St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

100 Seasons Ago St George's Park - 100 Seasons Ago
The week ending April 12, 1903

Added 10 / 4 / 2003

On Saturday evening a meeting of the South African Cricket Association, under whose auspices the Currie Cup Tournament is held, took place, when the following affiliated unions were represented: Western Province, Eastern Province, Transvaal, Natal, Border and Griqualand West.

Mr M M Loubser was elected to the chair.

The bussiness before the meeting was the consideration of the objection, lodged by the Western Province, against Llewellyn playing for the Transvaal, it being alleged he was not playing under the terms of rule 7, which reads:
That (a) professional cricketers coming to South Africa for the South African cricket season only, be not allowed to compete in representative matches for South Africa; (b) professionals not permanently resident in South Africa 12 months be debarred from playing in Currie Cup competitions.

The definition of permanent residence is continuous personal residence, not merely renting a room or a house.

The chairman welcomed the various delegates and expressed the hope that any decision come to would be accepted in a sport-manlike spirit.

Mr Midgley, on behalf of the Western Province Union, then moved that Llewellyn be debarred from playing and explained at length the views of his delegates. The point was that Llewellyn was last season a professional for Hampshire, and, on the Transvaals own letter, he was returning in the coming cricketing season.

Mr Mitchell, on behalf of Transvaal, explained that Llewellyn was not a professional cricketer in South Africa, and had not taken a penny for his cricket in this country.

He was brought back from England by Mr Bailey to make him an amateur, and was now employed as a clerk at the Wanderers. If the delegates held, as contended, that Llewellyn was not a professional in this country, then they could not deal with him under this rule.

Llewellyn was called into the room, and, in answer to the Chairman, said; I am a professional in England, but not in Johannesburg. I am going back to England to play as a professional, but afterwards return to this country.

There was no further discussion, and then delegates voted as follows: For the motion: Griqualand West, Eastern Province, and Western Province. Against: Transvaal and Border. Neutral: Natal.

April 6

Yesterday (Sunday) was a very uncomfortable day. The wind set in from the north and brought with it blasts of the Sahara Desert heat. It was oppressively hot until late in the evening when the wind came from the north-west, and during the night it blew with terrific force. Today the wind is high and the sky overcast, so that the cricketers will start playing under very unfavourable conditions.

April 6

The Currie Cup Tournament opened at Port Elizabeth this morning with matches between Transvaal and Griqualand West on the Port Elizabeth Cricket Club ground, and the Eastern Province and Border on the Union Cricket Club ground.

When play commenced a strong wind was blowing and the weather unsettled, threatening rain.

April 9

Cape Daily Telegraph editorial.

Eastern Province managed to pull the game out of the fire. Subsequent to the report of the game already given, Crooks scored three twos in one over off Snooke, but lost his partner, who put a soft one in the slips.

He had played a patient innings for 13, and his innings proved invaluable. Four byes and a single to Crooks brought 90 up. The last-named batsman scored eight off one over from Johnson, who had succeeded Snooke, and caused the century to appear.

The match was now getting interesting, as only 40 runs were required to win, while these were gradually coming in singles and twos. With 110 registered Crooks gave a chance at deep field to Shingler, but although the ball fell nicely into his hands it bounded out.

The bowling was again changed, Snooke taking Johnsons end, and the second ball went to the boundary as byes, and the fourth was magnificantly hit for four, a two succeeding, bringing 120 as the total.

Lyons stroked Gordon to the leg for a couple, and placed the same bowler nicely through the slips for a similar number.

Crooks cut Snooke to the boundary, leaving only seven to win. Of this number Lyons cut Gordon for two twos in successive overs, and then Crooks scored the winning hit amidst loud cheers. The manner in which Crooks and Hippert stayed the rot last evening is beyond all praise, and to them, aided by Lyons, the result is due.

Lyons kept his end up well, and made some useful strokes. Crooks exhibition was one of his best, and although missed towards the end, it had otherwise been a sound exposition of batting.

Cape Daily Telegraph editorial.
April 8, 1903.

The cricket tournament up to the present has been replete with surprises. The collapse of the Kimberley team against the Transvaal was not anticipated, because the Kimberley team was reported to be a nice, compact all-round team.

Much less was the collapse of the Eastern Province batting against the Border team anticipated. It came to Bayonians as a great surprise and disappointment.

The feature of this last match was the brilliant all-round play of Snooke, and the bright spot in the game was that it demonstrated that South Africa has, in this cricketer, an all-round player of great worth.

His place is certain in the next South African team and it is likely as not that he will soon rival the great Rand cricketer, Sinclair.

Another individual player who has so far added to his laurels is J Koetze, the Transvaal bowler. Koetze is said to be the fastest bowler in the world. Certainly his speed is terrific, and when in form he gets an extraordinary amount of work on the ball.

The tournament is doing good already in displaying the improved strength of South African cricket, and by the time it has ended we shall probably all be convinced that a thoroughly representative South African eleven would do very well in the Motherland.

The Western Province team arrived on Thursday, and practised at the nets on the Port Elizabeth ground yesterday.

So far as can be seen, they are a very powerful bowling team, Carolio, Focke and Bain making a formidable trio. Their batting, however, did not seem equal to the bowling, but then the batsmen may have been out of form on a new ground.

Anyway, opinions locally are very divided as regards the apparent relative merits of the Transvaal and Cape Town teams.
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