Hawke Cup

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Edgar Neale (captain of Nelson, L) receives the Hawke Cup from Sydney Badeley (captain of South Auckland, R) in January 1933.

The Hawke Cup is a cricket competition for New Zealand's District Associations. Apart from 1910/11, 1912/13 and 2000/01 the competition has always been on a challenge basis. To win the Hawke Cup the challengers must beat the holders on the holders' home ground.

Teams from New Zealand's four "main centres", Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, have not usually competed for the Hawke Cup, although they did participate in the latter half of the 1990s. They were excluded again from the 2000-01 season. From 2000 to 2010 the team from Hamilton, New Zealand's fourth-largest urban area, was the most successful. Since then the title has changed hands numerous times, Manawatu, Hawke's Bay and recently Bay of Plenty being especially prominent. In 2012-13 Hamilton conceded the highest-ever score in the Hawke Cup of 701 against Bay of Plenty. Bay of Plenty defeated Hawke's Bay in the last challenge of the 2015-16 season and resisted all four challenges in 2016-17.


The Plunket Shield, New Zealand's premier cricket competition for its first-class teams, was inaugurated in 1907. In 1910 Lord Hawke donated a challenge cup for competition among the minor associations.[1] The first match, in December 1910, resulted in a victory to Manawatu over Wairarapa.[2] The first holders, decided in the final match of the 1910-11 season, were Southland.

Title holders, 1910-11 to 1999-2000[edit]

Note: The title can change hands more than once during a season. In 1927-28, for example, Wanganui took the title from Taranaki in the first match, held it for three matches, then lost it in the fifth match to Manawatu, who retained it in the last match of the season.

Season Holders at end of season
1910-11 Southland
1911-12 Southland
1912-13 South Auckland
1913-14 Wanganui
1914-15 Wanganui
1918-19 Poverty Bay
1919-20 Poverty Bay
1920-21 Wairarapa
1921-22 Wanganui
1922-23 Wanganui
1923-24 Nelson
1924-25 Nelson
1925-26 Wanganui
1926-27 Taranaki
1927-28 Manawatu
1928-29 Manawatu
1929-30 Rangitikei
1930-31 South Auckland
1931-32 South Auckland
1932-33 Nelson
1933-34 Taranaki
1934-35 Manawatu
1935-36 Manawatu
1936-37 Manawatu
1937-38 South Auckland
1938-39 Waikato
1939-40 Manawatu
1945-46 Manawatu
1946-47 Hawke's Bay
1947-48 Wanganui
1948-49 Hutt Valley
1949-50 Hawke's Bay
1950-51 Waikato
1951-52 Nelson
1952-53 Wanganui
1953-54 Wanganui
1954-55 Wanganui
1955-56 Northland
1956-57 Waikato
1957-58 Waikato
1958-59 Nelson
1959-60 Nelson
1960-61 Nelson
1961-62 Nelson
1962-63 Nelson
1963-64 Nelson
1964-65 Manawatu
1965-66 Manawatu
1966-67 Nelson
1967-68 Hawke's Bay
1968-69 Waikato
1969-70 Southland
1970-71 Taranaki
1971-72 Taranaki
1972-73 Southland
1973-74 Southland
1974-75 Southland
1975-76 Southland
1976-77 Wairarapa
1977-78 Wairarapa
1978-79 Nelson
1979-80 Nelson
1980-81 Nelson
1981-82 Nelson
1982-83 Hawke's Bay
1983-84 Nelson
1984-85 Nelson
1985-86 Bay of Plenty
1986-87 Southland
1987-88 Taranaki
1988-89 Southland
1989-90 Southland
1990-91 Southland
1991-92 Nelson
1992-93 Manawatu
1993-94 Taranaki
1994-95 Taranaki
1995-96 Hutt Valley
1996-97 Bay of Plenty
1997-98 Northland
1998-99 Canterbury Country
1999-2000 Dunedin Metropolitan

From 1985-86 to 1994-95 the competition was called the U-Bix Cup; from 1995-96 to 1997-98 it was the Fuji Xerox Cup; in 1998-99 it was the National District Championship.

Nelson has the record for holding the Cup for the longest period and the most challenges. Between 1958 and 1965 Nelson resisted 28 challenges.[3]

Recent history[edit]

Season Challenge Matches Holders at end of season
2000-01 Semi-finals Hamilton v Canterbury Country, Hawke's Bay v Bay of Plenty, Final Hamilton v Hawke's Bay Hamilton
2001-02 Hamilton v North Otago, Hamilton v Hawke's Bay, Hamilton v Northland, Hamilton v Canterbury Country, Hamilton v Manawatu Manawatu
2002-03 Manawatu v Hawke's Bay, Hawke's Bay v Northland, Northland v Canterbury Country Northland
2003-04 Northland v Hamilton, Northland v Mid-Canterbury, Mid-Canterbury v Taranaki Mid-Canterbury
2004-05 Mid-Canterbury v Canterbury Country, Canterbury Country v Nelson, Canterbury Country v Hamilton Hamilton
2005-06 Hamilton v Taranaki, Hamilton v Northland, Hamilton v Southland Hamilton
2006-07 Hamilton v Northland, Hamilton v Canterbury Country, Hamilton v Taranaki Taranaki
2007-08 Taranaki v Canterbury Country, Canterbury Country v Hawke's Bay, Canterbury Country v Hamilton Hamilton
2008-09 Hamilton v Hawke's Bay, Hawke's Bay v Northland, Hawke's Bay v Canterbury Country Hawke's Bay
2009-10 Hawke's Bay v Manawatu, Manawatu v Bay of Plenty, Manawatu v Marlborough, Manawatu v North Otago North Otago
2010-11 North Otago v Otago Country, Otago Country v Marlborough, Marlborough v Hawke's Bay, Marlborough v Hamilton Hamilton
2011-12 Hamilton v Counties Manukau, Hamilton v Wairarapa, Hamilton v Nelson, Hamilton v Southland Hamilton
2012-13 Hamilton v Bay of Plenty, Bay of Plenty v Manawatu, Bay of Plenty v Canterbury Country, Bay of Plenty v South Canterbury Bay of Plenty
2013-14 Bay of Plenty v Hamilton, Bay of Plenty v Manawatu, Manawatu v Canterbury Country, Manawatu v Southland Manawatu
2014-15 Manawatu v Taranaki, Manawatu v Northland, Manawatu v Canterbury Country, Canterbury Country v North Otago Canterbury Country
2015-16 Canterbury Country v Buller, Buller v North Otago, North Otago v Hawke's Bay, Hawke's Bay v Bay of Plenty Bay of Plenty
2016-17 Bay of Plenty v Counties Manukau, Bay of Plenty v Hawke's Bay, Bay of Plenty v Nelson, Bay of Plenty v Southland Bay of Plenty


Current players can only play a maximum of 4 Hawke Cup Challenge matches a season, and that is only for members of the team holding the Hawke Cup and defeating every challenger (first defence within their own zone and defeating the winners of the other three zones). Historically there have only been between 2 and 6 Hawke Cup Challenge matches every year for the holders, so it has been difficult for players to build much of a record unless they have been part of a strong team and have had a lengthy career.

Nevertheless, 18 players have scored more than 1000 runs and 8 players have taken more than 90 wickets.

The only current player who has more than 1000 runs is G.G. Robinson of Hamilton. (April 2008)

Player Team(s) Career Mat Inn NO HS Runs Ave
Leggat I.B. Nelson 1948–68 38 56 1 130 1968 35.78
Reade L.B. Nelson 1958–73 35 57 2 117 1951 35.47
Lowans G.E. Nelson 1958–73 30 48 1 130 1811 38.53
Anderson R.W. Northland & Southland 1970–77 16 31 6 255 1773 70.92
McVicar C.C. Manawatu 1935–54 28 44 1 180 1754 40.79
Spence D.V. Hawke's Bay & Nelson 1949–67 34 51 8 151 1574 36.60
Robinson G.G. Hamilton 2001– 14 22 2 268 1482 74.1

The highest score in the competition is 272 not out, by Charlie Kinzett for Nelson against Marlborough in the 1933-34 season.[4][5] The best bowling figures in an innings are 10 for 35 by Chester Holland for Wanganui against South Taranaki in 1922-23, the only time a bowler has taken all ten wickets in the Hawke Cup.[6]

Current structure[edit]

There are 4 regional zones in the Hawke Cup.

Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 3 Zone 4
Hamilton Hawke's Bay Canterbury Country Otago Country
Northland Wairarapa Marlborough North Otago
Counties-Manukau Wanganui Nelson Southland
Bay of Plenty Horowhenua Kapiti Buller South Canterbury
Poverty Bay Manawatu West Coast Mid Canterbury
Waikato Valley Taranaki

After a round robin within each zone, the winners of each zone get a Hawke Cup Challenge as part of the challenge series against the current holders on a rotational basis. For example 2010/11 holders North Otago played the winner of their own zone (Otago Country) in the first challenge (or the second place team should they win their own zone) followed by challenges by the winners of zone 3, 2 and 1. The team with the Hawke Cup at the end of the challenge series holds it for the winter. Hawke Cup games are played over 3 days. To win the Hawke Cup a challenger must beat the holder outright or win on the first innings on the holder's home ground.

Team of the Century[edit]

In January 2011, to mark 100 years of Hawke Cup cricket, an official "Team of the Century" was named. Selection was based on the player’s outstanding performances in the Hawke Cup and also on their contribution to their district while playing. In batting order:[7]

Former teams[edit]

These teams have played in the Hawke Cup in the past:


  1. ^ The Marlborough Express, 10 October 1910, p. 7.
  2. ^ "Wairarapa v Manawatu 1910-11". CricketArchive. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  3. ^ Martin, Wayne. "Nelson prominent in Hawke Cup top echelon". stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 12 June 2015. 
  4. ^ Martin, Wayne (21 February 2017). "Nelson hold an esteemed place in annals of Hawke Cup history". Nelson Mail. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  5. ^ "Nelson v Marlborough 1933-34". CricketArchive. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  6. ^ "Wanganui v South Taranaki 1922-23". CricketArchive. Retrieved 2 March 2017. 
  7. ^ "Hawke Cup Centennial cricket team named". New Zealand Cricket. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 

External links[edit]