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England was one of them – ‘We were the Champions’

England was one of them – ‘We were the Champions’

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08.MAR.07

Cricket touring sides are no strangers on our shores. The first one came in 1895. The players arrived from England by ship, a journey which would have taken them about six weeks.

The tour of the West Indies was lead by Middlesex captain R. Slade Lucas, and they played a one day match here in St. Vincent. One of our great cricketers, Charles Ollivierre, seized the moment and ran through the Englishmen. The result was a win for St. Vincent who made 139 runs while England could only muster 63.{{more}}

There were the usual round of excuses of course, ‘the pitch was too gravely’, ‘the light was too ‘good’ and of course ‘…if only there had been a second innings’. Obviously the English have learnt their lesson; they know better than to take on SVG on this occasion!

The encounter heralded a change in the course of Ollivierre’s life however. He was recruited to play for Derbyshire and spent the rest of his years living in Yorkshire. He died there in 1949 at the age of 73, which was not a bad batting average for those days.

The match was played at Victoria Park. At that time it was not enclosed. If you want to see how beautiful it was, with the ladies in their colourful long dresses and the men in their whites, call in at the National Trust Exhibition in the Old Public Library when you are next in Kingstown. The Trust is selling commemorative postcards of the match.

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