Nelson cricket team

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This article is about the regional team in New Zealand. For the Lancashire League club in England, see Nelson Cricket Club.

Nelson cricket team is a cricket team representing the Nelson Region of New Zealand. It played first-class cricket from 1874 to 1891, and currently competes in the Hawke Cup.

Playing history[edit]

Cricket was first reported as being played in Nelson in the Nelson Examiner in March 1844, in a match between the Surveyors of the Land Company and Nelson.[1] Nelson as a representative team played interprovincial cricket as early as 1862,[2] later first playing first-class cricket in 1873-74 against Wellington at the Basin Reserve, becoming the fifth team to play first-class cricket in New Zealand. This match is also notable for having ended in a tie, the eighth time this had happened and one of sixty occasions overall that a first-class match has ended in such a result.[3]

Over the coming seasons, Nelson averaged one first-class match a year, all but one of them against Wellington, before appearing in first-class cricket for a final time in 1891 against Wellington at Trafalgar Park. Nelson played 17 times in first-class cricket, winning nine and losing seven.[4] Nelson used three home grounds during this period, all of them in the city of Nelson: Victory Square, the Botanical Gardens and Trafalgar Park.

The 17 matches were extremely low-scoring affairs. Only twice did a side reach 200, and on 40 occasions a side was dismissed for under 100. Nelson's highest team score was 238 in 1880-81, when Louis Balmain, in his only first-class match, top-scored with 40, having top-scored with 50, Nelson's first individual fifty, in the first innings.[5] Nelson's only other fifty was a 52 made by Andrew Bennett in 1886-87.[6] The best innings and match figures were 9 for 43 and 5 for 20 by Thomas Eden in 1875-76.[7] Bennett, in his only other first-class match, took 6 for 13 and 6 for 5 in 1885-86.[8]

The origin of the "Nelson" superstition in cricket is unknown. However, in both Nelson's first[9] and last[10] innings in first-class cricket they were dismissed for 111 – "Nelson".

Current status[edit]

Nelson today competes in the Hawke Cup, which is played below first-class level. Nelson has won the competition several times, and holds the record for the longest period of holding the trophy, from December 1958 to February 1965. The Nelson Cricket Association has recently relocated from Trafalgar Park to the Saxton Oval. The Nelson Cricket Association forms part of the Central Districts cricket team, which competes in first-class, List A and Twenty20 domestic cricket competitions.


  1. ^ Barclays World of Cricket, 2nd edition, Collins Publishers, 1980, ISBN 0-00-216349-7, p90.
  2. ^ "Other Matches played by Nelson". CricketArchive. Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "Wellington v Nelson, 1873/74". CricketArchive. Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "First-Class Matches played by Nelson". CricketArchive. Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  5. ^ Wellington v Nelson 1880-81
  6. ^ Wellington v Nelson 1886-87
  7. ^ Wellington v Nelson 1875-76
  8. ^ Nelson v Wellington 1885-86
  9. ^ Wellington v Nelson 1873-74
  10. ^ Nelson v Wellington 1891-92

External links[edit]