930, they had to wait until 1946 before playing Australia for the first time, and then until 1973 for a second meeting. To this day, Australia treats New Zealand as inferior, agreeing only to three-Test series while playing Test series comprising five or even six tests against other nations, such as India, England or the West Indies .
Nathan Astle scored Test cricket's fastest ever double century versus England Christchurch 2002. He scored 200 off 153 balls with the second hundred coming off just 39 deliveries. He was eventually out for 222—the dreaded double Nelson. He knocked the first hundred off 114 balls. Astle smashed the record by 59 balls, previously held by Adam Gilchrist Australia vs South Africa Johannesburg 2002.
Geoff Allott holds the record for the longest time taken to score a duck. South Africa Auckland 1999. He faced 77 balls in 101 minutes for his zero score.
Chris Cairns and his father Lance Cairns are one of the two father-son combination to each claim 100 Test wickets, South Africa's Peter and Shaun Pollock being the other.
Chris Cairns held the record for the most Test sixes. He passed Viv Richards record of 84 (vs England, Lord's, London, 2004) and retired from Test cricket with 87. He has since been passed by both Adam Gilchrist (the current record holder) and Brian Lara.
Chris Harris (vs England, Lord's, London, 2004), Daniel Vettori and Christopher Cairns are the only New Zealand cricketers to have taken 200 wickets in ODIs. (cricinfo). Christopher Harris and Christopher Cairns are the only two New Zealand cricketers in ODIs to complete the 4000 run / 200 wicket double. The others are Sri Lankan Sanath Jayasuriya, South African Jacques Kallis, and Pakistani's Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzaq). (cricinfo). [Christopher Harris] holds the record for the most ODI caught and bowled dismissals, with 29.
John Bracewell became the first – and so far only – substitute fielder to take four catches in a One-Day International, vs Australia in Adelaide on 23 November 1980.
Daniel Vettori became the first cricketer to take four wickets and score a half-century in each innings of a test match, a feat he achieved against Bangladesh in October 2008 at Chittagong. His figures were 5/95 and 4/74 with the ball and 55* and 76 with the bat.
The New Zealand team holds the dubious honour of the record for the most consecutive Test series played without a win – 30 series between 1929–30 and 1969–70 (40 years), comfortably ahead of Bangladesh on 16 series.
New Zealand dismissed Zimbabwe (Harare 2005) twice in the same day for totals of 59 and 99. Zimbabwe became only the second team (after India at Manchester in 1952) to be dismissed twice in the same day. The whole Test was completed inside two days. This feat was then repeated at Napier in 2012 when NZ dismissed Zimbabwe for 51 and 143 to end the match within three days.
Ross Taylor scored NZ's fastest Test century. (vs Australia 2010), off 81 balls.
Lou Vincent holds the record for the highest one-day cricket innings by a New Zealander of 172 (vs Zimbabwe at Bulawayo in 2005). The previous best was Glenn Turner 171 not out (vs East Africa at Birmingham in 1975). Vincent and captain Stephen Fleming broke the New Zealand one-day opening partnership record against all countries. Their total of 204 beat Fleming and Nathan Astle's 193 (vs Pakistan at Dunedin in 2000–2001). The team total of 397 was just one run short of the then record one-day total of 398 (Sri Lanka vs Kenya at Kandy in 1996).
Brendon McCullum scored the fastest World Cup (2007) fifty (off 20 balls) for New Zealand against Canada, beating Mark Boucher's 21-ball record set against the Netherlands six days earlier.
In a match for the New Zealanders (i.e., the New Zealand national team playing a tour match against non-test opposition) at Scarborough, Yorkshire, in 1986 vs the D.B. Close XI, Ken Rutherford scored 317 runs off just 245 balls, including 228 runs in fours and sixes. In terms of balls faced, this is almost certainly one of the four fastest first-class triple-centuries ever recorded.
Shane Bond took an ODI hat-trick in the last over (innings bowling figures: 10–0–61–4) vs Australia at Hobart in January 2007.