The Howick Pakuranga Cricket Club (HPCC) has a strong history – 150 years of it in fact.
One man who knows that history better than anyone else – and possibly better than he knows the back of his own hand – is local historian Jim Allnatt.
Mr Allnatt has a string of cricket history books under his belt but his latest, The Mighty Maroons, delves into the complete history of the club, right back to its founding days.
The club history can be traced back as far as November 1866 and on April 21 1867, the newly-formed Howick Cricket Club took to the field against the Onehunga Cricket Club on the Village Square – now known as Howick Domain.
The match drew most of the community as spectators and was widely celebrated and followed by a dinner at Howick Arms where many toasts were drunk and speeches made.
For the next 20 years, the Howick club drew from the wider district and became known as the Pakuranga Cricket club although the Howick club remained in the background.
The clubs remained separated, occasionally coming together to play as the area did not have enough players to sustain two full teams. Over the years, membership grew and the club came together once again.
In 1965, the club joined the Auckland Cricket Association, entering the Senior B Grade. It changed its name to Howick Pakuranga in 1968 because the committee believed it should take responsibility for all cricket in the area.
Since then, the HPCC has grown to be one of the strongest cricket clubs in New Zealand and consistently produces sought-after cricketers.
Kyle Mills, Colin Munro, Colin de Grandhomme and Mitchell McClenaghan are among the well-known Black Caps who have played for the club, while HPCC member Glenn Phillips recently played his first test for the Black Caps.
People who want to buy a copy of Jim Allnatt’s book, The Mighty Maroons – 150 years of Howick Pakuranga cricket can send an email to email@example.com. It will be available from mid May and will cost $65.