Historic Overview of Cricket in South Africa


While you might enjoy your game of cricket over a beer, the thing is it wasn’t as popular before. In the era of test cricket, long before ODI’s and T20’s actually happened, cricket had a very different aura. It was a sport confined to a few and not many either knew about it or wanted to experience it. Test cricket, after all, is something that shows the grittier side of you and you need to develop a taste for the game.

So, what changed?

The game of cricket went through a lot of events before becoming the second most popular sport in South Africa. The game was introduced by the colonial British and two service teams played the first match in Cape Town in 1808.

The Early Origin of Cricket

South Africa has one of the oldest cricket clubs in the world. The Port Elizabeth Cricket Club started its journey in 1843 and hosted the first championship in 1876. Three towns took part in the game and the trophy was lifted by King Williams Town.

Along with the start of the domestic first class matches, the first international test match was also held in 1888. England visited South Africa to compete in two test matches which were won by them. South Africa entered in to the arena of international cricket for the first time and gained recognition along with England and Australia.

South Africa toured England for the first time in 1894 but achieved a win only in 1906 in Johannesburg.

A Game for Everyone

Cricket has always been considered a game of the privileged and it was also introduced by the British in South Africa. But the game broke past the boundary of white skins and became popular with the black population.

Cricket sides was established in black mission schools way back in 1850s and promoted a rich cricketing culture. Inter-town tournaments were also arranged regularly.

 South Africa in the 1990s

The first test series win came against England in 1935. South Africa also played the legendary 1938 test in England which had to be abandoned with England at 654 for 5 wickets at the end of the innings.

The prominent players of South Africa made their appearance during the 1964 tour of Australia. Players like Eddie Barlow, the Pollock brothers, Colin Bland, Peter and Graeme added a new zeal to the South African side.

The team was barred from playing by the ICC in 1970 due to the attitude of the government. They played again after 21 years in 1991 when the ban was lifted.

South Africa participated in the 1992 World Cup with an improved lineup and reached the semi-finals. The team also tied against Australia in 1999 in the World Cup semi-final but could not reach the finals.

2000 Onwards

South Africa had the opportunity of hosting the World Cup in 2003. But the team didn’t get any success failing to reach the Super Six stage. They had quite high hopes and became favorites for Betway sports betting.

The team made a record run chase in 2006 against Australia making 438 in 9 wickets. South Africa topped the ranks in 2007 but the dissatisfactory satisfaction in the World Cup made them lose it.

Other Tournaments

South Africa also arranges many domestic tournaments like the MTN Limited Overs Cup, the Supersport Series and the Standard Bank Pro20 Series.

The Cricket South Africa also arranged the first 20 overs T20 format series in 2015. Many players from international teams have taken part in the game since then and featured hot on Betway predictions. If you know cricket in and out, you might want to make your own prediction too – and win real money!