Central Districts cricket team

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 Stags
Top: Central Stags logo
Bottom: Central Stags Twenty20 emblem
CaptainGreg Hay (Plunket Shield)
Tom Bruce (T20)
Tom Bruce (Ford Trophy)
CoachRob Walter
Team information
Colours Green and gold
Home groundMcLean Park
Pukekura Park
Fitzherbert Park
Saxton Oval
Capacity19,700 (McLean Park)
Plunket Shield wins11
Ford Trophy wins6
Super Smash wins3
CLT20 wins0
Cricket Max wins1
Official websitecdcricket.co.nz


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

Notable players


See List of New Zealand first-class cricket records