With Wanderers having among its members Don Neely, (life member of Kilbirnie CC, Cricket Wellington and New Zealand Cricket), there is nothing surer than that he would come up with an inspirational idea to promote his beloved Basin Reserve. Don has had a lifetime in cricket including playing (captain of the Wellington and Auckland winning Plunket Shield teams), selector of Wellington and New Zealand, (the latter as convenor for over ten years) and lately as a world renowned cricket historian.
In 2007 Don approached then CEO of Cricket Wellington and former New Zealand keeper and Wellington Captain Erv McSweeney, with an idea to see the return of College cricketers to the Basin Reserve. The idea was to promote the historical association New Zealand Governors General have had with cricket and the Basin Reserve. With the Basin having Government House as one of its neighbours this was a natural marriage.
When you have such distinguished former Governor Generals as The Lord Plunket GCMG, KCVO, The Viscount Cobham GCMG, TD and Sir Dennis Blundell GCMG, GCVO, KBE, QSO, all with a rich cricketing heritage, it was a natural progression to use this association with cricket to establish a Governor General’s College XI to play on the Basin Reserve.
To this end, Don approached the then Governor General, Sir Anand Satyanand GNZM QSO, with his proposal. His Excellency embraced the idea and they approached the Wanderers with the idea and asked if we would provide suitable opposition for the occasion. Currently we have had six annual matches on the Basin. Current Governor General Lieutenant General The Rt Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae GNZM, QSO, KStJ, has carried on the tradition.
It is to be hoped that this fixture outlasts us all and continues to provide a high profile occasion for college players to grace the Basin under the colours of the Governor General of New Zealand.