The Onslow Cricket Club commenced existence in time for the 1930-31 season, cricket in Khandallah having previously been played under the Khandallah Boys Club banner. The driving force behind the Club's development was Major F C Gentry and his three sons were prominent in the first years.
For the first few seasons only two teams were fielded, growth being hampered by the lack of a suitable home ground and the effects of the Depression. Once Nairnville Park became available for use in 1933-34 the Club started to expand and eight teams were fielded in 1938-39. Some players had difficulty with the 1.30pm starting time as Saturday morning work was common and transport less available than in modern times.
Nevertheless, the 1938-39 season saw five of the eight teams winning their grades. A standout performance was that of Ash Levastam who took 100 wickets in the season.
The forties were a difficult decade with the war taking its toll on playing numbers, although the Club revived sufficiently to progress to Senior grade status for the 1951-52 season. By this time Onslow was establishing itself as a strong club in the lower one day grades, a feature which has continued virtually unchanged in the half century since.
The one day teams domination of their grades was the basis of Onslow on several occasions winning the trophy awarded to the club with the most championship points across all grades, irrespective of the number of teams. To the fore in this were teams of players from the Onslow Rugby Club, throughout the decades a fruitful source of playing talent. This close relationship between the two Nairnville Park clubs was part of the tight community spirit of the district which carried over several generations.
As the New Zealand cricket team struggled in the late fifties, so did Onslow, with playing numbers dropping at adult and schoolboy levels. This was to end with Onslow losing Senior status in 1965-66. Things started to improve in the late sixties however and with class players such as Chris and Jeremy Coney in the top team, Senior status was regained for the 1970-71 season. Jeremy was to become Onslow's first New Zealand representative in 1973-74. Numbers of players grew, as did the strength of Onslow teams and in 1977-78 Onslow had a magic season. Pride of place went to the Senior team in winning the first Senior championship for Onslow. Two other grades were won and with other teams also showing strongly, the Club Championship was won for the first time in a number of years. Two years later, Onslow celebrated 50 years as a club and a large number of players achieved representative honours that year. 1979-80 started a decade which saw two other Senior titles and several other close chases for that honour.
Over the years Onslow has had a number of players play for Wellington at various levels and age groups. Of these, Jeremy Coney, John Morrison and Gavin Larsen have featured prominently for New Zealand, Jeremy becoming captain and Gavin playing over 100 one day International games for New Zealand.
After a brief appearance in the late forties, women's cricket returned to Onslow in 1978-79 and consolidated to the extent that Onslow dominated women's cricket in Wellington during the eighties and early nineties. Patricia McKelvey (long time New Zealand captain), Nancy Williams, Karen Musson and Maia Lewis (former New Zealand captain) have all represented New Zealand while playing for Onslow.
Junior cricket thrived with the exposure of the sport on television. For a number of decades junior numbers were low and administration carried out by a few dedicated enthusiasts. As numbers increased dramatically in the early eighties, a separate club was established with parental administration better able to devote the necessary time to this important aspect of Onslow cricket. Junior cricket at Onslow has gone from strength to strength and the results feed back into the senior club.
The nineties saw mixed fortunes for the club which had finally seen itself as a genuine force in Wellington cricket at the top level. Onslow continued to provide a number of representative players sometimes at a cost as rep commitments deny players the chance to perform for the club. With the amalgamation of the Wellington and Hutt Valley Senior competitions and a two tier Senior structure, Onslow experienced mixed results finding itself in the second level for several seasons before winning its way back into the top grade for the 2002-03 season.
I H Paterson
V C Smith
K J Haines
D M Lander
J F M Morrison
G J Pike
A A Barritt
W T Christian
F C Gentry
A G Wells
G P Comeskey
W H Gledhill
L A Mead
R F Hickling
W R Heatherwick
A M Wilson
E J Tonks
B A C Heather
Life Members (left to right) - Kevin Haines, Ian Paterson,
Bruce Heather, Wally Heatherwick, Denis Lander and Andy Wilson under the "Heatherwick Hall" sign at Old Timers Day 2010.
Below are profiles of Onslow players who have represented New Zealand while playing for the club. Others to have played for New Zealand, either before or after their stint at Onslow include Andrew Penn and Sophie Devine. Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe was once 'registered' at Onslow in the early 1990's but never played in a competition match for the club.
Overseas imports Paul Jarvis and Mal Loye have turned out for England.
Trish McKelvey was a long-time captain of New Zealand, playing 15 Test matches and 21 One Day Internationals between 1966 and 1979. Trish scored two test centuries for New Zealand with a personal best of 155 not out and a tally of 699 Test runs at an average of 29.12. In 1992, she became the first woman board member of New Zealand Cricket. She has also served on the board of Bowls New Zealand. McKelvey was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to women's cricket in the 1981 Queen's Birthday Honours. In the 2005 Queen's Birthday Honours, she was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to education.
John “Mystery” Morrison made his test debut during the 1973-74 season. In his 17 tests and 18 one day internationals, Morrison reached the century mark once while his best first-class score was an unbeaten 180. After retiring from first class cricket, Morrison continued to play for Onslow right up until 2003/04 and has also gone on to run his own sports management company, been elected as a Wellington City Councilor (Onslow Ward) and worked as a cricket presenter and commentator on both TV and radio as well as serving as an ICC match referee. John is a Life Member of Onslow CC.
A very tall, fit, and enthusiastic all-rounder, Jeremy Coney was an organised and correct batsman, a steady medium-pacer and a fine fielder, who became an exceptionally astute captain. He had appeared in Tests against all the other countries before taking over from Geoff Howarth in Pakistan in 1984-85. Very determined, he tended to produce his best when the chips were down. A good musician and a qualified teacher, he became a regular selection after a successful home series against Pakistan in 1978-79, and was an important member of the team that reached the semi-finals of the 1979 World Cup. His maiden Test century was in the first Test against England in 1983-84, a painstaking eight-hour match-saving marathon of 174 not out. He further enhanced his reputation by leading New Zealand to a first series win in England, in 1986, endearing himself to spectators by his sunny disposition. He was awarded an MBE in 1986, and became a successful TV and radio sports commentator and presenter. Shrewd and witty, he was streets ahead of most other players-turned-pundits (obtained from Cricinfo).
As an Onslow Cricket Club stalwart and Onslow College alumni the name Gavin Larsen is also synonymous with one-day internationals in New Zealand having played 121 matches and been a part of three consecutive World Cup teams. 'The Postman' (he always delivers) built a reputation as a miserly one-day bowler regularly conceding the least runs per over. Larsen played in eight 1999 World Cup games taking six wickets and having the best economy rate of the New Zealand bowlers with 3.46 RPO. He also played eight Tests taking 24 wickets. To the disappointment of many New Zealand supporters he announced his retirement in October 1999 yet continued to turn out throughout the grades for Onslow until 2008. Following a stint in corporate sponsorship and commentary, Larsen moved into the role of Chief Executive of Cricket Wellington before stepping down in 2011. He was NZC Cricket Operations Manager during the period of the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup in NZ and Australia and was a selector for the Black Caps from 2016 - 2023. As of May 2023 Gavin Larsen is High Performance Director for Warwickshire County Cricket in England.
Maia Lewis made her debut against England in the 1991-92 seasons and went on to play nine Tests, and 78 one-dayers, scoring 1372 runs at an average of 22.49. She made a significant contribution with her dynamic captaincy and was responsible for the development of several young cricketers on the international scene. A six-year absence, during which time she underwent a full knee reconstruction, ended when she returned to New Zealand colours in the 2005 World Cup (189 runs at 31.50) and went on the lead the side on their tour of India. Her superb leadership qualities made a significant impact on and off the field, and she was also known for her outstanding fielding.
More than once the leading run-scorer for the Wellington Blaze, since the introduction of the State League in 1998-99 she made 1578 runs at an average of 41.52. She was awarded the Ruth Martin Cup, for being the best batter in the 2002-03 season. Maia also represented Canterbury and North Harbour (now Auckland) in domestic cricket and announced her retirement from all cricket in September 2005. Post-retirement, Lewis has worked as Auckland Women's Cricket Manager and Auckland Hearts coach from 2006 to 2012, and later in various other sporting roles, including with the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation, and on the boards of Blind Sport New Zealand and Northland Cricket Association
Sophie has been a key part of the White Ferns since 2006. First selected to play for the Wellington Blaze when she was just 14, at 17 she was one of the youngest-ever members of the NZ team. When the side was announced she was sitting in home economics class at high school. She is a multi talented sportswoman and was also part of the NZ Black Sticks hockey team before deciding to focus solely on cricket. On 11 July 2015, she broke the international record (men or women) for the fastest Twenty20 half century (from 18 balls), and fastest 70 runs (from 22 balls), and included scoring 32 off one over in the first match against India. During a match against Pakistan at the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup, she became the first woman to hit nine sixes in Women's One-day International cricket. In 2020, she became the first player (male or female) to score fifties in 6 consecutive T20s. In January 2021, she broke the women's T20 record for the fastest century, scoring 100 in 36 balls for Wellington Blaze against Otago Sparks in the 2020–21 Super Smash (ref Wikipedia).
Between 1985 and 1992, all-rounder Nancy Williams played four tests and 19 One Day Internationals for New Zealand.
Between 1993 and 1996 Karen Musson played one test and 13 One Day Internationals for New Zealand. An all-rounder (right arm medium bowler and right hand bat), Karen played for Central Districts before moving to the Capital and playing for Wellington. She travelled to the 1993 World Cup in England where NZ beat Australia and the West Indies to make the final, ultimately losing to the home team.