The Plunket Shield first-class championship is one of New Zealand's oldest and most demanding sporting competitions, comprising hard fought four-day cricket played at first-class venues right across New Zealand. This is the red-ball arena, the place where future Test BLACKCAPS are discovered, yet entry is always completely free to the public.
The shield itself was donated by Lord William Lee Plunket, New Zealand's twelfth Governor, in 1907 and, to this day, it is considered the most beautiful sporting prize in New Zealand.
Canterbury was the first association to hold the shield, but promptly lost it to Auckland in the very first match. In those early days it was contested in challenge matches, but today teams compete across each season, with the champion being the team with the most points at the end of the final round.
The Central Stags are the defending champions heading into the 2019/20 season, and will be hunting for a rare three-peat after having won the Plunket Shield championship back to back in 2017/18 and 2018/19.
Other recent champions include the Auckland Aces who were runaway champions in 2015/16 with a round to spare; and Canterbury who won the Plunket Shield for the third time in four years in a gripping 2016/17 season that went right down to the wire.
Match Officials Appointments
2018/19 Central Stags
2017/18 Central Stags
2015/16 Auckland Aces
2012/13 Central Stags
2011/12 Northern Districts
2009/10 Northern Districts
2008/09 Auckland Aces