Central Districts cricket team

Central Stags
Central Stags logo transparent.png
Top: Central Stags logo
Bottom: Central Stags Twenty20 emblem
Captain Greg Hay (Plunket Shield)
Tom Bruce (T20)
Tom Bruce (Ford Trophy)
Coach Rob Walter
Team information
Colours CS Green and gold
Founded 1950
Home ground McLean Park
Pukekura Park
Fitzherbert Park
Saxton Oval
Capacity 19,700 (McLean Park)
Plunket Shield wins 11
Ford Trophy wins 6
Super Smash wins 3
CLT20 wins 0
Cricket Max wins 1
Official website cdcricket.co.nz

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.[1] 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.

The Central Stags is the home side of one of New Zealand Cricket's greatest batsmen, Ross Taylor, who made his first-class debut for the team as an 18-year-old on 9 January 2003.

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 batsmen named Ben Smith have played for the Central Stags. Adding to the confusion, both Ben Smith and Ben Smith have scored a first-class double century for the team.

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.[2]

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.[3]


1953–54, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1970–71, 1986–87, 1991–92, 1998–99, 2005–06, 2012–13, 2017–18, 2018–19

1984–85, 2000–01, 2003–04, 2011–12, 2014–15,[4] 2015–16

2007–08, 2009–10, 2018–19



Since 2014-15, Central Districts have used McLean Park, Nelson Park, Napier and Saxton Oval for first-class matches.[5] Pukekura Park and Fitzherbert Park, as well as McLean Park and Saxton Oval, are still used regularly for List A matches.[6] Pukekura Park and McLean Park are used for T20 matches.[7]


Current squad

  • No. denotes the player's squad number, as worn on the back of their shirt.
  • double-dagger denotes players with international caps.
No. Name Nationality Birth date Batting style Bowling style Notes
15 Dane Cleaver  New Zealand (1992-01-01) 1 January 1992 (age 29) Right-handed Leg break CDCA contract
3 Bayley Wiggins  New Zealand (1998-09-03) 3 September 1998 (age 22) Right-handed Right-arm medium CDCA contract
4 Will Young  New Zealand (1992-11-22) 22 November 1992 (age 28) Right-handed Right arm off break NZC contract
12 Ross Taylor double-dagger  New Zealand (1984-03-08) 8 March 1984 (age 37) Right-handed Right arm off break NZC contract
42 Tom Bruce double-dagger  New Zealand (1991-08-02) 2 August 1991 (age 29) Right-handed Right arm off break CDCA contract
24 Greg Hay  New Zealand (1984-07-14) 14 July 1984 (age 36) Right-handed Right-arm off break CDCA contract
9 Ben Smith  New Zealand (1991-01-07) 7 January 1991 (age 30) Right-handed Right arm off break CDCA contract
Brad Schmulian  New Zealand (1990-08-03) 3 August 1990 (age 30) Right-handed Leg break CDCA contract
6 Doug Bracewell double-dagger  New Zealand (1990-09-28) 28 September 1990 (age 30) Right-handed Right-arm fast-medium CDCA contract
33 George Worker double-dagger  New Zealand (1989-08-02) 2 August 1989 (age 31) Left-handed Slow left-arm orthodox CDCA contract
23 Bevan Small  New Zealand (1992-02-24) 24 February 1992 (age 29) Right-handed Right-arm medium
10 Ben Wheeler double-dagger  New Zealand (1991-11-10) 10 November 1991 (age 29) Right-handed Left arm medium-fast CDCA contract
22 Josh Clarkson  New Zealand (1997-01-21) 21 January 1997 (age 24) Right-handed Right-arm medium CDCA contract
17 Christian Leopard  New Zealand (1997-09-17) 17 September 1997 (age 23) Right-handed Right-arm medium CDCA contract
Ryan Watson  New Zealand (1994-09-29) 29 September 1994 (age 26) Right-handed Right-arm medium
7 Adam Milne double-dagger  New Zealand (1992-04-13) 13 April 1992 (age 29) Right-handed Right-arm fast-medium
12 Seth Rance double-dagger  New Zealand (1987-08-23) 23 August 1987 (age 33) Right-handed Right-arm fast-medium CDCA contract
13 Blair Tickner double-dagger  New Zealand (1993-10-13) 13 October 1993 (age 27) Right-handed Right-arm fast-medium CDCA contract
11 Ray Toole  New Zealand (1997-10-30) 30 October 1997 (age 23) Left-handed Left-arm fast-medium CDCA contract
21 Ajaz Patel double-dagger  New Zealand (1988-10-21) 21 October 1988 (age 32) Left-handed Slow left-arm orthodox NZC contract
Jayden Lennox  New Zealand (1994-12-14) 14 December 1994 (age 26) Left-handed Slow left-arm orthodox CDCA contract
8 Joey Field  New Zealand (2000-12-19) 19 December 2000 (age 20) Right-handed fast-medium CDCA contract replacing Adam Milne from December 2020

Notable players


See List of New Zealand first-class cricket records


  1. ^ Central Districts Cricket Association – Districts Archived 5 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 5 January 2006
  2. ^ http://www.cdcricket.co.nz/newsarticle/82214
  3. ^ https://www.nzc.nz/news-items/plunket-shield-cancelled-wellington-declared-winners
  4. ^ http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/cricket/65658070/andrew-mathieson-has-a-field-day-as-central-stags-win-national-oneday-cricket-final
  5. ^ "First-Class Matches played by Central Districts". CricketArchive. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  6. ^ "List A Matches played by Central Districts". CricketArchive. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  7. ^ "Twenty20 Matches played by Central Districts". CricketArchive. Retrieved 5 January 2021.

External links