However, this summer the New Zealand men's cricket team has put its hand up to be included alongside the rugby giants that usually hog the headlines.
After a good performance against the West Indies in their tour to our land, our collective cricketing wisdom as Black Cap fans said we shouldn't count our chickens till they've hatched. We knew the team's metal was well and truly going to be tested against the world's best in India.
The world class Indian team arrived in January for five ODI's (One Day Internationals), and New Zealand convincingly beat the pants off them, winning 4-0.
4... 0, now that can't be blind luck!
India could only manage one draw from five games, and thanks to a return to form by Ross Taylor and solid batting from Kane Williamson, not to mention the power of Cory Anderson and Brendon McCullum, to everybody's amazement the Black Caps made India look average. In those five games, the kiwi cricketers knocked India off their perch as the number one ranked ODI team in the world, and made the rest of the world take notice; come the ODI world cup in 2015 held here on our home soil (and Australia) we'll be one of the form teams to beat.
The Black Caps are now in the middle of the two test series against India, but they won the first in a remarkable game that will go down in history. The game looked like New Zealand's for the taking after a remarkable first innings of 503, with a captain's knock of 224 by Brendon McCullum, and a 113 from Kane Williamson. Even after some solid bowling from the kiwi's three pronged pace attack in India's first innings (all out for 203), their second innings with the bat was abysmal, they collapsed, slashing the advantage they'd worked so hard for, holing out for 105.
Would the decision not to make India bat again come back to haunt McCullum?
India needed 407 to win in the last innings, with more than two days to do it, and they came painstakingly close, even after opener Shikhar Dharwan got 115. New Zealand, dug deep, and thanks to Neil Wagner claiming the vital Indian wickets at the right time, they snuck home by 40 runs. Neil Wagner finished on 8 wickets for 126 runs, and along with support from Tim Southee and Trent Boult, snared all the wickets of the test for New Zealand, cementing their places as the core of the Black Caps attack.
Being a New Zealand cricket fan has been hard over the years, they've had the individual talent, yet New Zealand just haven't put together any consistent team performances, and produced any substantial run of form since the 1980's. Loyal cricket fans in this country will be celebrating, and we'll be hoping this young team can build on this extraordinary summer and take this form into the upcoming Twenty20 world cup in Bangladesh in March.
And just to prove that we still love our rugby here in New Zealand, the All Blacks
Sevens team won the Wellington leg of the IRB World Series last weekend to leap frog South Africa on the overall points table.
New Zealand's impenetrable defence has lifted them to another Wellington Sevens title with a fitting 21-nil win over South Africa in the Cup Final. The All Black Sevens team raced out to the three-try lead in the first half of the cup final and then stout second half defence saw the South Africans stunned into becoming the fifth straight opposition not to score against the hosts.
New Zealand lost to Fiji in the opening day 7-12, but since then their defence held strong in the remainder of their games, scoring 157 points and conceding 0. The All Black Sevens are now on top of the world IRB Sevens rankings on 99 points while South Africa sit on 97, having both won two tournaments this season so far with four legs left.
While New Zealand ride this sporting success in their two most widely followed sports, we can sit back and hope that our winter Olympics team can bring home some success. New Zealand hasn't won a medal at the winter games since 1992, but we also haven't won a test series against India since 2002, so surely anything is possible.
Brad Mills enjoys the outdoors and almost any sport... For a day job he's a journalist who works at the Rhema Broadcasting Group in Auckland New Zealand.
Brad Mill's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/brad-mills.html