South African Cricket History
When one thinks of sports from England, the first one to come to mind is cricket, and South African cricket history is particularly interesting and unique, as the sport has a unique presence in that country. From the period of the Napoleonic Wars to the present day, cricket has continued to be a very popular sport in South Africa.
Most records indicate that the sport of cricket was introduced to South Africa during the Napoleonic Wars, when the English forces occupied South Africa. It is believed that the first match occurred in Cape Town in 1808. The Port Elizabeth Cricket Club, the first such in South Africa, was founded in 1843.
Thereafter the history of cricket in South Africa was characterized by rapid growth, and the first championship was held in 1876. By the later part of the 19th Century English teams had begun visiting South Africa, indicating that South Africa was recognized as a formidable cricket player on the international stage.
The 20th Century History of South African Cricket
The 20th Century saw South Africa continue to grow in prestige, and the first overseas win occurred in 1935, which was fought against England. During the 1963/64 Australian tour, a number of famous cricket players emerged, including Peter and Graeme Pollock.
A shadow fell upon the history of South African cricket however, due to the pernicious effects of apartheid. As a result of this unfortunate practice, South African cricket was largely separated from the bulk of the international community. With the downfall of apartheid, however, South African cricket once more emerged onto the world stage in 1991. During the latter part of the 20th Century South Africa quickly proved itself to be a formidable cricket-playing power.
The 21st Century History of South African Cricket
The 21st Century saw continued growth of South Africa’s cricket-playing reputation, and the country hosted the World Cup in 2003. Furthermore, in 2007 South Africa was widely seen as the number one team, although they unfortunately failed to deliver on their great promise.