History of Cricket

The Post-War Period


Having become an independent nation after the partition of India in 1947, Pakistan played their first Test aginst India at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi on 16, 17, 18 October, 1952, becoming the seventh Test nation. They lost by an innings and 70 runs. Pakistan won the very next match, at Lucknow, to square the five-Test series, but of the remaining three matches India won one and two were drawn.

Pakistan became a member of the ICC on 28 July, 1953.

Ian Meckiff

Ian Meckiff was called four times for throwing in his only over of the Test by Australian umpire Colin Egar against South Africa at Brisbane in 1963-64. Meckiff subsequently announced his retirement from all first-class cricket.

Expansion of the ICC

In 1965, the Imperial Cricket Conference was renamed the International Cricket Conference, and the membership rules changed to allow non-Commonwealth countries membership. Three tiers of membership were introduced. All the existing members (England, Australia, India, New Zealand, West Indies, Pakistan) became Full Members. Countries in which organised cricket was firmly established and recognised by the ICC could become Associate Members. Countries in which the ICC recognised that organised cricket was played in accordance with the Laws of Cricket could become Affiliate Members.

Initially, each Full Member had two votes in ICC resolutions, while Associate Members had one each. Founding members (i.e. England and Australia) had veto privileges. Affiliate Members had no voting privileges.

The first two countries to gain Associate Membership were Fiji and the USA, in 1965. In the 1960s and 70s, Associate Membership grew rapidly:

South Africa and Apartheid

On 31 May, 1961, South Africa became a republic, and withdrew from the Commonwealth. As the Imperial Cricket Conference still only admitted members of the Commonwealth, South Africa's membership of the ICC was terminated. South Africa did, however, continue to play Test cricket, hosting a tour by New Zealand in 1961/62, touring Australia and New Zealand in 1963/64, hosting England in 1964/65, touring England in 1965, and hosting Australia in 1966/67 and 1969/70.

In 1970, the member nations of the renamed International Cricket Conference voted to suspend South Africa from international cricket competition indefinitely, because of its government's discriminatory policy of apartheid. South Africa had played its last Test against Australia on 5, 6, 7, 9, 10 March, 1970, at Port Elizabeth. All ICC member nations were banned from playing against or with South African players.

The suspension resulted in the Test careers of several fine players being cut short, most notably Barry Richards and Graham Pollock. South Africa continued playing domestic cricket within the country, and its players remained strong. In 1974, the South African Cricket Board of Control applied for re-admission to international cricket, and was refused by the ICC.

Starved of top-level competition for its best players, the board began funding so-called rebel tours, offering large sums of money for international players to form teams and tour South Africa. The ICC's response was to blacklist any rebel players who agreed to tour South Africa, banning them from officially sanctioned international cricket. As players were remunerated poorly during the 1970s, several accepted the offer to tour South Africa, particularly players towards the end of their careers, where a blacklisting would have little effect.

The rebel tours were widely condemned by the cricket establishement as offering support and succour to South Africa's apartheid regime, and some members of the press supported this view. Others claimed that the old maxim that "sport and politics do not mix" applied and saw no harm in having a sporting contest with citizens of an oppressive government.

Rebel tours continued into the 1980s, including a high profile English team led by Graham Gooch in 1982, and an team of Australians led by former Test captain Kim Hughes in 1985. Hughes never played officially sanctioned cricket again, but Gooch went on to represent England again after serving a 3-year ban.

One-Day Cricket

In the 1960s, English county teams began playing a version of cricket with modified rules. Instead of allowing each team two innings and requiring the team to be dismissed in each one, they set up games of only one innings each, and decreed that the innings would be completed when a maximum number of overs had been bowled, regardless of how many wickets remained. (Although if a side lost all ten wickets sooner, that would also end the innings as usual.)

This change to the rules allowed a game to be completed within one day. This did not supplant the traditional long format of the game, which continued to be played. Indeed, many cricket fans considered the shorter form of the game to be a corruption of the sport. One-day cricket did however have the advantage of delivering a result to spectators within a single day, thus improving cricket's appeal to younger or busier people.

One-Day Internationals

The first one-day international match took place in Melbourne on 5 January, 1971. The third Test of the Ashes series had been abandoned without a ball being bowled because of heavy rain on the opening days. On the last scheduled day of play for the Test, the teams agreed to stage a one-day game simply to get some exercise. Over 46,000 people turned up and paid to watch the game.

Since Australia was using 8-ball overs at the time, the match was set for 40 overs per innings. Australia won the toss and captain Bill Lawry sent England in to bat, perhaps figuring that knowing the target and how many overs they had to chase it down would make winning easier. The English players had some experience with one-day cricket, from the county competitions back home, and set about amassing runs at a respectable rate, somewhat faster than a Test match. They were dismissed halfway through the last over, for a total of 190. The scoring rate was 3.6 runs per 6 balls, a figure significantly higher than typical Test scoring rates, but not approaching the rates that would later become typical of one-day cricket. For their part, the Australians had no real experience with such games, and did not adjust their tactics at all, setting typical attacking Test cricket fields that allowed England to score runs more easily than they should have been able.

However, seeing the chase ahead of them, the Australians batted aggressively and well, scoring the required runs in the 35th over at a rate of 4.1 runs per 6 balls, and losing just 5 wickets in the process. The first one-day international, played on the same ground between the same teams as the first Test 94 years earlier, ended with the same team winning.

The cricketing establishment, seeing the huge turnout for the game, decided that more one-day internationals would appear in future scheduling. One-day internationals have since grown to become the most popular form of cricket.

The World Cup 1975

One-day internationals proved so popular so quickly that the International Cricket Council organised the first Cricket World Cup in 1975, pitting all the Test nations against one another in a series of one-day games, hosted in England.

The West Indies beat Australia in a thrilling final that cemented the popularity of the short form of cricket and led to World Cups being held every four years.

The Centenary Test

To celebrate the centenary of Test cricket, England and Australia arranged a special one-off Test match to be played on the same ground, 100 years after the first Test match. The Centenary Test was played on 12, 13, 14, 16, 17 March, 1977, starting ahead of the exact anniversary by three days.

England won the toss and put Australia in to bat after a wet morning, hoping to make the most of the moisture in the pitch. The tactic worked, and Australia were dismissed before the end of the day for a paltry 138 runs. Unfortunately for the English, it also worked for the Australians, when a fired up Dennis Lillee took an amazing 6/26, assisted by Max Walker with 4/54, wrapping up the English innings for just 95.

In the second innings, Australia fared much better, building a total of 9/419 declared on the back of wicket-keeper Rod Marsh's 110 and debutant David Hookes' flashing 56 that included 9 fours, five of them off consecutive deliveries by English captain Tony Greig. England's target of 463 to win looked unassailable, but assail it they did. With both openers finally gone at 2/113, Derek Randall and Dennis Amiss added another 166 runs before Amiss was finally bowled by Australian captain Greg Chappell - a part time bowler simply trying himself for some variety. Randall stayed at the crease until the score reached 346 runs, having scored 174 of them. With five wickets down, England needed just over 100 more runs to win. Enter Dennis Lillee again. The tearaway fast bowler ripped throough the English tail, taking a total of 5/139 in the innings and giving him 11 wickets for the match. England were all out for 417, a tantalising 45 runs short of Australia's total.

And by an uncanny coincidence, that was exactly the same result and margin of victory as 100 years earlier.

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