New Zealand's most beautiful trophy

Lord Plunket’s Shield

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With the Plunket Shield set to resume after the Ford Trophy finals, Jamie Bell from the New Zealand Cricket Museum (have you been for a nosey? It’s at the Basin and it's great) delved into the history of New Zealand Cricket’s oldest prize: Lord Plunket's Shield.

Lord William Lee Plunket was the 5th Baron Plunket and the 12th man to serve as Governor of New Zealand once we became a self-governing colony. Perhaps inspired by Lord Ranfurly’s donation (rugby’s Ranfurly Shield), Lord Plunket began his role as Governor of New Zealand by donating his own trophy; the Plunket Shield. Much like the Ranfurly Shield, the Plunket Shield was intended as a challenge trophy and was presented, initially, to the province with the best provincial record over the previous season.

The Shield itself was completed early in 1907 and toured around the country with the Governor before being taken to the New Zealand Cricket Council for their decision on the first holder. The Shield features a silver shield with the Plunket family crest and motto at the top and relief images of a cricketer, cabbage tree and fern. It also has engravings, described at the time as being, of “Maori figures and characteristic scrolls”.

Read the full story, including the wild controversy over who should hold the shield first, at NZ Cricket Museum’s blog.

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