Cricket is the national and seasonal sport of New Zealand, and can only be played in the summer. New Zealand is one of only twelve countries who compete in Test match cricket, which is an elite group. Local and provincial versions, games and leagues are not as widely followed as is the case with rugby; however, the international games are enjoyed by a large percentage of the population. This seems to be the same with the 11 other countries as well, who appear to enjoy watching international games over national matches.
Despite playing their first Test in 1930, New Zealand didn’t actually win any until 1956, which was a long wait. The national team then ramped up their efforts and saw great success in the 1980s. The most famous Kiwi cricket player is Richard Hadlee, who took over 400 wickets in test cricket, a record for cricket players all over the world.
Despite a strong team, and not for lack of trying, New Zealand has never actually advanced past the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup. They have, however, made it to the semi-finals six times. In the ICC world cup 2015, all of that changed and they made it to the final, losing to Australia in the end, but it was still an impressive accomplishment. The women’s team, conversely, has made it all the way to the finals four times now.
Cricket is enjoyed in more recreational settings by players and enthusiasts all over the country. There are leagues for fun, leagues for kids, and school leagues. The sport is loved all over the country, and brings people together, making it a great symbol and game for the friendly state. Often visitors, and tourists from other countries, make a point of attending a match to see what the game is all about.