This article is based upon information provided by a number of identities in Auckland cricket who at various times belonged to the Club. Unfortunately two fires during the history of the club destroyed many records relating to its earlier history so the Club apologises in advance to anyone who feels that important events may have been overlooked in this article. Any additional information about the club that people may have would be greatly welcomed. Please contact the club's General Manager in this regard.
The Auckland University Cricket Club was established in the 1907-08 season and it was granted senior ranking by the Auckland Cricket Association on the provision hat it entered three teams in the competition. This was not possible because there were few students in those days, so a special dispensation was granted to the club to draw upon players from the Auckland Grammar School Old Boys club.
Professor Dellman was the captain and wicket keeper of the inaugural premier team. Other known players in the team included Norman Jacobsen (medium fast bowler), Bobby Fawcett (leg break bowler), Gully Graham (off break bowler), Allan Wallace and Cliff Jacobsen (all batsmen).
It took the University Cricket Club fifteen seasons to win its first Auckland Premier championship. This was achieved in the 1922-23 season. The club has since won five other Auckland Premier championships in 1924-25, 1940-41, 1960-61, 1974-75 and 1975-76.
In the1942-43 season the club amalgamated with the Middlemore Club. However, little is known about the reasons behind this amalgamation.
Before the amalgamation with the St Heliers Cricket Club in the 1978-79 season, and before the splendour of the Merton Road facilities, the University Club was located in the chaos of the pokey dressing room under the old Members stand at Eden Park. Within the space of less than four square metres were squeezed the gear of five teams, the long inoperative zip water heater, the only tap and sink for 100 yards and most importantly, the dart board which was inevitably used to determine the batting order of the day.
Things did get better and mid way through the sixties, a carpet square was introduced to the dressing room, which not only absorbed the overflow of beer, but also sufficiently muffled the late night revelry so that the Eden Park Trust Board deferred their inevitable decision to evict the unruly students!
During the late sixties and early seventies, the club enjoyed one of its best periods. The club had player depth and there was considerable competition for places in the premier team. Back to back Auckland premier championships were won in 1974-75 and 1975-76. The senior second team won championships in 1970-71 and 1977-78 and the senior thirds won championships in 1966-67, 1976-77 and 1977-78. University also won its only Auckland Club Championship to date in 1975-76.
In 1977 the premier team played a remarkable game against the Burnside West University club of Christchurch in the inaugural final of the Gillette Cup National Knockout final. The premier team went on to win that final by 4 wickets, and arguably the premier team of that era was, if not the best then the most successful, the Club has produced.
The Merton Road ground was begun in the 1975-76 season and the Club moved to its current “home” in the 1977-78 season. The following season (1978-79) the University of Auckland Cricket Club amalgamated with and absorbed the St Heliers Cricket Club, which had a very strong junior section. The Club duly changed its name to the University-St Heliers Cricket Club.
It was at this time that the Club became a principal mover in the innovation of individual clubs employing professional coaches from overseas. The tradition of English professional coaches in Auckland was well established, but generally these coaches were employed by the Auckland Cricket Association and allocated to clubs with their principal activities being coaching for the Association. The first vacancy was offered to Clive Radley who unfortunately for the Club, but fortunately for himself, was selected for the M.C.C. to tour Australia and so was unable to take up his position with the Club. The replacement was Mike Selvey, a Middlesex and former England medium pace bowler. The Club continued to employ a professional player up until the mid-eighties.
In the 2002-03 season the premier team won the Auckland Senior First championship to gain promotion back into the premier grade.
The Club celebrated its centennial in the 2008-09 season with a weekend of games and social events to mark this wonderful occasion.
Today the Club boasts a total of 19 senior teams and 61 junior teams and in terms of playing numbers the club is at an all time high. Its facilities at Colin Maiden Park in Merton Road are without doubt the best in Auckland and this undoubtedly is a big attraction too many players. Our Club will be the home to the Auckland Aces from the 2009/10 season until the end of the Rugby World Cup and the grounds and facilities have been upgraded accordingly. This will present the Club with further opportunities for continual growth in player numbers and strength.