Tuesday, March 30, 2010

History of Cricket: Wynberg/ Alexandra/ Marlboro Gardens

Cricket within our community can be traced back to the 1940’s with the Wynberg Indian Sports Club.
This was a touring team, and played many matches across the Transvaal.
Members of Wynberg Indian Sports club include:
Essack Ismail,Essop Mather, Myley Mather,Ishaaq Mather, Brothers Goolam and Ahmed Rahman

In the 1950’s there sprung up many cricketing clubs, one being Saaberie Cricket Club
Members of Saaberie include:
MC Tai, Baboo Bhamjee, Fakir Chopdat, Aziz Tarajia, Mohammed Bhabha, Ismail Seedat,Mylie Seedat, Mohammed Manjeria,Ismail Manjeria, Ebrahim Patel,And a young Ismail Fulat who batted at number 11

Saaberie played in the City and Suburban Cricket Association which was a then coloured league.

One of the highlights of Saaberie was a match against Old Maristonians,
Because of apartheid,this match was held at a private venue in Mia’s Farm.
A Tranvaal and South African cricketer, Peter Hynie opened the bowling for Maristonians. And against all odds, Saaberie won this match.

Two players of Saaberie, Mohamed Mangeria and Ismail Seedat were selected to represent City and Suburban Cricket Association against Griqualand West.

During the 1957-1958 period, the MCC toured South Africa, with Peter May as captain and a certain Frank Tyson, a superb fast bowler of the time, Also in the team
During this tour, Peter May scored 5 centuries in 5 matches, going into a match against Transvaal at the Wanderers.

The Stadium was filled to capacity, and just after lunch at a fall of a wicket up strolled Peter May to the wicket .The enormous crowd gave him as long ovation, as he walked in, in anticipation of something special.From the Golf Course End was Peter Hynie bowling, and the first ball to May got an edge and he was out.
The crowd, fervent Transvaal fans couldn’t believe it, and were ecstatic.
Peter May later conceded that the walk back to the dressing room felt the longest he has ever experienced in his career.

As the Russian spaceship was launched into Space, so was Sputnik Cricket Club formed.
This club was formed at the Home of Bhaigora Chodree,at his Wynberg home on the Sunday afternoon after the launch into space in 1963
Players that represented Sputnik include:
Bhaigora Chodree,Ismail Seedat,Mohamed Salloo,Ismail Fakir, Samad Daya,Essop Rawat

Sputnik consisted of mainly the younger generation of cricketers at the time. The protagonist of Sputnik was a friend of Bhaigora Chodree and Ismail Seedat, Desmond Smith.
This was a social club which toured a lot.

Also in the 60’s arrived Vikings Cricket Club, who played at 2nd avenue in Alexandra.
Vikings played in the multiracial African Cricket League.
Players that represented Vikings include; amongst others,
Ishaaq Mather, Miley Mather, Ahmed Jingo, Lesley Johannes, Zandzi, Beni Patel,Mr Wilson,and a certain Mr Pillay

The passion and enthusiasm the players of cricket had at the time was enormous, in really trying and adverse conditions.
On an occasion, the team drove passed the Wanderers, and Mr Pillay said:
Look at that lush green outfield of the Wanderers. My dream is to stroll on the turf, and halfway to the wicket just drop dead.

Makes us appreciate what we have today and the sacrifices of those before us.

Another event narrated to me by Mr Ismail Seedat , was at a game in Pimville.

A malay player from Pimville arranged lunch, and the players sat down. Mielie rice came, followed by the salads.

Now you know us Indians, we love our Tercurry

And the players waited, and nothing came!

So one of the guys asked, is anything else coming?

The opposition player looked on, and said, no that’s all we prepared!

I am certain it was hilarious how the guys had their rice just with salads!

In 1970, Waterval Old Boys was established.
Initially a Tennis club, then football and eventually in 1972 the cricketing wing.
Waterval Old Boys played in the Witwatersrand Indian Cricket Association.
Later in 1975, the first unification of cricket occurred, and WOB joined the Transvaal Cricket Council under the chairmanship of Mia Karolia.

Sometime during this period the name was changed to Marlborough Cricket Club.

Games were played at Pioneer Park, Fairmont, Boereveld, Mia’s Farm, Wemmerpan and Rhodes park, amongst others.

Former players include:
Ismail Fulat, Ebrahim Abed,Ml Yunus Daya, Cassim Kara,Ismail Seedat,Mia Karolia,Ahmed Loonat,Steve Hammond, Aboo Bakr Seedat, Mike Breidell,Geoff Levenstein,Beni Patel,Moosa Kara, Essack Chopdat

In the 1980’s Mia Karolia left our shores, and The Marlboro Cricket Club as we know it was left in the capable hands of Hoosein Matie Mayet. Soon after that , the erection of our very own home grounds, the Marlboro Sports complex.

A little story behind the first ever game at the Marlboro sports complex.
The first fixture co incided with the foundation laying Jalsa of the Marlboro Masjid,

Two exciting occasions for most in the community co-inciding. And the cricketers of MCC agreed with the opposition to begin the game at 8am on the Sunday morning and finish at 1, so as to make attend both events.
A good decision it was, as it poured that afternoon.

Players that played during the 90's include Farouk Rajah, Farouk Wadee,Matie Mayet,Bakes Seedat, Immy Ismail, Ismail Rawat, Rashid Rawat, Vijay Patel, Zunaid Asmal, Zaheer Asmal, Zahid,Rafiq Seedat, Mohamed Kadwa and Rahim Saloojee.


Hussein said...


Just thought I would mention that I too played from 1991 to 1997 for the MCC.

On many an occasion I captained the Sturday & Sunday teams

Hussein (Saca)Loomat

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