Wellington Firebirds: competitions
Wellington Firebirds: First-Class Cricket CompetitionsLogo Tournament Wins Years Plunket Shield 21 1923–24, 1925–26, 1927–28, 1929–30, 1931–32, 1935–36, 1949–50, 1954–55, 1956–57, 1960–61, 1961–62, 1965–66, 1972–73, 1973–74, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1989–90, 2000–01, 2003–04, 2019–20
Wellington Firebirds: Limited Overs Cricket CompetitionsLogo Tournament Wins Years Ford Trophy 8 1973–74, 1974–75, 1981–82, 1988–89, 1990–91, 2001–02, 2013–14, 2018–19
Wellington Firebirds: Twenty20 Cricket CompetitionsLogo Tournament Wins Years Super Smash 4 2014–15, 2016–17, 2019–20, 2020–21
Wellington Firebirds: Current SquadJames Neesham All-rounder
Wellington Firebirds: professional cricket team
The Wellington Firebirds cricket team was formed in 1873 in the capital of New Zealand. The club is one of 6 national teams that together make up the New Zealand Cricket Council. The Firebirds have 21 Plunket Shield Class 1 wins (test matches), 8 Ford Trophy home one-day titles and 4 Super Smash Twenty 20 championships. Homes are played at the 11,600-seat Basin Reserve Stadium.
Wellington Firebirds – History Before Creation
Wellington is the capital of New Zealand. The city was first mentioned in history in 1839. Colonists from England became its first settlers. Cricket was one of the first sports that residents could see a year after founding the city. Then the initiators were the gentlemen from the Thorndon area and the members of the Pickwick Club. Later, over the course of 20 years, local teams began to form not only in Wellington but throughout New Zealand.
For any Wellington resident, cricket has become a vital part of his daily routine. But to fully enjoy the game, level lands were needed. Unfortunately, this was not enough in the city. However, a powerful earthquake occurred in the people in 1855, the epicenter of which was the capital of New Zealand.
Thanks to a natural disaster of 8 points at the foot of Mount Victoria, a huge crater was formed, which soon filled with water. Influential people of the city proposed to drain this territory and make it a nature reserve with a cricket field two years later in 1857. The city government accepted this proposal only after six years. Then the inmates from Mount Cook Prison began to level and drain new land in an area of 36,000 square meters!
Meanwhile, the first intercity cricket match between the Auckland and the Wellington was near Mount Cook Barracks in 1860. The game was played on a military parade ground. The Auckland won the match by a score of four wickets.
All work on the construction of the reserve (they called it Basseinov) ended in 1866. Two years later, the 1st official cricket game was played between volunteers from Wellington and the military from the Royal Navy HMS Falcon.
Wellington Firebirds – Team’s first games
The first general meeting of the Wellington Cricket Association was held in the capital in 1875. The association was formed to create a foundation for new clubs, the management of various competitions, and the development of cricket. The 1875th year is considered the official date of the creation of the Wellington Firebirds Club.
Wellington’s first international match was played in 1877 against All England XI players.
The New Zealand Cricket Council was formed in Christchurch in 1894. From that moment on, the governing body of professional cricket appeared in the country. The Wellington Club also joined this Council.
An in-house first-class championship called the Plunket Shield was formed in New Zealand at the beginning of 1906. Until the 1920s, the competition took place through a challenge system (that is, the team did not know whether they would be invited to the next season or not). But, since the 1921 season, the competition format has changed, a circular system has appeared between 4 main teams: the Auckland , the Wellington, the Otago and the Canterbury.
For the first time, the Wellington won the Plunket Shield (test matches took place over 3-4 days) in 1924. Until 1971, the club won the championship 12 times. Another tournament started in the country – the New Zealand Motor Corporation Knock-Out (now Ford Trophy) in 1971. The matches of this championship took place in one day (initially, the competition consisted of 40 overs with eight innings each). Here, the Firebirds won for the first time in 1974. In the same playing season, the club was recognized as the best in Plunket Shield.
Already in the XXI century, since 2005, the team plays simultaneously in 3 championships. Another tournament was formed called the New Zealand Twenty20 Competition (now Super Smash) at that time. The club won this competition for the first time in 2015, beating Auckland Aces in the final with a score of 186/6 – 180/9.
For 2021, the total number of Wellington Firebirds titles is:
- the Plunket Shield – 21 times. The last one in 2020;
- the Ford Trophy – 8 times. The last one in 2019;
- the Super Smash – 4 times. The last one in 2021.
Some of the team’s best players are Tom Blundell, Hamish Bennett, Jeetan Patel and Rachin Ravindra.