History of cricket in South Africa to 1918

History Of Cricket In South Africa To 1918

History of cricket in South Africa to 1918

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This article describes the history of South African cricket from its known beginnings until the end of the First World War in 1918.

First-class cricket was introduced to South Africa in the 1888-89 season with the arrival of the first English touring team and the presentation by Sir Donald Currie of the Currie Cup which was first contested in the 1889-90 season.

Beginnings

European colonisation of southern Africa began on Tuesday 6 April 1652 when the Dutch East India Company established a settlement called the Cape Colony on Table Bay, near present-day Cape Town. Cape Colony slowly expanded along the coast and into the hinterland throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. It was originally founded as a victualling station for the Dutch East Indies trade route but soon acquired an importance of its own due to its good farmland and mineral wealth.

There was no significant British interest in South Africa until the colony was seized by British forces in 1795 under General Sir James Craig during the French Revolutionary War, the Netherlands having fallen to Bonaparte in the same year. British policy was to secure the colony against French encroachment in the name of the Dutch Stadtholder Willem V. Under the terms of the short-lived Treaty of Amiens in 1803, Cape Colony was handed back to the Netherlands, or the Batavian Republic as Bonaparte wished it to be known. In 1806, with the Napoleonic Wars proper now under way, Britain again invaded and seized Cape Colony, this time...
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