St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Tournaments St George's Park - Selling off the family silver
Selling off the family silver

OUR metro occupies a special place in Test cricket history. It was here, in 1889, that South Africa’s first match was played. And it was here that an important piece of memorabilia was preserved to record that landmark occasion – the ball used in that match.

Now comes the shock news that the ball and the Champion Bat, the trophy awarded in South Africa’s first cricket tournament in 1875, are to be flogged off to Lord’s by the Port Elizabeth Cricket Club. How could such a decision have been taken? These two items are priceless relics of our nation’s cricket history. They are proof of this region’s commitment to cricket – cricket which has produced some of the world’s most famous exponents of the game, not least the Pollock brothers.

Now, it seems, these irreplaceable relics have to go if only because the representatives of the PE Cricket Club have had some rather tempting carrots dangled under their noses.

It’s demeaning of Lord’s to get up to such greedy tricks. We would have thought that the gentlemen of that hallowed home of the game would know what is and what is not cricket.

Those trophies have been looked after by generations as hallowed relics. They belong here and nowhere else. And they certainly must not be flogged off to allow a couple of individuals to enjoy a rich reward. The law must be invoked to save our heirlooms.

The Herald
January 20, 2005.

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