It competes in the Plunket Shield first class competition, the Ford Trophy domestic one day competition and the HRV Cup Twenty20 competition. It is one of six teams that make up New Zealand Cricket. It was the fifth of the current teams to compete in the Plunket Shield, which it entered for the first time in the 1950-51 season.
It comprises eight individual district cricket associations, in Hawke's Bay, Horowhenua-Kapiti, Manawatu, Marlborough, Nelson, Taranaki, Wairarapa and Wanganui. Thus, the region known for cricketing purposes as the Central Districts consists of three regions on the North Island, part of the Wellington Region, and two regions on the South Island.
As well as the high performance programme for the Stags, Central Districts is also responsible for the representative women’s team the Central Hinds.
The Central Districts Cricket Association was formed in 1950 with the first men's representative side competing in the national Plunket Shield competition that year. Central Districts Cricket evolved throughout the years and is now into a significant sporting entity within New Zealand. The Stags have since enjoyed success at all levels of the game in New Zealand and won many and produced many national representatives going on to play for international cricket for New Zealand.