Greatest New Zealand Cricketers have a huge fan following across the world. In men’s international cricket, the New Zealand cricket team represents the country. The team known as The Black Caps played their first Test against England at Christchurch in 1930. It became the fifth country to play test cricket. New Zealand had to wait more than 26 years, from 1930, for its first Test victory, against the West Indies at Eden Park in Auckland. In the 1972–73 season, they played their debut ODI against Pakistan in Christchurch. Kane Williamson is the current captain in all formats of the game. Further, the national team is organized by New Zealand Cricket. As of 2 March 2022, New Zealand has played 1390 international matches, winning 541, losing 622, tying 15, and drawing 168, with 44 matches ending in a draw.
The ICC ranks the team third in Tests, first in ODIs, and fourth in T20Is. The team has played in six finals, including two CWC Finals and one T20 World Cup Final. They won their first ICC title in October 2000 when they defeated India in the KnockOut Trophy. In 2015, they defeated South Africa to reach their first CWC Final. They moved to their second consecutive Final by beating India in the next season. Then, in June 2021, they defeated India to win the first WTC, and five months later, they defeated England to reach their first T20 World Cup Final. Let us take a look at the top 10 greatest New Zealand cricketers of all time.
1. Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson is the current captain of the New Zealand team in all formats of games. He is a right-handed batsman and also bowls off-spin occasionally. In December 2007, Williamson started playing first-class cricket. The same year, he made his U-19 debut against the visiting Indian U-19 team. Further, he joined as captain of the New Zealand U-19 side for the 2008 U-19 Cricket World Cup. In 2010, he made his international debut. Williamson has played for New Zealand in the Cricket World Cups of 2011, 2015, and 2019. He has also played in the ICC World Twenty20s of 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2021. In the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 in India, he made his full-time captaincy debut for New Zealand. He captained New Zealand in the 2019 Cricket World Cup. He took the team to the final and won the Player of the Tournament.
On December 31, 2020, he achieved a Test batting rating of 890 and became the world’s top-ranked Test batsman. He was nominated for two Sir Garfield Sobers Awards: ICC Male Cricketer of the Decade and Test Cricketer of the Decade. Williamson has been considered among the best four or five Test cricket batsmen. Williamson was the only New Zealand cricketer to be named to the ICC Test Team of the Decade (2011–2020). He led New Zealand to the inaugural ICC World Test Championship in June 2021. He led New Zealand to the ICC T20 World Cup final in November 2021. Williamson joined Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL in February 2015. He won the league title with the team in 2016. Further, he also played for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. In 2018, he took over as captain, succeeding David Warner. Sunrisers Hyderabad finished as runners-up under Williamson’s captaincy.
2. Ross Taylor (One Of The Greatest New Zealand Cricketers)
Ross Taylor was born on March 8, 1984. He is a former New Zealand team captain. Taylor was the highest run-scorer for New Zealand in Test and One Day International cricket when he announced his retirement from international cricket at the end of 2021. He was batting primarily at number four. Taylor played his 100th Test match for New Zealand in February 2020. He became the first player to participate in all three forms of cricket. In December 2020, Taylor became New Zealand’s most-capped player in cricket. He announced his retirement from cricket in December 2021. Taylor played his 450th and last match for New Zealand on April 4, 2022. His last match was an ODI against the Netherlands.
3. Daniel Vettori
Daniel Vettori was born on 27 January 1979. He is a New Zealand cricket coach and former cricketer who played for his country in all formats of games. He is New Zealand’s 200th Test cap holder. Between 2007 and 2011, he captained New Zealand. Vettori is also the eighth player in Test history to have 300 wickets and 3,000 runs. He is the youngest male cricketer to play for New Zealand in Test cricket. Vettori made his debut at the age of 18 in 1996–97. He was New Zealand’s most-capped test cricketer with 112 caps, as well as the most capped One-Day cricketer with 284 caps. Vettori was a left-arm orthodox spinner. Vettori bowled slow left-arm spin. He is famous for his accuracy, flight rather than his turn, and variation in speed. After the 2015 Cricket World Cup, Vettori declared his retirement from all forms of cricket.
4. Brendon Mccullum
Brendon McCullum was born on September 27, 1981. McCullum is a New Zealand cricket coach, commentator, and former cricketer. He played in all formats of games and served as a captain in all formats. Further, he was known for his rapid scoring, including the fastest test century ever. He is one of New Zealand cricket’s most successful batsmen and captains. He announced his retirement from all formats of cricket in August 2019. McCullum is now the England Cricket test team’s head coach. McCullum is the former top run-scorer in Twenty20 cricket. He has scored two T20I hundreds and 2000 runs in T20Is. On 18 February 2014, he became the first New Zealand cricketer to reach a triple century in a Test, with 302 runs against India.
He was also the first New Zealand cricketer to score 1000 test runs in a calendar year in 2014. Thereafter, Kane Williamson broke the record in 2015 with 1172 runs. On February 20, 2016, McCullum scored the fastest ever Test century in 54 balls. He broke the 56-ball mark held by his hero, Vivian Richards, who scored 145 off 79 balls. McCullum was the first T20I batsman to score two centuries. He previously held the record for the highest individual score in a Twenty20, as well as the third-best individual score in all Twenty20 cricket. McCullum was a player of the Kolkata Knight Riders from 2008 to 2010, and again from 2012 to 2013. He also played for the Kochi Tuskers Kerala team in IPL. He was a player for the Chennai Super Kings between 2014 and 2015. Until 2013, McCullum played as a wicketkeeper.
5. Sir Richard Hadlee (One Of The Greatest New Zealand Cricketers)
Sir Richard John Hadlee was born on 3 July 1951. He is a former New Zealand cricketer. Hadlee is one of cricket’s greatest all-rounders in cricket history, as well as one of the game’s best fast bowlers. Hadlee received an MBE in the 1980 Queen’s Birthday Honours List and a knighthood in the 1990 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his contributions to cricket. He was previously the chairman of the New Zealand board of selectors. Wisden named him the second greatest Test bowler of all time in December 2002. Hadlee was named one of the Twelve Local Heroes in March 2009. A bronze bust of him was unveiled outside the Christchurch Arts Centre. Hadlee was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame on 3rd April 2009. He is the most well-known member of the Hadlee cricket-playing family.
6. Martin Crowe
Martin Crowe was a New Zealand cricketer, Test, and One Day International captain. He was a player on the New Zealand cricket team from 1982 to 1995. He is one of the country’s all-time best batsmen. Crowe made his Auckland first-class debut at the age of 17. Further, he made his New Zealand Test debut at the age of 19. In 1985, he was voted Wisden Cricketer of the Year and hailed as one of the “greatest young batsmen in the world.” Crowe was named captain of New Zealand in 1990 and led the team until 1993.
He scored 299 runs in a Test against Sri Lanka in 1991. He set the record for the highest score by a New Zealand cricketer. In the same match, he and Andrew Jones set a new record for the highest partnership in Test cricket, putting on 467 runs. Crowe was voted World Cup Player of the Tournament in 1992. He led his team to the semi-final. When he retired from international cricket in 1995, he held the record for most Test and ODI runs for New Zealand.
7. Stephen Fleming
Stephen Fleming was born on 1 April 1973. He is a former captain of the New Zealand cricket team. Further, he is the current head coach of the IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings. He is one of the best batsmen in New Zealand cricket history. With 111 Test appearances, he is New Zealand’s second-most capped player. Fleming is also the country’s longest-serving and most successful captain. He led the team to 28 victories including Test series victories against India, England, the West Indies, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Zimbabwe.
Fleming is the winning captain of the 2000 ICC KnockOut Trophy. It is New Zealand’s only ICC trophy in the ODI format. Fleming captained New Zealand in the world’s first Twenty20, which was played in 2005 against Australia. On 26th March 2008, he announced his retirement from international cricket. Fleming played for the Chennai Super Kings in the 2008 Indian Premier League after signing for $350,000 and became the team’s coach in 2009. He resumed his duties as head coach of the Chennai Super Kings in the 2018 Indian Premier League season. During this time, he was the coach of the Rising Pune Supergiant in IPL.
8. MJ Guptill (One Of The Greatest New Zealand Cricketers)
Martin James Guptill was born on 30 September 1986. He is a New Zealand cricketer who plays as an opening batsman in limited-overs formats of the match. Guptill is the first New Zealand cricketer and the fifth overall to score a double century in an ODI match. He now holds the record for the highest individual score in Cricket World Cup matches. Further, he holds the second-highest score in One Day Internationals with 237 not out. Guptill played his 100th T20I match in March 2021. Guptill has scored more than 600 T20I runs in the Eden Park cricket ground. Further, he is the first and only player in history to score 500 and 600 plus T20 runs at the same venue.
9. Tim Southee
Tim Southee was born on December 11, 1988. He is a New Zealand cricketer who plays in all formats of matches. He is a right-arm fast-medium bowler who also bats in the bottom order. Southee was one of the country’s youngest cricketers, making his debut at the age of 19 in February 2008. He was the third New Zealand bowler to capture 300 Test wickets. On his Test debut against England, he took five wickets and scored 77 runs off 40 balls in the second innings. He was selected as New Zealand’s captain for the first T20I against the West Indies, replacing Kane Williamson, who was rested.
Southee is recognized for his ability to induce late outswing at a rapid tempo, and subsequently with off-cutting slower balls on a moist wicket, much like a faster off-spinner. At the 2011 ICC World Cup, he was the third-highest wicket-taker. At the 2015 ICC World Cup, he took 7 wickets in a round-robin league match against England. The performance was named Wisden’s ODI spell of the decade.
10. Shane Bond (One Of The Greatest New Zealand Cricketers)
Shane Edward Bond was born on 7 June 1975. He is a former cricketer and New Zealand cricket coach. Further, he is also the bowling coach of the Mumbai Indians. Bond has been regarded as “New Zealand’s best fast bowler since Sir Richard Hadlee. He played for New Zealand in Test, ODI, and Twenty20 International cricket. He also played for Canterbury in New Zealand and Warwickshire in England. His fastest recorded delivery, as a right-arm fast bowler, was 156.4 km/h against India in the 2003 World Cup.
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