January 10th, 1930 is a day marked in gold in the cricketing history of New Zealand? It was the day when New Zealand played its first Test against England and even won by 8 wickets! Its first One Day International was, of course played much later in 1973 - February 11th to be precise where again New Zealand won by 22 runs against Pakistan. A good beginning, one would say!

Cricket was, however first played in this Scandinavian country in the 1840s. That was way long back. The first inter-provincial match was played between Auckland and Wellington in 1860. Then came, a sudden turnover. And that too quite literally a golden opportunity! Gold was discovered in Otago situated in south Island. This brought in many Australians to the country of New Zealand. Now, cricket was already becoming fast popular in the country down under. So the coming in of the Aussies, kind of propagated the game in New Zealand as well.

Finally, the year 1894 witnessed the formation of The New Zealand Cricket Council. Each province has its own association made up of delegates from affiliated clubs. Since then, things were never the same for New zealand cricket. Auckland, Wellington, Canterbury, Otago, Northern districts, and Central Districts have played for the Plunket Shield. A former Governor-General donated this shield, annually ever since 1906-1907. Later, the Shell Series replaced it in 1975-76.

New Zealand still has a long way to go. The world Cup has still to come its way. It has won only 44 of its 279 Tests played. Its highest score seems to be that of 671 against Sri Lanka in 1991 and the lowest was, hold your breath, an unbelievable 26 against England on March 25,1955!

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