Cricket Museums are a pretty rare thing around the world. Outside of England and Australia, just a handful are scattered around the globe. And then there’s us, tucked away underneath the, aptly named, Museum Stand at the Basin Reserve – Wellington’s iconic ground that we’ve called home since 1987. In that time, thousands of cricket fans, book lovers, researchers, historians, sports’ followers and people who desperately needed a toilet have filed through our doors.
The brainchild of international umpire, Stan Cowman, the New Zealand Cricket Museum grew out of a small display put out during a rain break in the February 1986 New Zealand/Australia Test. Stan’s small display was well-received by fans but it really took the attention of John Oakley, who determined that a national cricket museum should be established in the Basin’s former tea rooms which had been vacated with the opening of the RA Vance stand earlier in the decade. With the support of Sir Ron Brierley, Darryn Hannah, Don Neely and countless other cricket enthusiasts, the National Cricket Museum was officially opened by Governor-General Sir Paul Reeves on November 29 1987.
Since then our collection has continued to grow and our exhibits have been ever-changing. From holding the world’s third oldest cricket bat and Clarrie Grimmet’s Australian blazer, to Dennis Lillee’s aluminium bat and a kirikiti bat, the collection tells stories that appeal to cricket fans from all over the world. But it’s our New Zealand collection which is, naturally, our strength and it allows us to tell the kind of stories we feature every day on our blog, Twitter, Facebook and in the gallery.
From Cricket World Cups to trans-Tasman match-ups, the return of ODIs to the return of the WHITE FERNS, we’re a constant at the Basin Reserve and a part of every summer. Features on players, moments and stats will continue online, while our gallery will feature a stack of new exhibits for anyone who loves a good story – cricket fan or not.