Cricket World Cup

Over the last month New Zealand and Australia have been joint hosts of the latest edition of the Cricket World Cup. It started on 14 February in Christchurch and we have now begun the knockout stages. There are two remaining games in New Zealand: the quarter-final in Wellington on Saturday and the semi-final on Tuesday at Eden Park in Auckland. The final is at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday 29 March.

The Cricket World Cup began in 1975 and has run roughly every four years since then. Due to the hosting duties being shared between both hemispheres having exact four year gaps between each tournament is not possible.

In this tournament the games have generally been high-scoring, with a few low scoring nail-biters mixed in for good measure. We’ve seen some wonderful bowling throughout the tournament from Trent Boult, Daniel Vettori and Tim Southee as well as the highlight so far of Kane Williamson’s nerveless six to finish the game against Australia in front of a packed house at Eden Park.

Cricket has long been popular in New Zealand and our image collections certainly back this up. To help celebrate the World Cup and support the New Zealand team, we thought we’d show a collection of cricket related images from Auckland Libraries collections.

If the World Cup has piqued your interest in the history of cricket and you would like to do some further reading Auckland Libraries collections include a substantial run of Wisden cricketer’s almanack (known as the cricketer’s Bible), as well as couple of gems in Sir George Grey special Collections from the nineteenth century:  a publication named Cricket by Edward Lyttelton and two copies of the similarly named, Cricket by Dr W.G. Grace. Takapuna Library also has an interesting nineteenth century cricket book by A.G Steel and R.H. Lyttelton (Edward’s brother) also, of course, titled Cricket

For fans of Auckland cricket, we have two accounts of southern tours they made in 1882/83 and in 1884/85. These delightfully named publications, ‘Pavilion echoes from the south and ‘On the tented fields of the south’ include statistics, tables, prose and verse. I wonder how many accounts of this World Cup will include verse.

The New Zealand Cricket Museum’s blog is a great source for more on historic cricket in New Zealand.

Here at Heritage et AL and Auckland Libraries want to throw our support behind the New Zealand team playing in the quarter-final on Saturday; we’re hoping they'll be playing back at Eden Park next Tuesday in the semi-final.

Good luck!

Author: Andrew Henry


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