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Cricket - S.A. First Test Match

South Africas first test match was played in Port Elizabeth in the 1888/1889 season against an England touring side. The British developed cricket here from the influx of British citizens during the time of the 1820 settlers in the Port Elizabeth area.

In 1970 the ICC banned South Africa from the international test arena because of the apartheid government, and we the sports fans were not able to see great cricketers like Mike Procter, Barry Richards and Graeme Pollock reach their full potential. Rebel tours did take place in SA during this period until the ban was lifted in 1991, when we were reinstated. During the 20 odd years that we were isolated we lost some good players to England ( Robin Smith and Alan Lamb) and Australia (Kepler Wessels), and one wonders with international competition whether players like Vince vd Bijl, Clive Rice etc. would not have been greater than what they were.

Not only did we, and still do breed good cricketers, but the doyen of commentators, Charles Fortune, who had such a special way of describing what was going on in the games via radio that we didn't need TV. Kingsmead cricket ground in Durban is the ground where the historical 'Timeless Test' took place. The game was played from the 3rd to 14th March 1938, with England 654 for 5 in the last innings, when the game was abandoned because the players had to catch the mail ship back to England.

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