The Auckland Aces represent the Auckland region and are one of six New Zealand domestic first class cricket teams. Governed by the Auckland Cricket Association they are the most successful side having won 26 Plunket Shield titles, eight Ford Trophy championships and the HRV Twenty20 Cup twice.
The side currently play their home games at Eden Park Outer Oval
History of Auckland CricketEdit
The Auckland Cricket Association is the most successful major association in New Zealand Cricket history. The representative Auckland side has won the Plunket Shield 26 times, including a four year winning streak between 1936 and 1940. The large population base that Auckland have to pick from has contributed to the sides success and produced a large number of the national team's players. Since the introduction of List A cricket in the 1970s, Auckland have won nine One Day Competitions with the most recent in 2011.
The Auckland Cricket Association was founded in 1873. The Auckland Cricket Team represented the association when they played their first game against Canterbury the same year. They were the third major association founded in New Zealand after Canterbury and Otago, and just before Wellington.
It was not until 1906 when the team first competed in structured competition after the donation of the Plunket Shield by the current Governor-General William Plunket. Three seasons into the challenge competition, Auckland managed to defeat Canterbury to win their first title. They went onto win another three Plunket Shield titles between 1908 and 1921 when the competition was modified adopting a similar to the points system to the one used today.
The 1920s and 1930s are often known as the golden years of Auckland Cricket. The domestic side won seven Plunket Shield titles, with four of them won in consecutive years. As well as local success in the 1920s Auckland cricket produced some of the early greats of New Zealand cricket such as Jack Mills and Ces Dacre.
The region kept producing high calibre players into the 1930s like Merv Wallace, Paul Whitelaw, Bill Carson and Jack Cowie. Whitelaw and Carson also secured themselves a personal honour with a then world record partnership for the third wicket against Canterbury (this record is now held by Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene). Auckland cricket was developing fast and producing a number of world renowned players, but World War II saw the Plunket Shield abandoned and many promising cricketers shipped overseas. A number of these players died whilst serving the armed services overseas including double All Black Bill Carson.
After the WarEdit
After winning the Plunket Shield in 1947, the competition became more spread out with Otago and Wellington dominating the next decade of competition. Also in that time Central Districts and Northern Districts entered the competition.
This period is not known for the success of Auckland, but for the astonishing performances of individuals. In a 1951 game against Canterbury, Merv Wallace remarkably steered the side to victory under extreme circumstances. Wallace broke a bone whilst fielding in Canterbury's first innings and came in at number nine in the batting order. He smashed 60 as he led the tail in a remarkable fightback that saw Auckland gain first innings by one run. If not impressive enough Wallace also pulled a calf muscle when on 26 going for a hook shot.
In the second innings Auckland required six runs with six wickets in hand. Wallace did not expect to bat and was dressed in casually ready to celebrate with his teammates. Following a monumental collapse he only had time to put his whites on over the top as he came to the wicket with Auckland nine down and needing one run to win. He hit the winning run off his first ball cementing his place as an immortal in Auckland and New Zealand Cricket history.
Champions League Twenty 20 Edit
After winning the 2010-11 HRV cup, the aces qualified for the 2011 Champions league T20.Although their performance was poor, they were knocked out in the qualifying stage where they lost to Kolkata Night Riders and Somerset.They even could not chase 122 against the Kolkata Night Riders.The Aces again qualified for the 2012 champions league where they defeated the Sailkot Stallions and Hampshire to top the qualifying stage and made it through to the group stage.They defeated the Kolkata Night Riders in the first match and lost badly to the Titans and the Scorchers while the game vs Delhi Daredevils ended without a result.They finished last at the table.