Did you know Cricket evolved from a game developed by shepherds in southern England to pass the time while guarding their sheep? Or, that the first game of international cricket was played in New York between the USA and Canada. Or that the Sheffield Shield was created from money donated by an Englishman?
The new Origins of the Game gallery at the International Cricket Hall of Fame tells the story of cricket from its primitive rocks and sticks origins in the 1300’s to the infamous Bodyline era of the 1930’s. It offers a fascinating exploration of both cricket and events that have shaped the modern world.
The Origins of the Game gallery also features the history of the Sheffield Shield and we are thrilled to announce the Shield is now on display. This marks the first time the Sheffield Shield has been on display to the public in NSW other than during presentation ceremonies. Hardy Brothers Jewelers restored the shield in 2008 and it’s a rare opportunity for fans of the game to see the ornate silver trophy in person.
“The Sheffield Shield is such an important part of Australian Cricket and it’s a great chance for fans of the game to see the incredible detailed silver-work of the trophy up close and in person, many people don’t realise how beautiful the trophy is.” Rina Hore, Bradman Foundation Executive Director
“We’re really excited about the Origins of the Game Gallery, it naturally flows from the elements of The Game gallery so visitors firstly learn the basics of the game and then gain a deeper understanding in the context of major historical events.” Said Bradman Foundation curator David Wells.
Just about anything and everything to do with the development of cricket can be found in the new gallery, for example there is a reference to the outbreak of the French Revolution which caused an international match between England and France to be abandoned as most of the French Team were busy fleeing the country!
Items on display include the museum’s earliest bat, believed to be used by a left-hander from 1750 and crafted from a single piece of cherry wood. Also on display are countless rare photos of famous players, uniforms and blazers from various era’s, letters and articles, souvenirs, programs and scorecards.
“The magic of the Origins Gallery is that it’s accessible to all, it’s basically a storehouse of the most incredible facts, figures, photos and stories.” Said Rina Hore, Bradman Foundation Executive Director.
The Gallery also traces the involvement of the aristocracy and the church in the game. The aristocracy could see the money generating opportunities while the church saw it as a threat! For example, by the 17th Century cricket was so well established in southern England that Oliver Cromwell had the Church of England fine people for playing on Sundays.
The Origins of the Game Gallery will be officially opened on Saturday November 26, 2011 and the Sheffield Shield will be on display until mid December.