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Central Districts cricket team
|Captain||Greg Hay (Plunket Shield)
Tom Bruce (T20)
Tom Bruce (Ford Trophy)
|Colours||Green and gold|
|Home ground||McLean Park
|Capacity||19,700 (McLean Park)|
|Plunket Shield wins||11|
|Ford Trophy wins||6|
|Super Smash wins||3|
|Cricket Max wins||1|
The Central Stags, formerly known as Central Districts, are a first-class cricket team based in central New Zealand. They are the men's representative side of the Central Districts Cricket Association. They compete in the Plunket Shield first-class competition, The Ford Trophy domestic one-day competition and the Dream11 Super Smash Twenty20 competition. They are one of six teams that make up New Zealand Cricket. They were the fifth of the current teams to compete in the Plunket Shield, which they entered for the first time in the 1950/51 season.
Central Districts comprises eight District associations: Hawke's Bay, Horowhenua-Kapiti, Manawatu, Taranaki, Wairarapa and Wanganui in the North Island, and Marlborough and Nelson in the South Island. Previously, many players from these regions competed for Wellington. More than a century before the eventual founding of the Central Districts Cricket Association, the first fully recorded cricket match in New Zealand was played in what is now one of its districts, in Nelson, a men's match in March 1844.
Between October 2016 and February 2019, the team set a new Central Districts record for the number of consecutive first-class matches without a defeat, with 21. The previous Central Stags record in the Plunket Shield was 12, while the New Zealand record for most consecutive domestic first-class matches without a loss is 24, set by Wellington (now known as the Wellington Firebirds) between 1984/85 and 1986/87.
Retired top order batsman Peter Ingram holds the record for the highest individual first-class score for the Central Stags with an innings of 247 in 2008/09, and also scored their second highest individual score with 245 not out in 2009/10.
The New Zealand T20 all wickets partnership record is also held by Peter Ingram, having put on 201 for the first wicket with Jamie How at Pukekura Park in 2011/12 against Wellington.
How and Jeet Raval share the New Zealand Domestic List A partnership record of 321, set against Northern Districts at Seddon Park in 2012/13, a match in which How became the first player to score a Ford Trophy double century.
In 2017, Brad Schmulian hit the highest score by any New Zealand cricketer on first-class debut with an innings of 203 for the Central Stags against Northern Districts at Bay Oval. The previous record had stood since the late 19th century.
In 2010, Kieran Noema-Barnett set a New Zealand record for the fastest T20 half century, off just 18 balls. In the 2016 Ford Trophy Grand Final, another Central Stags batsman, Tom Bruce, added the record for the fastest one-day half century in New Zealand with his 50 coming off 16 balls.
Two of New Zealand's premier cricketing schools, New Plymouth Boys' High School and Palmerston North Boys' High, have produced a number of Stags players, along with schools such as Napier Boys' High School, Nelson College and Whanganui Collegiate.
The CEO of Central Districts Cricket Association is Pete de Wet. In September 2019 de Wet announced that CDCA had signed renowned international coach Mickey Arthur as the Central Stags T20 coach for the 2019/20 Super Smash season, however Arthur was granted a contract release before the competition began.
In 2019/20, the team had a chance to become the first team since 1940 to win the Plunket Shield for three seasons in a row. However, the team was second on the table when the final two rounds of the eight-match season were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Plunket Shield was awarded to the Wellington cricket team, whom they had been about to play at McLean Park, with the Stags declared runners-up.
- Plunket Shield (11)
1953–54, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1970–71, 1986–87, 1991–92, 1998–99, 2005–06, 2012–13, 2017–18, 2018–19
- Ford Trophy (6)
- Super Smash (3)
2007–08, 2009–10, 2018–19
- McLean Park, Napier
- Saxton Oval, Nelson
- Pukekura Park, New Plymouth
- Fitzherbert Park, Palmerston North
Since 2014-15, Central Districts have used McLean Park, Nelson Park, Napier and Saxton Oval for first-class matches. Pukekura Park and Fitzherbert Park, as well as McLean Park and Saxton Oval, are still used regularly for List A matches. Pukekura Park and McLean Park are used for T20 matches.
- No. denotes the player's squad number, as worn on the back of their shirt.
- denotes players with international caps.
|No.||Name||Nationality||Birth date||Batting style||Bowling style||Notes|
|15||Dane Cleaver||New Zealand||1 January 1992||Right-handed||Leg break||CDCA contract|
|3||Bayley Wiggins||New Zealand||3 September 1998||Right-handed||Right-arm medium||CDCA contract|
|4||Will Young||New Zealand||22 November 1992||Right-handed||Right arm off break||NZC contract|
|12||Ross Taylor||New Zealand||8 March 1984||Right-handed||Right arm off break||NZC contract|
|42||Tom Bruce||New Zealand||2 August 1991||Right-handed||Right arm off break||CDCA contract|
|24||Greg Hay||New Zealand||14 July 1984||Right-handed||Right-arm off break||CDCA contract|
|9||Ben Smith||New Zealand||7 January 1991||Right-handed||Right arm off break||CDCA contract|
|–||Brad Schmulian||New Zealand||3 August 1990||Right-handed||Leg break||CDCA contract|
|6||Doug Bracewell||New Zealand||28 September 1990||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium||CDCA contract|
|33||George Worker||New Zealand||2 August 1989||Left-handed||Slow left-arm orthodox||CDCA contract|
|23||Bevan Small||New Zealand||24 February 1992||Right-handed||Right-arm medium|
|10||Ben Wheeler||New Zealand||10 November 1991||Right-handed||Left arm medium-fast||CDCA contract|
|22||Josh Clarkson||New Zealand||21 January 1997||Right-handed||Right-arm medium||CDCA contract|
|17||Christian Leopard||New Zealand||17 September 1997||Right-handed||Right-arm medium||CDCA contract|
|–||Ryan Watson||New Zealand||29 September 1994||Right-handed||Right-arm medium|
|7||Adam Milne||New Zealand||13 April 1992||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium|
|12||Seth Rance||New Zealand||23 August 1987||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium||CDCA contract|
|13||Blair Tickner||New Zealand||13 October 1993||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium||CDCA contract|
|11||Ray Toole||New Zealand||30 October 1997||Left-handed||Left-arm fast-medium||CDCA contract|
|21||Ajaz Patel||New Zealand||21 October 1988||Left-handed||Slow left-arm orthodox||NZC contract|
|–||Jayden Lennox||New Zealand||14 December 1994||Left-handed||Slow left-arm orthodox||CDCA contract|
|8||Joey Field||New Zealand||19 December 2000||Right-handed||fast-medium||CDCA contract replacing Adam Milne from December 2020|
- Craig Ingham
- Don Beard
- Harry Cave
- Bevan Congdon
- Vic Pollard
- Bryan Yuile
- Ian Leggat
- Jock Edwards
- Mike Shrimpton
- Scott Briasco
- Lance Cairns
- David O'Sullivan
- Ian Smith
- Martin Crowe
- Andrew Jones
- Mark Greatbatch
- Gary Robertson
- Glen Sulzberger
- Greg Loveridge
- Craig Findlay
- Andrew Penn
- Carl Bulfin
- Ewen Thompson
- Mark Douglas
- Roger Twose
- Tony Blain
- Craig Spearman
- Derek Stirling
- Brendon Diamanti
- Jamie How
- Peter Ingram
- Michael Mason
- Ross Taylor
- Jacob Oram
- Mathew Sinclair
- Lance Hamilton
- Jesse Ryder
- Doug Bracewell
- Kieran Noema-Barnett
- Tarun Nethula
- Jeet Raval
- Mitchell McClenaghan
- Adam Milne
- Andrew Mathieson
- Ben Wheeler
- Will Young
- George Worker
- Tom Bruce
- Ajaz Patel
- Seth Rance
- Blair Tickner
- Brad Schmulian
- Willem Ludick
- Central Districts Cricket Association – Districts Archived 5 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 5 January 2006
- "First-Class Matches played by Central Districts". CricketArchive. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
- "List A Matches played by Central Districts". CricketArchive. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
- "Twenty20 Matches played by Central Districts". CricketArchive. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
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