St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Tournaments St George's Park - Majola intervenes to stump sale of SA cricket heritage
Majola intervenes to stump sale of SA cricket heritage
Ivor Markman

THE Port Elizabeth Cricket Club was on a sticky wicket yesterday when United Cricket Board chief executive Gerald Majola intervened to stop it selling off South Africa’s cricket heritage.

Majola yesterday wrote to London’s Marylebone Cricket Club asking it to withdraw from buying the 1876 Champion Bat and 1889 first Test ball from the PECC. The amateur club, which has had custody of the bat and ball for decades, wants to sell them to MCC for a total of R168 000 to boost its coffers.

Majola learnt of the controversial sale when contacted by The Herald earlier this week and he has moved to stop the deal.

Majola said last night: “I spoke to (PECC president) Terry Reid yesterday and he said he was going ahead with the sale. I said in that case we’ll do whatever we have to do to make sure that these heritage items will be kept in South Africa.”

Yesterday Majola sent a letter to Roger Knight, chief executive of MCC at Lords, on behalf of United Cricket Board president Ray Mali and himself, and said the items represented an important part of South Africa’s cricketing history. He appealed to Knight to understand the desire to keep them in the country.

Meanwhile, EP Amateur Cricket Board president Raymond Uren said he and his chief executive, Dave Emslie, hoped to set up a meeting next week with Reid and his vice-chairman, Rod Yearwood, “to amicably resolve this issue.

“We have instructed our attorney (Max Boqwana) to look into the matter.”

Tim Bodell, who was involved in drafting the National Heritage Resources Act 25 of 1999, said there was “no way” the PECC would be permitted to export the items. “The act is clear.”

Section 32 of the Act states objects of cultural and historical significance cannot be taken out of the country, or sold without a permit issued by the South African Heritage Resources Agency. Subsection 20 states a permit must “be produced to a customs officer before the removal from South Africa is effected or allowed”.

Said Bodell: “So now the EPACB must put in an immediate application to SAHRA to have the objects provisionally claimed as a heritage object for registration in a national register as stated by act of Parliament.”

Reid said he was not aware of the Act. He confirmed there were plans to set up a meeting with the EPACB.

The Champion Bat was a trophy awarded to the winner of South Africa’s first cricket tournament in 1876.

The ball was used in the first ever Test match between England and SA in 1889.

The Herald
January 20, 2005.

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