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New Zealand  Cricket Team

New Zealand Cricket Team: History, Fun Facts, Match Schedule, and Honors

The New Zealand men's national cricket team represents New Zealand in international cricket. Nicknamed the Black Caps, they played their first Test match against England in 1930, becoming the fifth country to play Test cricket. New Zealand had to wait more than 26 years for their first Test victory, which came against the West Indies in Auckland in 1956. They played their first ODI game in the 1972–73 season against Pakistan in Christchurch.

The New Zealand cricket team has rivalries with other Test-playing nations, most notably with Australia, India, and England. As of January 2020, the New Zealand team is ranked first in Test cricket, third in the ODIs and sixth in the T20Is. The current captain of the team across all formats of the game is Kane Williamson, who replaced Brendon McCullum after the latter’s retirement in 2016.

Table Of Content

Timeline

Early Years

The first recorded game of cricket in New Zealand took place in Wellington in Dec. 1842. The newspaper Wellington Spectator reports a game played on 28 December 1842 between a "Red" team and a "Blue" team from the Wellington Club. The first team to tour New Zealand was George Parr's all England XI in 1863–64. Between 1864 and 1914, England sent 6 teams and Australia sent 15 teams to tour New Zealand.

On 15–17 Feb, 1894, the first team representing New Zealand played New South Wales in Christchurch. New South Wales won by 160 runs. The New Zealand Cricket Council was established at the end of 1894.

New Zealand played its first two international matches (not Tests) in 1904–05 against a strong Australian team. In the second match, New Zealand lost by an innings and 358 runs – currently the second largest defeat in New Zealand’s first-class history.

New Zealand toured England in 1927 and played 26 first-class matches there, primarily against English county sides. For the team’s strong performances on this tour, New Zealand was granted Test status.

New Zealand played their first Test when England toured New Zealand in 1929/30. They lost the first Test match but drew the next three. New Zealand first played South Africa in 1931–32 in a three-match series but were unable to secure Test matches against any teams other than England before World War II ended all Test cricket for 7 years.

Post-World War II Era and First Test Win

New Zealand's first Test match after the war was against Australia in 1945/46. The New Zealand Cricket Council's unwillingness to pay Australian players a decent allowance for the tour meant that this was the only Test played between Australia and New Zealand from 1929 to 1972.

In 1949, New Zealand sent one of its best sides ever to a tour of England. It included Bert Sutcliffe, Martin Donnelly, John R. Reid and Jack Cowie. All the four Tests played were high-scoring but ended in draws. Martin Donnelly's 206 at Lord's has been hailed as one of the finest innings ever seen there. Despite not winning any match, New Zealand did not lose a single Test either. New Zealand played their first matches against the West Indies in 1951–52 and against Pakistan and India in 1955/56.

In 1954/55, New Zealand recorded the lowest-ever innings total, a score of 26 against England, a record that stands even today. The following season, New Zealand achieved their first Test victory against the West Indies. It took them 45 matches and 26 years to claim it.

In the next 20 years, New Zealand won only seven more Tests. Reid captained New Zealand on a tour to South Africa in 1961–62 where the five-Test series was drawn 2–2. The wins in the third and fifth Tests were the first away victories for New Zealand. Reid scored 1,915 runs on the tour, setting a record for the most runs scored by a touring batsman in South Africa. New Zealand won their first Test series 1-0 in their three-match tour of Pakistan in 1969/70.

Entry of Sir Richard Hadlee and Martin Crowe

In 1973, Richard Hadlee debuted and New Zealand’s win rate in Tests improved dramatically. Hadlee played 86 Tests for New Zealand and was one of the best pace bowlers of his generation until he retired in 1990. New Zealand won 22 and lost 28 of the 86 Tests Richard Hadlee played. In 1977/78, New Zealand finally won their first Test match against England on the 48th attempt. Hadlee took 10 wickets in the match.

During the 1980s, New Zealand had one of their best ever batsman, Martin Crowe, and a number of good players such as John Wright, Bruce Edgar, John F. Reid, Ian Smith, Lance Cairns, and Ewen Chatfield, who were capable of giving match-winning performances consistently.

The best example of New Zealand's two star players, R. Hadlee and M. Crowe, putting up match-winning performances and other players making good contributions is when New Zealand won a match against Australia at Brisbane in 1985. In Australia's first innings, Hadlee took 9 wickets for 52 runs. On New Zealand's only turn in batting, M Crowe scored 188 runs and John F. Reid scored 108. In Australia's second innings, Hadlee took 6–71 and Chatfield 3–75, and New Zealand won the match by an innings and 41 runs.

Rise in ODI Cricket

One day cricket gave New Zealand a chance to compete with the better sides in world cricket more regularly. One day games can be won by one batsman getting a 50, a few others scoring 30s, bowlers bowling economically and everyone fielding well. The New Zealand players could meet these requirements and they developed into a good one day team over time.

The most infamous one day match involving the New Zealand team was the "underarm" match against Australia at the MCG in 1981. With New Zealand requiring six runs to tie the match off the final ball, the then Australian captain Greg Chappell instructed his brother Trevor to "bowl" the ball underarm and along the wicket to prevent New Zealand batsman Brian McKechnie from hitting a six. Many believe that it was one of the most unsporting things ever done in the history of cricket.

Lance Cairns became a cult hero for his one day batting when New Zealand next played in the tri-series in Australia in 1983. In a match against Australia, he hit six sixes at the MCG, one of the world's largest grounds. However, Lance's greatest contribution to New Zealand 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 all-rounders ever, led the team’s bowling attack in the 1990s with Danny Morrison.

Stephen Fleming, New Zealand's most prolific scorer, led the batting of the team into the 21st century along with the likes of Nathan Astle, Craig McMillan and Chris Harris. Daniel Vettori made his debut as an 18-year-old in 1997 and took over from Fleming as captain in 2007. At that time, he was regarded as the one of best spinning all-rounders in world cricket. On 26 August 2009, Daniel Vettori became the eighth player and second left-arm bowler to take 300 wickets and score 3000 Test runs.

On 4 April 1996, New Zealand achieved a unique world record when the whole team was adjudged “Man of the Match” for a team performance that helped them achieve a 4-run victory over the West Indies. This is the only time when a whole team won that award.

First World Title

New Zealand started the new millennium by winning the 2000 ICC KnockOut Trophy in Kenya to claim their first ICC tournament. They started with a 64-run win over Zimbabwe and then beat Pakistan by 4 wickets in the semi-final. In the final against India, Chris Cairns scored an unbeaten 102, helping New Zealand win the tournament.

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 ICL. As a result, New Zealand Cricket lost the services of Shane Bond, Lou Vincent, Andre Adams, Hamish Marshall, and Daryl Tuffey.

Vettori stood down as Test captain in 2011, which led star batsman Ross Taylor to take his place. Taylor led New Zealand for a year, which included a thrilling win against Australia in a low-scoring Test match in Hobart, their first win over Australia since 1993. In 2012/13, Brendon McCullum became captain and new players such as Kane Williamson, Corey Anderson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Jimmy Neesham emerged as world-class performers.

McCullum captained New Zealand to series wins against the West Indies and India in 2013/14 and Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 2014/15, increasing New Zealand's rankings in both Test and ODI formats. In the series against India in 2014, McCullum scored 302 at Wellington to become New Zealand's first Test triple centurion.

Runners-up Title in Consecutive World Cups

It is well documented that New Zealand punch above their weight in world tournaments and can perform much better with the kind of resources and players they have at their disposal. They have made it to the final four in five of the last six cricket World Cups.

In early 2015, New Zealand reached the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup for the first time. They went through the tournament undefeated until the final, where they lost to Australia by seven wickets. It was their best performance in a cricket World Cup. Everyone loved the aggressive style of cricket New Zealand played throughout the World Cup, beating Sri Lanka, England, West Indies and South Africa on their way to the final.

In 2016, Brendon McCullum retired and handed over the captaincy to Kane Williamson in all formats. Under Kane, New Zealand reached the semi-finals of the 2016 T20 World Cup in India. New Zealand also played in their second consecutive World Cup final, eventually losing to England on the basis of boundary count. The match was tied after 50 overs and a Super Over was played. It was termed the “The Greatest ODI Match Ever” soon after.

No. 1 Test Ranking

With steady performances in Test cricket in recent times, New Zealand have established themselves as one of the strong Test-playing nations. Over the past few years, they have become consistent in Tests and have remained unbeaten at home for the past four years. With a 2-0 series win against Pakistan in Jan. 2021, New Zealand became the No.1 Test team for the first time in their cricketing history.

Cricket Match Schedule

Find out all about the biggest international series and cricket match schedule of the New Zealand cricket team.

More Series Coming Soon

Tournament Records

World Cup

Year Position
1975 Semifinalists
1979 Semifinalists
1983 Group stage
1987 Group stage
1992 Semifinalists
1996 Quarterfinalists
1999 Semifinalists
2003 Super 6
2007 Semifinalists
2011 Semifinalists
2015 Runners-up
2019 Runners-up

T20 World Cup

Year Position
2007 Semifinalists
2009 Super 8s
2010 Super 8s
2012 Super 8s
2014 Super 10s
2016 Semifinalists

Champions Trophy

Year Position
1998 Quarterfinalists
2000 Champions
2002 Group stage
2004 Group stage
2006 Semifinalists
2009 Runners-up
2013 Group stage
2017 Group stage

Honors

Champions Trophy

Winner: 2000

Fantasy Cricket

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Cricket Match Statistics

Test

Opponent Matches Won Lost Drawn Tied
Australia 60 8 34 18 0
Bangladesh 15 12 0 3 0
England 105 11 48 46 0
India 59 12 21 26 0
Pakistan 58 12 25 21 0
Sri Lanka 36 16 9 11 0
West Indies 153 64 34 55 0
Sri Lanka 47 15 13 19 0
West Indies 160 51 58 51 0
Zimbabwe 17 11 0 6 0
Total 442 101 175 166 0
Player Matches Runs Average Highest Score 100s
Ross Taylor 104 7367 46.04 290 19
Stephen Fleming 111 7172 40.06 274* 9
Kane Williamson 82 6877 52.9 251 23
Brendon McCullum 101 6453 38.64 302 12
Matt Crowe 77 5444 45.36 299 17
John Wright 82 5334 37.82 185 12
Nathan Astle 81 4702 37.02 222 11
Daniel Vettori 112 4523 30.15 140 6
Tom Latham 55 3896 42.34 264* 11
BJ Watling 72 3766 38.42 205 8
Player Matches Wickets Average Best Bowling 10W/5W
Stuart Broad 86 431 22.29 9/52 9/36
Daniel Vettori 112 361 34.15 7/87 3/20
Tim Southee 76 300 28.54 7/64 1/11
Trent Boult 70 276 28.07 6/30 1/8
Chris Martin 71 233 33.81 6/26 1/10
Neil Wagner 51 219 26.32 7/39 0/9
Chris Cairns 62 218 29.4 7/27 1/13
Danny Morrison 48 160 34.68 7/89 0/10
Lance Cairns 43 130 32.92 7/74 1/6
Ewen Chatfield 43 123 32.17 7/73 1/3

ODIs

Opponent Matches Won Lost Tied No Result
Afghanistan 2 2 0 0 0
Australia 137 39 91 0 7
Bangladesh 35 25 10 0 0
England 91 43 42 2 4
India 109 49 55 1 5
Ireland 4 4 0 0 0
Pakistan 107 48 55 1 3
South Africa 71 25 41 0 5
Sri Lanka 99 49 41 1 8
West Indies 65 28 30 0 7
Zimbabwe 38 27 9 1 1
Total 758 339 374 6 35
Player Matches Runs Average Highest Score 100s
Ross Taylor 232 8574 48.44 181* 21
Stephen Fleming 279 8007 32.41 134* 8
Nathan Astle 223 7090 34.92 145* 16
Martin Guptill 183 6843 42.5 237* 16
Kane Williamson 151 6173 47.48 148 13
Brendon McCullum 260 6083 30.41 166 5
Chris Cairns 124 4881 29.22 115 4
Craig McMillan 197 4707 28.18 117 3
Martin Crowe 143 4704 38.55 107* 4
Scott Styris 188 4483 32.48 141 4
Player Matches Wickets Average Best Bowling 5W/4W
Daniel Vettori 291 297 31.96 5/7 2/7
Kyle Mills 170 240 27.02 5/25 1/8
Chris Harris 250 203 37.5 5/42 1/2
Chris Cairns 214 200 32.78 5/42 1/3
Tim Southee 143 190 34.51 7/33 3/4
Jacob Oram 160 173 29.17 6/26 2/3
Trent Boult 90 164 25.29 7/34 5/7
Richard Hadle 115 158 21.56 5/25 5/1
Shane Bond 82 147 20.88 6/19 4/7
Ewen Chatfield 114 140 25.84 5/34 1/3

T20Is

Opponent Matches Won Lost No Result
Australia 9 2 7 0
Bangladesh 7 7 0 0
England 21 7 13 1
India 16 8 8 0
Ireland 1 1 0 0
Pakistan 21 8 13 0
South Africa 15 4 11 0
Sri Lanka 19 10 8 1
West Indies 13 7 5 1
Zimbabwe 6 6 0 0
Total 128 60 65 3
Player Matches Runs Average Highest Score 100s/50s
Martin Guptill 94 2621 105 31.57 2/15
Brendon McCullum 71 2140 123 35.66 2/13
Ross Taylor 102 1909 63 26.15 0/7
Colin Munro 65 1724 109* 31.34 3/11
Kane Williamson 62 1723 95 33.13 0/12
Tim Seifert 30 668 84* 27.83 0/5
Scott Styris 31 578 66 21.4 0/1
Colin de Grandhomme 36 487 59 18.03 0/3
Corey Anderson 31 485 94* 24.25 0/2
Jacob Oram 36 474 66* 20.6 0/2
Player Matches Wickets Average Best Bowling 5W/4W
Tim Southee 75 87 25.95 5/18 1/1
Nathan McCullum 63 58 22.03 4/16 0/2
Ish Sodhi 50 56 24.41 3/18 0/0
Mitchell Santner 48 54 22.03 4/11 0/1
Kyle Mills 42 43 28.55 3/26 0/0
Trent Boult 29 39 23.84 4/34 0/1
Daniel Vettori 34 38 19.68 4/20 0/1
Mitchell McClenaghan 28 30 25.26 3/17 0/0
Adam Milne 21 25 21.64 4/37 0/1
Shane Bond 20 25 21.72 3/18 0/0

Current Squad

Kane
Williamson

Martin
Guptill

Devon
Conway

Henry
Nicholls

Will
Young

Glenn
Philipps

Colin
Munro

Ross
Taylor

Tom
Latham

Tim
Siefert

BJ
Watling

Tom
Blundell

Mitchell
Santner

Daryl
Mitchell

James
Neesham

Colin De
Grandhomme

Ajaz
Patel

Ish
Sodhi

William
Somerville

Tim
Southee

Trent
Boult

Neil
Wagner

Kyle
Jamieson

Lockie
Ferguson

Matt
Henry