Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bowled für sechs

I'm wondering whether you find the same thing...odd...about the following article I ran across last week as I did.


Not Allowed on the Stand

Why Seats Were Not Given

A Blunder

'Quite Unintentional Slight'

An apology has been tendered to the German cricketers, now on a visit to this country, by Mr. R. C. N. Palairet, secretary of the Surrey County Cricket Club.

The German eleven visited the Oval on Saturday to see the Surrey v. Notts match, but were informed that they could not be given complimentary seats in the stand. They had previously paid for admission.

'I trust,' writes Mr. Palairet, in a letter to Mr. G. Henderson, who arranged the visit of the team, 'that you will convey to the members of the German eleven my sincere apologies for the quite unintentional slight offered to them.'

He states that at about 12.30 p.m. on Saturday a verbal message was brought to him which he understood to be that a man below was asking if any privileges had been granted to the German eleven for the Test match.


'To this,' he adds, 'my reply was "No"; no privileges having been asked for.'

'If I had realised that all the members of the team were present, and were asking for admission for the day, I would at once have arranged for their admission, this being the usual practice at the Oval.'

Mr. Kirloskar, the only member of the team who understands English, however, has made it clear already that in speaking to the man who conveyed Mr. Palairet's message he did not mention the Test match, nor did this man representing the secretary do so.

'I think,' he added, 'that he understood perfectly the nature of our request.'

There was a general feeling among cricketers yesterday that an apology was called for.


Hospitality is, however, to be given to the team on Thursday at Lord's, where tehy are to be the guests at tea of Sir Kynaston Studd, president of the M.C.C., and they will witness the Army versus Police schools match.

The invitation was sent to them before their arrival in England by Mr. W. R. Findlay, secretary of the M.C.C.

It was this fact which made their reception at the Oval all the more puzzling.

Daily Herald, 5 August 1930, p. 9

Yes, it was the phrase 'the German cricketers'.

'German cricketers'?

'German cricketers'?

There are many odd things I have learned about my adopted homeland recently (such as the fact that it was once the chief cocaine producer in the world), but the intimation that Germany had a cricket team is one of the more unexpected.

However, given that a quick internet search of the terms 'German' and 'cricket' (though I admit I never would have thought to enter them before) brings me to the Deutscher Cricket Bund, perhaps I shouldn't have been so surprised.

And from their history page comes not only some information about the sport's past in this country, but also a glancing reference to the circumstances in which the above-mentioned slight occurred (my, rather hasty, translation):

The earliest known reference to cricket in Germany was in 1850, when a group of English and Americans founded the first cricket club in Germany.

Another club, which called itself Berlin CC, was founed in 1883. Until 1907, there were seven clubs in Berlin that participated in the Berlin Cricket League. By the outbreak of the First World War, this number had grown to 14.

The 'German Cricket and Football Federation' [Deutsche Cricket und Fußball Bund] was founded in 1893, the first German cricket federation in 1913. The clubs came from Berlin, Nuremberg, Fürth, Düsseldorf, Mannheim and Hamburg.

Although this cricket federation published a newsletter, very little is known about its activities. Between 1860 and 1991, several foreign teams toured through Germany, e.g., from Denmark, the Netherlands, and also the Leicestershire county CC.

The first tour of a German team in England occurred in 1930, and in 1937 the 'Gentlemen of Worcester', bolstered by four former professionals, played two 'Tests' in Berlin.
If anyone out there knows more about the history of German cricket, I'd be happy to hear from you. (Sounds like a sports history dissertation in the making to me....)

[UPDATE]: more info here. And here.

1 comment:

mikeov roe green III IX said...

I believe that the German Cricket authorities attempted to introduce the penalty shoot system out ahead of a World Cup game with England. Might only be a rumour, though.