Cricket is a hangover from the colonial past of New Zealand, which slowly settled in the hearts of people in the country. The love for the gentleman's game was initiated around the 19th century and is still continuing to be an iconic part of New Zealand. Cricket is now considered one of the biggest sports in the country majorly due to the great success witnessed by the New Zealand cricket team in the past 4-5 years.
The BlackCaps receive great support from their loyal fans who generally travel with them across the globe, be it an ODI fixture, Test match, or the T20s. Despite a very low population, New Zealand cricket has achieved great heights in international cricket and continues to reign supreme across all formats of the game.
Here's a look at the success of both New Zealand Men's and Women's Cricket team in the recent past:
New Zealand's Men's Cricket Team leads the way
Over the years, New Zealand cricket has grown from strength to strength. In fact, the team has been officially credited with over 500 wins at the international level, as the Men's team is currently ranked second in the ICC Team Rankings in Test Cricket. Their success can be estimated from the fact that Kiwis managed to topple most top teams in the world to also secure a place in the World Test Championship Final 2021 against India.
In January 2021, the BlackCaps, for the first time in their cricket history, claimed the No.1 spot in the Test Rankings. It was a result of their dominant show during the home season that they managed to reach such a brilliant high for the first time ever.
🇳🇿 NEW ZEALAND ARE NO.1️⃣🎉
Victory over Pakistan has sent Kane Williamson's side to the 🔝 of the @MRFWorldwide ICC Test Team Rankings!
They have achieved the feat for the first time in rankings history 👏 pic.twitter.com/8lKm6HebtO
— ICC (@ICC) January 6, 2021
New Zealand's Men's Cricket Team has not only restricted its success boundaries to Test cricket, but has been better than most teams in the world. In the last two ICC Cricket World Cups, the Kiwis have reached the Finals, though have failed to cross the finishing line.
In ODIs, the Kane Williamson-led side is ranked No.1 as per the latest ICC rankings. With a rating of 121, Kiwis have a slender lead over second-ranked Australia with 118 rating points. The likes of Trent Boult, Tom Latham, Ross Taylor, and skipper Kane Williamson, have been the key features in achieving glory at the world stage.
— ICC (@ICC) May 4, 2021
Even in the T20 format, Kiwis remain at the third position with a rating of 263 in the ICC rankings. In the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021, the BlackCaps will definitely be one of the teams to beat in India. Overall, it is fair to say that the New Zealand Men's Cricket Team has grown by leaps and bounds and is a force to reckon with at the international level.
White Ferns – New Zealand's Women's Cricket Team
The popularity of Women's cricket has grown largely in the country, and this support strengthens the base and is critical to the growth of the Women's Cricket teams around the world. The New Zealand Womens' Cricket team is commonly referred to as the White Ferns and boast of a decent experience having represented in all the ten editions of the Women’s Cricket World Cup. They managed to reach the World Cup final in 1993, 1997, 2000, and 2009, while were crowned champions in 2000. The Women's team has produced some of the world-beaters in their cricket history, while the likes of Sophie Devine, Suzie Bates are currently among the best-ranked players in Women's cricket. White Ferns are ranked fourth in the ICC T20I team rankings while securing the fifth position in the ODI rankings.
Key Highlights for New Zealand Cricket Team
— ICC (@ICC) May 4, 2021
Prospects in the Upcoming WTC Final and future tours in 2021
Following the two-match Test series against England, New Zealand will lock horns against India in the all-important World Test Championship Final 2021 against India. It will be a huge occasion for the New Zealand cricket team when they take the field against India in the inaugural WTC final at Southampton. It is expected to be the primary fixture in 2021 as far as Test cricket is concerned.