In New Zealand, records of the game have included references to men and women playing cricket from about the same point in history. Where men’s sides organised themselves into club and representative teams almost immediately, it simply took longer for women’s interest to drive such formalities.
In 1910, with women’s sides springing up throughout the main centres, the country’s first women’s interprovincial match was played between Wellington and Canterbury in Christchurch. While details of the match are a little vague, it was succesful enough to warrant a return match being played in 1911.
Informal matches continued to be played until, in 1933 the Mary Machin Shield was introduced for South Island provincial contests and the Amalgamated Theatres Shield for North Island sides. In 1936, the Hallyburton-Johnston Shield became the symbol of supremacy for interprovincial women’s cricket.
The introduction of the Hallyburton-Johnston Shield came in reaction to the establishment of the New Zealand Women’s Cricket Council and the first Tests played by a national side against England in 1935. While it would take 13 years for the WHITE FERNS to take the field again, the tone was set for the development of this side which would go on to be the first New Zealand team to win a Test over Australia, the first to hit 400 in an ODI, and, famously in 2000, win a World Cup.