All About the New Zealand Cricket Team

The New Zealand cricket team, also known as the Black Caps, are run by the New Zealand Cricket Association. The ICC gave them ICC Full Member status on the 31st May, 1926.

In this article you can find out about the team's history, the colours that they wear, who their best players are at the moment, how they have performed at global competitions and against other nations, as well as how they are currently getting on.

A Brief Look at New Zealnd Cricket History

new zealand cricket team

Henry Williams, a British reverend who lived in New Zealand, provided the very first report of cricket in the country in December 1832, when he wrote about some boys playing cricket on Horotutu beach. Then, in 1835, Charles Darwin, who had just arrived in the country on HMS Beagle, witnessed cricket being played between a missionary's son and some freed Maori slaves. The first recorded cricket game in New Zealand occurred in Wellington at the end of 1842. This match was played between a "Blue" team and a "Red" team from Wellington.

George Parr's England XI became the first team to visit New Zealand when they toured there in 1863. From 1864 to 1914, 22 teams visited New Zealand to play cricket. Six were from England, fifteen from Australia , and one from Fiji. In February of 1894, the first team to be representing New Zealand played against New South Wales in Christchurch. The visitors won the match by 160 runs. They returned the following year to play again but lost this time by 142 runs. This was New Zealand's first as win as a cricketing nation.

In 1904, New Zealand played their first two international matches (not test matches) against a very good Australian side that contained the likes of Warwick Armstrong, Victor Trumper, and Clem Hill. The good old New Zealand weather saved them from a thrashing in the first game, but they weren't so fortunate for the second. Australia won the match by an innings and 358 runs, which, to this day, is still the second biggest defeat in New Zealand's cricket history. New Zealand toured England in 1927, playing 26 first-class games, mostly against England's county sides. They managed to achieve victories over Glamorgan, Worcestshire, Somerset, and Derbyshire. Their performances on this tour led to the ICC granting them test status. In 1929, England toured New Zealand and play four 3-day tests. The home side lost the first match but managed to draw the remaining three. In the second match, Jackie Mills and Stewie Dempster had an opening partnership of 276 runs, which is still the highest partnership for New Zealand against England.

New Zealand played South Africa for the first time in 1931, but they were not able to get test matches against any other teams apart from England before World War II. When the war started, all cricket was put on hold for 7 years. Their first test after WWII was against Australia in 1945. At the time, this match was not considered an official test, but the ICC gave it test status in 1948. The Kiwis that played in this match probably wish they hadn't as Australia bowled them out for a paltry 42 and 54 runs. The New Zealand Cricket Board's refusal to pay Australian players a proper allowance while touring the country meant that this was the only test that the two teams played against each other until 1972.

New Zealand sent one of their best sides to England in 1949. This team contained the likes of Jack Cowie, Martin Donnelly, Bert Sutcliffe, and John R. Reid. However, all four test matches ended up being high-scoring draws. In 1956, New Zealand picked up their very first test victory when they beat West Indies by 190 runs (they did lose the series 3-1 still). It took them 26 years and 45 matches to claim their first win. The following twenty years saw them pick up on seven more test wins. In 1973, Richard Hadlee joined the team and New Zealand's win rate increased dramatically as he was one of the best bowlers around. In 1977, New Zealand won their very first test match against England (after 48 attempts), with Hadlee taking 10 wickets in the game. In the 1980s, New Zealand could call on some very talented players such as Martin Crowe, Bruce Edgar, John Wright, Andrew Jones, John F. Reid, Jeremy Coney, Geoff Howarth, Ian Smith, and Lance Cairns.

New Zealand picked up their first win against Australia in 1985 in Brisbane when they won by an innings and 41 runs. New Zealand were able to compete more in one-day cricket and their most infamous match came about in 1981 when they were playing against Australia at the MCG. They needed 6 runs off the last ball to tie that game, so Greg Chappel, the Australian captain at the time, told his bowler to bowl an underarm delivery so that the New Zealand batsman had no chance of hitting it out of the park. To this day, this remains one of the most unsporting decisions ever made in cricket. In 1997, a young Daniel Vettori made his debut and went on to become one of the best spinning all-rounders in the world. New Zealand started to grow in stature on the world stage and nowadays they are a match for anyone in any format of the game.

At this moment, their head coach is Gary Stead and they are captained by Kane Williamson.

What Colours do the New Zealand Cricket Team Play In?

Test Cricket

When they are playing test matches, they wear traditional cricket whites with a silver fern on the left side of the shirt and the sponsor's logo on the right side. When they are fielding, you will see them either wearing a white sunhat or a black baseball cap with the New Zealand Cricket Board logo in the centre. When they are batting, they make use of black helmets with the New Zealand Cricket Board logo in the centre as well.

ODI and T20 Cricket

The shirts that are worn for T20 and ODI matches have the ANZ logo in the middle, with the silver fern on the left breast. The sponsor's logo can be found on the right breast. In T20, the shirts are beige in colour with black stripes, while the trousers are black. For ODI games, the shirt is black with blue stripes and the trousers are black. When they are playing in ICC tournaments, the sponsor's logo is moved to one of the sleeves and "New Zealand" is printed on the middle of the shirt.

Who Are New Zealand’s Best Cricket Players?

New Zealand, despite their small size, have always been able to find extremely talented players. We will now have a look at three talented players who are playing for them at this moment in time.

Kane Williamson

Kane Williamson is one of the best players in the world at this moment in time. There is no doubt about that. In 2019 he was the player of the tournament at the ICC Cricket World Cup as he led his team to the World Cup final, having scored 578 runs in the ten matches that he played. He has played 85 test matches for his country and has scored 7,230 runs (24 centuries and 33 half-centuries) at an average of 53.95. In the 151 ODI matches that he has played, he has scored 6,173 runs (13 centuries and 39 half-centuries) at an average of 47.48. He has played 67 T20 matches and has scored 1,805 runs (top score of 95) at an average of 31.66. He is still just 31, so he still has another 4-5 years to make these figures even more impressive.

Ross Taylor

Taylor made his debut back in 2006 and he hasn’t looked back since. In fact, he has gone on to become one of the best batsmen to play for New Zealand. He was the first Kiwi batsman to score 20 centuries in any of the three formats. In the 108 test matches that he has played, he has scored 7,564 runs (19 centuries and 35 half-centuries) at an average of 45.84. In the 233 ODI games that he has played, he has scored 8,581 runs (21 centuries and 51 half-centuries) at an average of 48.20. In the 102 T20s that he has played, he has scored 1,909 runs (high score of 63) at an average of 26.15. At 37, he probably won’t be playing for much longer, but he has had a cricketing career that he can be very proud of.

Trent Boult

Boult made his debut for the national side in 2011 and he has since become an important cog in the New Zealand team. In 2019, he became the first New Zealand bowler to pick up a hat-trick at the Cricket World Cup. In the 73 test matches that he has played, he has taken 292 wickets at an average of 27.67. This has included 8 5-wicket hauls and 1 10-wicket haul. In the 93 ODI games that he has played, he has collected 169 wickets at an average of 25.21. This has included 5 5-wicket hauls. In 34 T20 matches, he has dismissed 46 batsmen at an average of 23.34. At the age of 32, he still has quite a few years left in him to improve these figures even more.

How Have the Kiwis Performed in World Tournaments

In the tables below you will be able to see how the Kiwis have performed at every international tournament that they have taken part in.

ICC Cricket World Cup

Year Round Position
1975 Semi-finals 4/8
1979 Semi-finals 3/8
1983 Group Stage 5/8
1987 Group Stage 6/8
1992 Semi-finals 3/9
1996 Quarter-finals 7/12
1999 Semi-finals 4/12
2003 Super Sixes 5/14
2007 Semi-finals 3/16
2011 Semi-finals 4/14
2015 Runners-up 2/14
2019 Runners-up 2/10

*New Zealand lost the 2019 Cricket World Cup due to the fact that England had scored more boundaries than them in the match. England were the better team throughout the tournament and would have won on head-to-head, NRR, or table position, but many cricket fans still believe the trophy should have been shared.

ICC T20 World Cup

Year Round Position
2007 Semi-final 4/12
2009 Super 8s 5/12
2010 Super 8s 5/12
2012 Super 8s 7/12
2014 Super 10 6/16
2016 Semi-final 3/16

ICC Champions Trophy

Year Round Position
1998 Quarter-finals 7/9
2000 Champions 1/11
2002 Group Stage 8/12
2004 Group Stage 5/12
2006 Semi-finals 4/10
2009 Runners-up 2/8
2013 Group Stage 5/8
2017 Group Stage 8/8

*This tournament was binned after the 2017 edition because the ICC did not want it to get to the stage where there was more than one major tournament for each format.

How Have New Zealand Done Against Opposing Nations?

The tables below will give you an idea as to how the Kiwis have done when playing other nations in ODI, Test, and T20 cricket.

Test Performances

OpponentMatches PlayedWonLostDrawTiedWin %
South Africa454251608.88
Sri Lanka3616911044.44
West Indies49171319034.69

* These stats are correct from the 25th October 2021.

ODI Performances

OpponentMatches PlayedWonLostTiedNo ResultWin %
South Africa7125410537.87
Sri Lanka9949411854.39
West Indies6528300748.27

* These stats are correct from the 25th October 2021.

T20 Performances

OpponentMatches PlayedWonLosttiedNo ResultWin %
South Africa154110026.67
Sri Lanka191071158.33
West Indies16833267.85

* These stats are correct from the 25th October 2021.

How Have the New Zealand Cricket Team Been Doing Lately?

The New Zealand cricket team has had a really good 2021, that is for certain. They started off the year by completing a 2-0 Test win over Pakistan, and followed that up with a 3-2 win against Australia in a five-match T20 series. They then played Bangladesh in a three-match ODI series and won 3-0 and then beat them 3-0 in a three-match T20 series.

Next, they played two Tests against England and won the series 1-0, and then became the inaugural Test Championship winners by beating India by eight wickets in the final. They then played Bangladesh in five T20 matches in September and just lost 3-2.

Next up for the Kiwis is the T20 World Cup before they end the year with three T20 matches and two Tests against India.