In tracing the control of the sport it may be best to start at the beginning of a player's career. When he is a small boy at primary school there is almost certain to be a cricket team for him to join. The control of primary-school cricket is in the hands of the teachers, who have their own organisation controlling all school sport. At secondary schools in most parts of the country there is a separate association for boys' cricket, again conducted by teachers, and again with assistance from other sources. In most instances boys' associations have representation on the provincial associations, as do the many minor and sub-associations throughout the country. The senior secondary-school teams may also have their own competitions or take part in the open grades conducted by the provincial association or minor or subassociation. Cricket clubs affiliated to the associations have representation on them, sending delegates from their own annual meetings to the annual meeting of the association. The association in turn nominates its representative for the annual meetings of the New Zealand Cricket Council. Thus there is a firm link all the way from the Board of Control to the primary-school player, and the experience of recent years indicates that the system is a good one.
The basis of New Zealand cricket is in interclub competitions played in grades of varying skill. In most centres the matches in the senior grades are of two days, with play lasting about four and a half hours a day. There are some centres where the matches begin in the morning, giving a six-hour day.
The Plunket Shield matches and the usually brief visits of overseas teams give New Zealand a limited first-class programme each summer. There are also the Hawke Cup matches; this competition is on a challenge basis, but there are elimination matches each season to determine the right to challenge. These are usually three-day games. Many other matches are arranged among minor associations, and major associations often send their second elevens on short tours among minor associations. Interschool cricket on the first-eleven level takes young players into other districts. In addition New Zealand, in common with all the cricketing countries, indulges in much non-competitive cricket – friendly matches arranged by schools or clubs, and games between business firms. But by and large, New Zealand has remained a weekend cricketing country, with only the Plunket Shield programme at Christmas and in January giving a period of intensive first-class competition.
At the annual meeting of the council there is now an election for the Board of Control, which consists of representatives of the six major associations, a representative of the North Island minor associations, a representative of the South Island minor associations, the treasurer, the three other members of the executive, and a working committee of men resident in Christchurch. The board meets four times a year, the executive much more frequently.
The present constitution is truly representative of the cricketers of New Zealand.