Outstanding Players and Administrators
It is perhaps significant that many of those who have given cricket in New Zealand outstanding service as administrators have also been, in their younger days, players of much stature. One of the earliest was F. Wilding, a well known Christchurch personality and a great all-rounder in his playing days. A life member of the council, he was president for 1896–97, 1911–12, and 1918–19.
One of New Zealand's finest all-rounders, D. Reese the first man to score a century for New Zealand in a major match, also played a distinguished part in the administration of the game. He, too, was a life member of the council, after being its president from 1929 to 1931, and in 1935–36. He had also served on the management committee. Sir Arthur Donnelly, a prominent Christchurch barrister and a Crown Prosecutor, did not distinguish himself as a player, but New Zealand cricket owed him much. He was chairman of the management committee in 1936–37, president in 1947–48, and a life member; but his influence for the betterment of cricket in New Zealand was exerted far beyond the Dominion. In England and Australia his diplomacy was invaluable.
Another noted figure in New Zealand cricket is Sir Arthur Sims. He, too, is a life member of the council. He was president from 1936 to 1938, and he has been one of New Zealand's representatives on the Imperial Cricket Conference in England since 1937–38; this duty he has shared for a quarter of a century or more with A. H. H. Gilligan, a member of the famous English cricketing family. Sir Arthur Sims was a fine Canterbury player and New Zealand captain, but his greatest feat was against Canterbury. This was in 1913–14, when he brought an Australian team to New Zealand. At Lancaster Park he scored 184 not out and, with Victor Trumper, one of the greatest batsmen of all time, he shared an eighth-wicket partnership of 433.
Between the wars one of New Zealand's most accomplished batsmen was J. L. Kerr, and since his retirement he has given the game yeoman service, too. He came on to the management committee of the council in 1937 and stayed there until 1947–48. From 1948–49 until the present time he has been the treasurer. Since the major change in the constitution in 1956 he has done even more. He is the first and present chairman of the board and chairman of the executive committee.
Others with outstanding service include F. C. Raphael (secretary from 1901–02 until 1913–14); T. D. Harman (treasurer from 1894–95 to 1904–05); W. H. Winsor (treasurer, 1916–17 to 1927–28, secretary from 1928–29 to 1935–36, in all, an officer for 25 years); E. E. Luttrell (secretary from 1935–36 to 1958–59): D. E. Wanklyn (treasurer, 1928–29 to 1936–37, chairman of the management committee from 1937–38 to 1948–49; a management committee member in 1949–50; and a life member); D. A. Colville (management committee, 1945–46 to 1948–49, chairman of the committee, 1949–50 to 1955–56 and, since then, a member of the executive committee); H. M. Taylor (management committee, to 1948–49); E. R. Caygill (treasurer, 1937–38 to 1947–48); and W. A. Hadlee (management committee since 1949–50). Of these, Hadlee was the best known as a player. He led New Zealand teams for several seasons and won the highest regard for his captaincy.
A former president of the council who was one of New Zealand's most colourful players was T. C. Lowry, of Hawke's Bay. He played good, aggressive cricket for Wellington and New Zealand and for Cambridge University and Somerset. But New Zealand, notwithstanding its modest record in international cricket, has produced some very fine players. C. C. Dacre, who set a world record by playing first-class cricket for Auckland when he was but 14 years and five months old, was an outstanding hitter. He played many spectacular innings in New Zealand, and also for Gloucestershire during his seven years in England.
C. S. Dempster was another noted New Zealander who had a briefer but no less successful county career, as captain of Leicestershire. For New Zealand he played many fine innings and his test batting average of 65 is the best by a New Zealand player. Dempster was regarded by competent overseas judges as one of the best batsmen in the world in the 1930s.
In more recent times New Zealand has been fortunate in having two especially gifted left-hand batsmen, B. Sutcliffe and M. P. Donnelly. Sutcliffe holds nearly every New Zealand batting record and his 385 for Otago in a Plunket Shield match in 1952–53 is a world record for a left hander, and the sixth highest score in first-class cricket.
Donnelly, who went to England with the 1937 team as a colt, was lost to New Zealand with the outbreak of war, for he stayed in England in 1945 to study. But he played for New Zealand during the 1949 tour and produced many outstanding displays. Donnelly has the distinction of centuries at Lords in a test (206 in 1949), in the universities match, and in a gentlemen-players match. This feat had been accomplished by only one other player, the famous England captain A. P. F. Chapman.
A bowler of particular achievements was J. Cowie, who played for New Zealand just before and after the Second World War. He was fast-medium and was rated as probably the world's best of his type.
Reid, after his South African tour, was widely regarded as perhaps the finest all-rounder in the world. His vigorous batting has set many records, one of the most recent being the hitting of 15 sixes in an innings of 296 for Wellington against Northern Districts in 1962–63. He has led New Zealand in all three of its test victories.