Little Bits of History

February 8

Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 8, 2017

1879: The Sydney Riot takes place. Cricket, a bat and ball game peculiar to the British Empire, has two eleven player teams facing each other on a pitch with a wicket set up at one end. The batting teams attempts to score as many runs as possible while the other team is positioned in the field. The British team had been travelling to Australia since 1861. The idea was still rather new although the first Test match had been played in 1877. Teams were make up of the best possible players who could manage to get enough time off work to made the trip half way around the world and then play a series of games against local opponents. While Britain could field teams as early as 1861, it wasn’t until 1878 that Australia could finally get a major team to England.

The Melbourne Cricket Club issued an invitation to Lord Harris, himself a decent amateur cricketer, to gather together a team and come to Australia to play. Harris accepted and while Australia had meant for the entire team to be made up of amateurs, Harris brought over two professional Yorkshire bowlers. The distinction between the two types was mostly social status because the generous expenses paid to amateurs was often in excess of what a professional’s salary would be. But the mostly titled British team were referred to as “Gentlemen” meaning they were still considered amateurs. Australians were seen as less “gentlemanly” and more rowdy and uncultured. The fans were expected to be drunken gamblers.

Cheating was the norm and the rivalry between British and Australian teams was strong. Dave Gregory led a strong team and they were the first to play in England. Soon after his return, Harris came to play the Aussie team. This was the third tour match and the second time Gregory and Harris met on the field. New South Wales teams were antagonistic toward Victorian teams. On this day, Victorian George Coulthard was one of the umpires. He was chosen by Harris as one of the umps, with an Australian recommendation backing the young man’s skill. Coulthard made a questionable call and the locals were outraged by his status as working for the Brits and being a Victorian.

There is debate about what actually caused the riot. Gregory refused to send out the next batter, showing his disdain for the call. Fans streamed onto the playing field. But it is unsure if that was due to the bad call or the fact the British might win the match. Heavy betting against the Gentlemen may have led those with the most to lose to instigate a riot and call the game rather than pay out large sums of money. After the game could finally resume (and cricket games can be played over days’ time) it came down to an English win. They then cancelled their remaining games in Sydney. Bad will between the two countries’ cricket teams took years to heal.

To me, cricket is a simple game. Keep it simple and just go out and play. – Shane Warne

Test cricket is a different sort of cricket altogether. Some players who are good for one-day cricket may be a handicap in a Test match. – Kapil Dev

You can cut the tension with a cricket stump. – Murray Walker

Before you lay a foundation on the cricket field, there should be a solid foundation in your heart and you start building on that. After that as you start playing more and more matches, you learn how to score runs and how to take wickets. – Sachin Tendulkar

High Score

Posted in History by patriciahysell on June 27, 2014
AEJ Collins

AEJ Collins

June 27, 1899: AEJ Collins scores 628 runs not out in cricket. This is the highest ever recorded score in the game. Collins was 13 years old at the time and the score was accumulated over four days. He was born in India, where his father served as a judge in the Indian Civil Service. Both parents had died before he started school at Clifton College in September 1897. He played both rugby and cricket and received a bronze medal for boxing at the public school tournament in 1901. Collins was playing for Clarke’s House against North Town House and the teams were playing on an outfield which has since been renamed Collins Piece. The field was rough and in an unusual shape with a narrow field. Because of the oddity of field shape, the three short boundaries only counted for two runs.

The match began on Thursday, June 22 because there was a holiday while the college team played an annual match against Old Cliftonians nearby. Collins won the toss and chose to bat first with the game starting around 3.30 PM. When play ended at 6 PM, he had scored 200 runs. School lessons permitted another 2.5 hours of play on Friday and news of the boy’s achievement had reached the college audience who abandoned the older boys to watch young Collins. He ended the day with a score of 509 although it was misreported in the papers as 510 and his name was listed as AEG Collins. The play resumed on Monday during the lunch hour and he ended with a score of 598. On Tuesday, June 27, the school authorities permitted a longer playing time to attempt to finish the match. Play ended with Collins scoring 628 – 1 six, 4 fives, 31 fours, 33 threes, 146 twos, and 87 singles.

Despite all this, Collins never played professional sports. Instead he chose an army career and passed entrance exams to the Royal Military Academy which he entered in September 1901. He represented the Academy in both rugby and cricket and scored a century for them as well. He joined the British Army as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers in 1904. He continued to play sports for the military but never played first-class cricket. He was sent to France when World War I broke out and was killed in action on November 11, 1914 at the First Battle of Ypres having attained the rank of Captain.

Cricket is a bat and ball game played between two teams, each with 11 players. A rectangular 22-yard long pitch lies in the center of the field. Each team takes turn to bat and attempt to score runs while the other team fields. The bowler delivers the ball to the batsman who attempts to hit the ball away from the fielders so he can run to the other end of the pitch – which is counted as a run – without getting run out. Each batsman continues batting until he is out. The batting team continues batting until ten batsmen are out. There is always one “not out” batsman as the last one has no partner to bat with. The game has been played in England since the 16th century and she brought it to many of her colonies. In the mid 1800s, the first international match was held.

I hate losing and cricket being my first love, once I enter the ground it’s a different zone altogether and that hunger for winning is always there. – Sachin Tendulkar

To me, it doesn’t matter how good you are. Sport is all about playing and competing. Whatever you do in cricket and in sport, enjoy it, be positive and try to win. – Ian Botham

To me, cricket is a simple game. Keep it simple and just go out and play. – Shane Warne

I tend to think that cricket is the greatest thing that God ever created on earth – certainly greater than sex, although sex isn’t too bad either. – Harold Pinter

Also on this day: The Oscar of the Children’s Library – In 1922, the Newbery Medal was first awarded.
Collinswood – In 1966, Dark Shadows premiered.
ATM – In 1867. the world’s first ATM was installed.
Helen Keller –  In 1880, Helen was born.

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The Ashes

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 29, 2011

The Ashes urn

August 29, 1882: According to The Sporting Match, English cricket dies. The Ashes is a Test cricket series played by cricket’s greatest international rivalry – Australia and England. Cricket is a summer game and The Ashes is a biennial event. However, summer does not occur at the same time in the two countries. The Ashes is therefore played every 18 or 30 months in a bid to find the new home for the urn.

The Sporting Match published an obituary stating that English cricked had died when Australia beat England on their home field. “The body would be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia” according to the obit. The media played up the need to regain the ashes when England next played in Australia calling the 1882-1883 season the “quest to regain The Ashes.” And so began the tradition.

The first urn contained ashes from some piece of cricket equipment and was presented to English captain Ivo Bligh when they played their next match in Melbourne. It was made of terra cotta and he forever thought of it as a personal gift. Replicas are seen today holding the ashes. It is not a trophy, per se. Since 1998 there has been a trophy that is presented to the winner and it is made of Waterford crystal. Australia is the current title, trophy, and ash holder with the next match scheduled for 2009.

Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world. It is played on an oval field with two teams of eleven members each. In the center of the oval is a flat strip of ground 22 yards  long called a pitch. There is a wicket set up at each end. A bowler throws a ball to the man protecting his wicket who bats the ball into the playing field. If the ball remains in play and the wicket remains standing, the batsman and the non-striker (a second batsman at the opposing end of the pitch) run between the wickets to score runs. The highest score wins.

“By bringing the Ashes back after so long you have given cricket a huge boost and lit up the whole summer.” – Tony Blair

“My warmest congratulations to you, the England cricket team and all in the squad for the magnificent achievement of regaining the Ashes.” – Michael Vaughan

“It has brought cricket alive in Britain and even around the world. And what’s more the players have been great sporting role models for kids. The Ashes victory is great for the sport.” – David Folb

“Baseball has the great advantage over cricket of being ended sooner.” – George Bernard Shaw

Also on this day:
Have You Hugged Your Hog Today? – In 1885, Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler patents the motorcycle.
Last Man Standing – In 1911, Ishi was found.

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The Ashes

Posted in History by patriciahysell on March 15, 2011

The Ashes urn is reputed to contain a burnt cricket bail. (Photo by Daniel Greef)

March 15, 1877: The first Test Cricket Match between England and Australia begins. Test cricket is the longest form of the game of cricket. It is played by national teams given “Test status” by the International Cricket Council [ICC]. There are four innings played between two teams, each comprised of eleven players. The game is played over a maximum of five days. It is the ultimate test of both ability and endurance. This date did not see the first international cricket match. That was held between Canada and the US on September 24-25, 1844. Today’s date was the first Test match and was played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Australia won by 45 runs.

England rallied and the next meeting between the two rivals had the Brits winning by four wickets. The teams were then tied. In 1977, the two great rivals once again faced each other and were once again playing in Melbourne. Amazingly enough, the match ended with Australia winning – by 45 runs. The Test matches are a subset of “first-class cricket,” which are matches lasting three or more days. At its inception, only the two teams were involved. By 1889, South Africa joined in. West Indies, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, and Bangladesh also joined in the contests.

The actual origins of the game are lost to time but seems to have been devised during Saxon or Norman times. The first definite reference to the game being played came from Surrey around 1550. Still a children’s game at the time, it was first noted as an adult entertainment in 1611. We know this because two Sussex men were prosecuted for playing the game on a Sunday rather than attending church services.

The rivalry between Australia and England took on a more ominous turn in 1882 when the teams met in London. The Australians played a great first inning but the Brits came back strong in the next. The match came to an ignominious end when Ted Peate managed to score only two runs before being bowled out – losing the game. In the press the next day, a mock obituary was placed in the papers for English Cricket, stating “The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.” Thus began the tradition of The Ashes. To date, Australia has won 123 matches, England 100, and 87 have ended in a draw.

“A cricket ground is a flat piece of earth with some buildings around it.” – Richie Benaud

“Cricket is basically baseball on valium.” – Robin Williams

“Cricket needs brightening up a bit. My solution is to let the players drink at the beginning of the game, not after. It always works in our picnic matches.” – Paul Hogan

“Cricket to us was more than play, it was a worship in the summer sun.” – Edmund Blunden

Also on this day:
Voting Booths – In 1892, Myers Voting Booths were introduced in New York.
Beware the Ides of March – In 44 BC, Julius Caesar was assassinated.

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The Ashes

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 29, 2010

The Ashes urn

August 29, 1882: According to The Sporting Match, English cricket dies. The Ashes is a Test cricket series played by cricket’s greatest international rivalry – Australia and England. Cricket is a summer game and The Ashes is a biennial event. However, summer does not occur at the same time in the two countries. The Ashes is therefore played every 18 or 30 months in a bid to find the new home for the urn.

The Sporting Match published an obituary stating that English cricked had died when Australia beat England on their home field. “The body would be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia” according to the obit. The media played up the need to regain the ashes when England next played in Australia calling the 1882-1883 season the “quest to regain The Ashes.” And so began the tradition.

The first urn contained ashes from some piece of cricket equipment and was presented to English captain Ivo Bligh when they played their next match in Melbourne. It was made of terra cotta and he forever thought of it as a personal gift. Replicas are seen today holding the ashes. It is not a trophy, per se. Since 1998 there has been a trophy that is presented to the winner and it is made of Waterford crystal. Australia is the current title, trophy, and ash holder with the next match scheduled for 2009.

Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world. It is played on an oval field with two teams of eleven members each. In the center of the oval is a flat strip of ground 22 yards (20.12 m) long called a pitch. There is a wicket set up at each end. A bowler throws a ball to the man protecting his wicket who bats the ball into the playing field. If the ball remains in play and the wicket remains standing, the batsman and the non-striker (a second batsman at the opposing end of the pitch) run between the wickets to score runs. The highest score wins.

“By bringing the Ashes back after so long you have given cricket a huge boost and lit up the whole summer.” – Tony Blair

“My warmest congratulations to you, the England cricket team and all in the squad for the magnificent achievement of regaining the Ashes.” – Michael Vaughan

“It has brought cricket alive in Britain and even around the world. And what’s more the players have been great sporting role models for kids. The Ashes victory is great for the sport.” – David Folb

“Baseball has the great advantage over cricket of being ended sooner.” – George Bernard Shaw

Also on this day, in 1911 Ishi, last of the Yahi People, was found.
Bonus Link: In 1885, Daimler receives a patent for a motorcycle
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