Another memorable match!

In the latest digital story on members of Rodley CC talk about their most memorable matches, they’re pretty interesting but don’t really compete with this!

This is an article my friend Andrew found while going through some old correspondence from the 1950s.  It was sent to us in 1959 by a member who thought we might find it interesting.

The article reads…

“Mr K. Bolton, who returned recently to Sydney from a trading trip to the island of Malaita, in the Solomon  group, describes a cricket match that took place between two groups of natives.  An engagement was made for the men of Tai to visit Atta, another small island, for the purpose of deciding the inter-island cricket championship.

Cricket at Malaita is a peculiar game.  As many as 30 or 40 men play on each side.  The bat is a piece of wood, roughly shaped, and the ball a hard ivory nut.  Scoring is carried out in a primitive fashion by tearing off a frond from a palm leaf for every run scored.

When Tai visited Atta, the home team batted first, and scored 10 runs.  Tai claimed the match, and said it was unnecessary for them to bat, as they could not possibly score less.  Amid protests from Atta, they proudly paraded as the winners, and announced their intention of going home.  In this they were loudly supported by their women, who were standing off the island in their canoes.

As the men of Tai waded out to their canoes their boasts proved too much for the Atta natives.  Brandishing hatchets and knives they fell upon the self-styled winners.  A fierce struggle ensued, and one of the Atta team had his arm chopped off at the shoulder.  Many others received knife wounds.

The Government officer in Malaita hearing of the fight, called at the scene of the struggle and held a court.  After hearing evidence, while both teams stood glaring at one another and breathing threats, the officer fined the captain of each team 5s for disturbing the peace.  When the fine was paid, he assembled the teams, and in pidgin English told them that if they played British games they must observe the spirit of British fairplay.”

Pretty memorable!  But probably not as much fun as the Rodley CC matches.

(Article provided by MCC Library).


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