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Rhodesian Cricket History - before 1904

The first white settlement in the country, at what was then called Fort Salisbury (after the British Prime Minister) and is now Harare, was founded on 12 September 1890. Even before then, on the afternoon of 16 August, the first game of cricket had been played, by members of the Pioneer Column, as it was called, on its way northwards from South Africa. The result has not been definitely recorded, but one of the players was the former Surrey and England player Monty Bowden, who was sadly to die in the country within two years. Bowden had less than two years before captained England in a Test against South Africa, and settled in that country.

A number of well-known South African cricketers at about the turn of the century were to settle in the new country, named Rhodesia, and some were also to play for it: there were Herbert Castens and Godfrey Cripps, captain and vice-captain respectively of the first South African team to tour England in 1894; Murray Bisset, who captained the 1901 tourists to England; Percy Sherwell, South African captain and wicket-keeper/batsman; Henry and `Sonny' Taberer; and `Joey' Milton. Several noted English cricketers also came, especially from the universities: Walter Forbes, Cyril Foley, Henry Mordaunt and Herbert Keigwin.

Dates and events of interest

1891      Salisbury Cricket Club founded, and league organised.
1894      Three club sides founded in Bulawayo.
1895      Salisbury team travelled to Bulawayo, only to be defeated by 
          an innings in the first `inter-provincial' match.  
1897      Salisbury Cricket Club moved to site of the present Harare 
          Sports Club.  
1898/99   Lord Hawke's English touring team played two `odds' matches in
          Bulawayo.  The Cape politician J D Logan asked Lord Hawke to
          buy a cup in England for inter-town competition; this became
          the Logan Cup, now Zimbabwe's first-class competition.  
1899/1900 The Vigne Cup, donated by Mr E Vigne, was instituted for the 
          Salisbury inter-club competition; this competition and cup are
          still in existence today.
1903/04   The first two Logan Cup matches: Bulawayo beat Salisbury and
          Gwelo in turn to become the first holders.


Date-stamped : 11 Oct1998 - 18:32