It was like any other Kiwi cricketing story - except there was a trophy involved.

Faced with certain defeat, the losing side in a beach cricket competition stole the winners' trophy to mark their despair and drown their sorrows.

When police found them 12 hours later, they still had a firm grip on the stolen trophy and were using it to guzzle champagne with strippers.

The three were arrested after the Auckland Racing Club reported the disappearance of the trophy to police. It went missing from the New Zealand Herald Christmas Carnival Boxing Day Races.


The race day this year featured a beach cricket oval, made from 180 tonnes of sand trucked into the centre of the race track for the Unofficial Beach Cricket Championship, run by The Rock radio station.

Andrew Fluker, who was on the winning Average Joes team, said one of the competing teams disappeared after losing early matches. "Three of them took off and took the cup."

When a radio station jacket was also found swiped, anxiety levels increased because it had the keys to The Rock ute and a wallet in its pockets.

"The other guys on the team called up and they said they would drive it back. A couple of guys on the other team said they were probably heading for Showgirls."

The prediction, made about 1pm, proved accurate. Police found the men at the central Auckland strip club about 13 hours later.

Sergeant Danny Meade, of Auckland Central police, said it was thought the cup was taken as "a joke".

"I am aware of three guys who were arrested in Showgirls who had stolen a trophy from a fun cricket match event one of the radio stations had put on at the races."

The winners were left without a symbol of their victory. Mr Fluker said he expected it would be delivered after it was recovered.