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In 1787 when Arthur Phillip sailed from Portsmouth to become the first Governor, his ships carried over one thousand convicts and new settlers. By then the game of cricket has become established in many parts of the old country. In that same year the Marylebone Cricket Club was founded and Thomas Lord took over his first ground. It is likely then that the early arrivals in Australia had played a type of cricket as part of their recreation.

After Governor King took over, he gave authority for the first newspaper to be printed on 5 March 1803, ten months later on January 8th 1804, it reported on a game of cricket played by officers and crew of MHS Calcutta on a cleared piece of land which is now known as Hyde Park.

Bats were heavy and used as bludgeons, wickets were roughly made and over's consisted on four deliveries.

The next reference was not till seven years later, on 28th April 1810, a fair commenced on the Cricket Ground.
The area was known by various names. The Common, Racecourse, Exercising Ground, Phillips Common, and others that were used for a short time in 1810 Hyde Park became officially sanctioned.

After a match in August 1826, The players suggested forming 'The Australian Cricket Club'. The Club had periodical meeting's on New Year's Day.

One problem the ACC had was to find another team to play. The Windsor Cricket Club was in existence at the beginning of 1827, they may have been founded before the ACC, they are reported to have declined to play the ACC, the club seems to have folded soon afterwards. Another club was formed at Campbelltown in 1827 but soon folded quickly.
The big games in 1830 were between Military and Civilians. Matches were played on 26 February before several hundred spectators and on 23 March. The civilians were also known in some reports as Natives, since eight were Currency Lads (colonial born), won both games. The bulk of the Civilians came from the ACC.

    The 1832 match, played 7th March an estimated two thousand attended, and more than 300 pounds was to said to have changed hands. This match was also the first in which a scorecard was published (although the figures do not add up).

 39th Regiment 

                       First Innings
                    Cowell, c Barker                            6
                    Hopewell, b Stafford                     12
                    Lieut, G.C Bouough, b Stafford       6
                    Gambler, b Carnell                         4
                    Hyam b Carnell                              2
                    Upton, b Carnell                             0
                    Hines, c Carnell                              3
                    Wren, B Stafford                            1
                    Westbrook, c Turner                     20
                    Osborne, B Stafford                        0
                    Minahan                                         0
                    Bye                                                1

                    Total                                            55

                             17th Regiment

              Stafford, b Gambler                       20
                  Carnell, b Gambler                          6
                  D. Conn, b Hopewell                       6
                  J. Conn, b Hopewell                        2
                  Arnold, c Upton                              0
                  Donnelly, b Gambler                       4
                  Webb, c Borough                            7
                  Turner, c Hopewell                          1
                  Barker, b Gambler                           0
                  Reeder, B Gambler                          0
                  Lieut W.R. Ball, b Gambler              0 
                  Bye                                                1

                  Total                                             47

            .. ..
                           Colin Miller                                                                       Australian Cricket Team


The formation of the game in Victoria started within three years of settlement in Victoria, on 15th November 1838, five men sat down and drew up a document to form the Melbourne Cricket Club. The first recorded match took place between Melbourne Cricket Club and the Military on a site which is now the heart of Melbourne, between William and Lonsdale Streets.


The earliest report of a game on the island came from the colony's chaplain at Hobart, who stated that 'cricket was a popular pastime in the hot weather that prevailed in late December 1814'. It was not until 1825 that a publican Joseph Bowden organised the first recorded match in the town. A game was played on a site which is now directly in the heart of Hobart's retail district.

South Australia

The Adelaide Cricket Club ws founded in 1839, the same year that Adelaide gained city status. The first known reference to any game was in The Gazette which carried that on 3rd November 1838 announcing that patrons of a tavern in Adelaide talked about forming a club to play the manly game of cricket. The game was played on any flat ground that could be found. Three sites where located in easy reach of  Adelaide. One- on the parklands just north of where King William Rd passes to North Adelaide, this being near but not the site of the present Adelaide Oval. Two- was at the far north west corner of the parklands of the barton. Three- on the east parklands.


There was no separate colony of Queensland until 10 December 1859.  By 1846 there were two main districts in the area: Brisbane and Darling Downs. Intense rivalry existed between the town people and country folk whenever they competed.  Some games where recorded in the towns of Brisbane, Ipswich and Toowoomba by local newspapers prior to 1850. On 23 December 1861 a meeting was called to form a cricket association, creating the Brisbane Cricket Club.

Western Australia

Perth was founded in 1829 but it could have been the other end of the world. The first reference to cricket was made on 5th April 1835. The first real test for the Perth Cricket Club had a challenge when the newly formed Fremantle Cricket Club visited Perth on 11th November 1852.

     Australian Team with the Carlton Test Match Trophy                  Team with Frank Warrell Trophy

Inter colonial Visits

Australia's initial first class match between Victoria and Tasmania took place in Launceston in 1851, Sheffield Shield competition started in 1892. The date that marks the beginning of the major intercolonial contests was 26th March 1856. On 1st January 1862 the English side opened its first tour of the Colonies.

A selection for the tour of England had been very carefully considered. The tour was backed by the cricket associations of New South Wales and Victoria.

Finance for the tour came, in part from two of the major clubs: East Melbourne and Melbourne. They where able to put money up due to the boom in Rules Football during 1879.
The first Test match to be played in England started on 6th September 1880 at the Kennington Oval.

In front of 20,736 paying spectators and hundreds on the roofs of surrounding property. The Grace brothers E.M and W.G opened for England. W.G went on to score the first English Century in Tests before being bowled out by Palmer, the score for England was 420. 

The second day with 21.758 present, saw a pitch deadened by overnight rain. Australia totalled 149 and were forced to follow-on. 

Three wickets fell for 14, but to the rescue came Billy Murdoch, especially when he was joined by Percy McDonnell. Mcdonnell went for 43 and at stumps Murdoch was on 79 and the score 170 for six. 

When the Australian second innings closed at 327, Murdoch was unbeaten on 153 and with a five and 18 fours to his credit. Needing just 57 runs for a win England very soon found themselves at 31 for five. However W.G Grace and Frank Penn saw them through to a five wicket victory.

The England team arrived in Sydney on 16th November 1881 following a loss making tour in America. 

The visitors played some up country fixtures before taking on New South Wales, at the Sydney Cricket Ground where they won on the fourth day, then went off to play a one day match on 14th December at Cootamundra.  This was the home town of Billy Murdoch, but it is latterly more famous as being the birthplace of Don Bradman.

As in 1880 only one test was played. and that took place over two days on 28 and 29 August 1882.
It will live as one of the mightiest battles of Test cricket history. Australia on winning the toss, decided to bat as the pitch was wet and the Captain Billy Murdoch felt the pitch would not improve very.

The Australians began badly and were 48 for 6 at lunch. Play was then delayed for an hour and a half and twenty minutes later the resumption Australia were dismissed for 63.

The English team came out and a total of 101 was made, that gave them a lead of 38. Further rain in the night delayed the resumption on the second day until 12.10 and condition even then was hardly fit for play.

The English bowlers could get neither a proper grip nor a firm foothold, but got Australia out for 122. Leaving England to make 85 runs to win the game.

England's chase for runs started at 3.45, two wickets were taken in successive deliveries to leave England 15 for two. 

Two batsmen got the score to 51 before the both fell in the space of two runs.

There followed twelve maiden over's in a row. The batsmen were reportable to have frozen and lost the ability to get the ball past the fieldstone.

Australia won the game by just seven runs. Spofforth the bowler had taken 7/46 and 7/44 to claim 14/90 for the match. It was the first Australian Test victory on English soil.

Four days later the Sporting Times printed a mock obituary, written by Regional Brooks.

In affectionate Remembrance of English Cricket
Which Died at The Oval on 29th August 1882

Deeply lamented by large a circle of
sorrowing friends and acquaintances


NB The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to a Australia.

A few months later an English team came to Australia and won the series here. A group of Australian women burnt a cricket stump, put the ashes in an urn and presented it to the English captain. To this day the memorial ashes remain permanently in the Memorial Gallery at Lords. So, in fact Australia and England play for an imaginary trophy.


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                      Glen McGrath ...                                                        ..   Glen McGrath with Team Mates


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