Canterburyin 1873at Christchurch
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 28 Plunket Shield titles, Ten Ford Trophy championships and the HRV Twenty20 Cup/McDonald's Super Smash four times.
- Early years
- Golden years
- After the War
- Champions League Twenty 20
- Current squad
The limited overs side, known as Auckland Aces, have a predominantly light blue kit with a navy and white trim. Their One Day Championship shirt sponsors are Ford whilst their major T20 sponsor is Mondiale.
The side currently play their home games at Eden Park Outer Oval
In 2014, they took part in the McDonald's Super Smash competition and won it in 2015-16 season. It was their 4th domestic Twenty 20 title overall thus they become the most successful team in New Zealand.
1907-08*, 1908-09*, 1909–10*, 1911–12*, 1919–20*, 1921–22, 1926–27, 1928–29, 1933–34, 1936–37, 1937–38, 1938–39, 1939–40, 1946–47, 1958–59, 1963–64, 1968–69, 1977–78, 1980–81, 1988–89, 1990–91, 1994–95, 1995–96, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2008–09, 2015-16.
1972-73, 1978–79, 1980–81, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1986–87, 1989–90, 2006–07, 2010–11, 2012-13.
2006-07, 2010–11, 2011-12, 2015-16* Wins in the Plunket Shield in these years were during its "challenge match" period.
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 side's 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 that the team first competed in structured competition after the donation of the Plunket Shield by the then Governor-General, William Plunket. In the second season of the challenge competition, Auckland defeated Canterbury to win their first title. They went on to win another three Plunket Shield titles between 1908 and 1921, when the competition was changed to a round-robin format.
The 1920s and 1930s are often known as the golden years of Auckland cricket. The side won seven Plunket Shield titles, four of them in consecutive years. As well as local success in the 1920s Auckland produced some of the early greats of New Zealand cricket such as Jack Mills and Ces Dacre.
The region kept producing high-calibre players in 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 suspended 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 War
After Auckland won the Plunket Shield in 1947, the competition became more even, with Otago and Wellington dominating the next decade of competition. Also in the 1950sCentral 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 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
After winning the 2010-11 HRV Cup, the Aces qualified for the 2011 Champions League Twenty20. They were knocked out in the qualifying stage where they lost to Kolkata Knight Riders and Somerset. The Aces again qualified for the 2012 Champions League Twenty20 where they defeated the Sialkot Stallions and Hampshire to top the qualifying stage and made it through to the group stage. They defeated the Kolkata Knight Riders in the first match and lost to the Titans and the Perth Scorchers while the game vs Delhi Daredevils ended without a result. They finished last in the table.
At the beginning of each season Auckland Cricket announces 15 contracted players, this does not include players who hold a New Zealand Cricket contract. They are allowed one overseas professional for the Plunket Shield and Ford Trophy. New Zealand domestic sides are allowed to sign as many overseas players as required for the Georgie Pie Super Smash, but only two imports are allowed in the side at any one time.
See List of New Zealand first-class cricket records