The New Zealand cricket team, nicknamed the Black Caps, are the national cricket team representing New Zealand. They played their first Test match in 1930 against England in Christchurch, New Zealand, becoming the fifth country to play Test cricket. It took the team until 1955–56 to win a Test, against the West Indies at Eden Park in Auckland. They played their first ODI in the 1972–73 season against Pakistan in Christchurch.
The New Zealand cricket team became known as the Black Caps in January 1998, after its sponsor at the time, Clear Communications, held a competition to choose a name for the team. Official New Zealand Cricket sources typeset the nickname as BLACKCAPS.
As of February 2012, New Zealand have played 368 Test matches, winning 71, losing 148 and drawing 149.
The reverend Henry Williams provided history with the first report of a game of cricket in New Zealand when he wrote in his diary in December 1832 about boys in and around Paihia on Horotutu Beach playing cricket. In 1835, Charles Darwin and the HMS Beagle called in to the Bay of Islands on its epic circumnavigation of the Earth and Darwin witnessed a game of cricket played by freed Māori slaves and the son of a missionary at Waimate North. Darwin in The Voyage of the Beagle wrote.
The first recorded game of cricket in New Zealand took place in Wellington in December 1842. The Wellington Spectator reports a game on 28 December 1842 played by a "Red" team and a "Blue" team from the Wellington Club. The first fully recorded match was reported by the Examiner in Nelson between the Surveyors and Nelson in March 1844.
The first team to tour New Zealand was Parr's all England XI in 1863–64. Between 1864 and 1914, 22 foreign teams toured NZ. England sent 6 teams, Australia 15 and Fiji 1.
On 15–17 February 1894 the first team representing New Zealand played New South Wales at Lancaster Park in Christchurch. NSW won by 160 runs. New South Wales returned again in 1895–96 and NZ won the solitary game by 142 runs, its first victory. The New Zealand Cricket Council was formed towards the end of 1894.
New Zealand played its first two internationals (not Tests) in 1904–05 against a star-studded Australia team containing such players as Victor Trumper, Warwick Armstrong and Clem Hill. Rain saved NZ from a thrashing in the first match but not the second which NZ lost by an innings and 358 runs – currently the second largest defeat in NZ first-class cricket.
Players in bold have a central contract for 2019–20. Players underlined were 2019 Cricket World Cup squad members.