CJCA and the South Island Tournament

While cricket started many years ago in Europe junior cricket had its beginnings at Hagley Oval during the 1950’s. It was very thorough - beginning with net practice followed by games between 30 teams in 3 grades. Finally, umpires provided further instruction.

The first meeting of the Canterbury Cricket Association’s Junior Cricket Committee was held in the St Albans Club Pavilion on Monday December 1st, 1958 and was chaired by Jack McGuinness.

Several umpires including Eric Milne set up an exchange with the Kaikorai Club in Dunedin who came to McFarlane Park and beat East Christchurch on October 10th , 1959.  The East team enjoyed wins in 1960, 1962, 1964 and 1966.

From this modest start Canterbury’s representative programme blossomed with games against North Canterbury, Ashburton and South Canterbury.

In early 1960 the JCC was chaired by Jack Kerr followed by Walter Hadlee. Schools were linked with clubs based at Hagley Park, the home of Canterbury cricket.

In 1961 a constitution was drawn up and approved by CCA.  The first meeting of the CCA’s Junior Advisory Board received a grant of 250 pounds.  Bernard Withers chaired the meeting and was appointed President.  Walter Hadlee, the President of the CCA, stated that clubs with senior status would be required sponsor schoolboy teams in the Saturday competition.  Burnside was the first suburban club to sponsor a team.

A South Island tournament, with two sides from Canterbury, was held in Invercargill in January 1963.  Rodney Walker and Barrie Clark captained the Canterbury teams.  Eight teams participated.  Marlborough won the tournament beating Canterbury A in the final.  A game between a South Island team and The Rest was held on the last day.   

The founder of the tournament was Neville Hoskin who had two sons who played for Southland and Otago.

The CJCA emblem portrays Sir Richard Hadlee at the South Island tournament in Ashburton in 1965 where Canterbury narrowly lost to Ashburton.  Hadlee took 17 wickets with figures of 5/5 (Ashburton), 5/14 (Central Otago) and 5/27 (Southland).  He went on to play 86 tests, scoring over 3,100 runs and taking 431 wickets, a record at that time.

The first century was scored by Rodney Walker, 102 no (including 14 4’s) in 1963.  Larry Porter took the first hat-trick when he demolished North Otago taking 7/16 in 1968. 

In Oamaru in1972, Justin Boyle claimed all 10 Asburton wickets without hitting the stumps (6 catches and  4 stumpings by 2 keepers).  This was the first overall tournament success for Canterbury.

Chris Cairns was selected to play in 5 successive tournaments and was captain of the South Island Selection in 1984.  Having achieved an astounding batting average of 323 in the previous year, Marcel McKenzie took 18 wickets at 5.3 in Dunedin in 1992.  Ryan Nelson, who went on to captain New Zealand at the 2010 football World Cup in South Africa had a top score of 183 n.o., and in the three months from October 1990 he scored 1000 runs.

Other amazing feats (not all from the South Island tournament) include:

•    An innings of 53 runs in 10 minutes with 7 sixes.

•    7 ducks in a team total of 11.

•    A keeper who caught half his dismissals using his knees!

•    An uncle giving his nephew out lbw for 95.

•    Bryce Nicholson’s match-winning innings of 109 n.o. against Otago in 1974.

•    The team which bowled, fielded and batted wearing their blazers!!

•    Jonathan Gurnsey’s 31 wickets @6.3 for Canterbury in 1979.

•    A part-time bowler from Medbury taking a hat-trick against his own team after being lent to the opposition who were short.

•    Another hat-trick that wasn’t when the ball went through the stumps without dislodging the bails.

Since 1963 over 50 players have appeared for Canterbury in first-class games and just over 30 have gone on to represent New Zealand.

In 1980 the Junior Cricket Committee became the Canterbury Junior Cricket Association.  Significant advances have been made in the last 20 years with a move toward synthetic pitches, secure funding and highly competitive spring and summer tournaments for girls and boys teams.

The CJCA has evolved in many ways over the last 20 years, and the number of players has recently grown considerably however the principle goal remains to encourage as many as possible junior players of all abilities to try the game, and hopefully continue through to high school.

None of this happens without the ongoing support of a large number parents and other devotees who turn out every weekend to manage, coach, score, umpire, and encourage the players. In that at least, the game remains unchanged.

Other highlights from the past are outlined below.


  • 280 teams with 82 in Kiwi (a record). Des Crosbie joined the CJCA selection Panel.


  • Strong advances in coaching occurring and this had an evident impact in the strength of Christchurch's sides to the South Island Tournament.
  • Team entries peaked at a total of 286 teams


  • Local coaching sponsorship has been given a welcome boost by Mike Dormer who set up a special fund following a club survey. (Refer Clause 18, Section E of CJCA Charter with respect to this fund.)
  • School girls swept on to the pitches, mostly in mixed teams. The Coman sisters became a force, but Jennifer Turner (now Mrs Logan) became a Canterbury and New Zealand bowler while Karen leComber, as a batter also later represented Canty and New Zealand - all of these coming from the Burnside West ChCh club - it's junior section often numbering over 500 youngsters.
  • Over the last 20 Zone series, several records began to emerge. Ryan Nelson has scored the highest innings - 183 not out (EvS), he and Craig McMillan added 175 for the second wicket (EvN) and after 16 innings in Zones, Ryan had amassed the greatest aggregate of 840 runs @ 52.5 rpw. Bowlers to take bags of 7 wickets included Sam Inns, Justin Haley and Brent Harris the latter having the distinction of securing 14 wickets @ 6.2 rpw in a single series. After one series, Marcel McKenzie had the best batting average of 364.


  • The Zone series was introduced in conjunction with the Supporters' Club and the Carnival week Festival. Played on a limited over basis, it proved an excellent introduction to representative cricket, providing all players with a share of participation.


  • The CJCA was formed, the Advisory tage dropped in favour of Junior Cricket.


  • Peter Phillpott's coaching days proved popular as the late Freddie Truman at the CCA's Centenary dinner. Finance from the Cricket Supporter's Club assisted in the coaching and trials days.


  • John Capstick of Anderson & Hill sport Store headed the coaching and selection panel for the next ten seasons. His achievements were record-breaking. Mini tournaments had been held at Burnside and Ilam during November involving West Coast, Mid, North and South Canterbury. In return, local teams of varying and and talent toured. Up to 34 matched or outings were accomplished.


  • Clubs were allocated nearby schools to draw from and instruct the youngsters at net and open practice. 32 teams began play on 21 October 1961. Several managers took players out into the middle, giving them umpiring assistance
  • A season later, Club Delegates received a request from Invercargill to send two selected teams from Christchurch for the first South Island Schoolboys Cricket Tournament, for late January, 1963. Click here for details of that first Tournament.
  • The first meeting of the constituted Junior Advisory Board of the CCA was on October 9, 1961. A grant from the Internal Affairs Department of 250 pounds was received.
  • Thanks to the Canterbury Cricket Association Junior Cricket Committee and help from the Umpires Association, Schoolboy cricket soon blossomed in the late 1950' and early 1960'
  • 47 teams entered in competitions. Increased hours of Saturday morning play from 0930 to 1200 noon and holiday time "pick-up" matches. In lieu of cancelled South Island Tournament, Christchurch "A" & "D" sides played in Ashburton and Christchurch "B" & "C" sides played in Rangiora.