St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Tournaments St George's Park - Currie Cup Tournaments
Currie Cup Tournaments

The Currie Cup was presented by Sir Donald Currie for competition in South Africa when the first English team visited this country in 1888/9.

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A game of cricket on the Tantallon Castle, one of Sir Donald Currie's ships, in June, 1895. Note the manner in which the wickets are kept and the nets on either side to prevent the ball flying overboard.

It was arranged that the Cup should be presented by the English Team to the South African Province which excelled most against the visitors, and to be competed for afterwards in whatever way the authorities in South Africa might determine.

The following is an extract from the actual speech made by the late Sir Donald Currie at the banquet held previous to the sailing of the first English team to South Africa in 1888 on board the Garth Castle:

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Sir Donald Currie
"There is one other thing I would like to mention, of the nature of a challenge from myself. It is this:

To carry out an idea which occurred to me, and which I have mentioned to Major Warton, to offer something to the South African cricketers which would mark and commemorate the visit of the first English team.

"I propose to give a challenge cup to the team representative of the Cape Colony, Natal, Griqualand West and the Transvaal which excels the most against the visitors.

"The conditions would be arranged among those representative bodies. It would not be fair for you to bring the cup away, as you would rather they keep it; but perhaps you may come to some agreement to play for it some future time, when, if the winners desire to offer it for competition, you could go out and bring it home.

"I think, however, the cricketers out there would like to keep the cup among themselves in recollection of your visit and as a gift from myself."

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The Currie Cup
Kimberley received the honour of presentation at the conclusion of the tour.

In the first Currie Cup match, which took place in 1890, Kimberley lost the Cup to the Transvaal, the only competing centre.

The first time the tournament was held in Port Elizabeth was in 1903. (Read more here) Transvaal won the cup and it was to be many years before Eastern Province were able to clinch the trophy.

Eastern Province did not enter a cricket team until 1894, and a rugby team until 1895.

But as these tournaments were centralised, it was not until 1903 that an Eastern Province team actually played a Currie Cup Cricket game on our ground when Border were beaten by three wickets. C F Prince made the first "home" Currie Cup half century.

In the rugby world, the first Tournament was held in Port Elizabeth in 1897. Eastern Province finished last of five Provinces and did not score a single point.

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