ICC membership granted 1981 (as Zimbabwe-Rhodesia)
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The Rhodesia cricket team played First-class cricket and represented originally the British colony of Southern Rhodesia and later the unilaterally independent state of Rhodesia which eventually became Zimbabwe. Rhodesian players were eligible to represent South Africa in Test cricket until the country became Zimbabwe. In 1980 the Rhodesia cricket team was renamed as the Zimbabwe-Rhodesia Cricket team, and in 1981 it adopted its current name of the Zimbabwe national cricket team.


The formation of a first-class Rhodesian cricket team occurred on 16 August 1890, when the first recorded match took place near Fort Victoria (modern Masvingo). In the mid-1890s, the most important match of the Rhodesian domestic cricket season was Salisbury v Bulawayo. The first English representative team, led by Lord Hawke, visited in 1898–99, with the match played on a matting wicket.

Rhodesia then competed in South Africa's Currie Cup championship from 1905, but its appearances were sporadic at first. Having lost their inaugural match to Transvaal by an innings and 170 runs, Rhodesia did not play in the Currie Cup again until 1929–30. They also played in 1931–32, winning four out of five matches, but losing the cup to Western Province under the points system then in use. The Rhodesian team then did not return until 1946–47, after which they played regularly.

In the intervening period, Denis Tomlinson became Rhodesia's first Test cricketer when he was selected to tour England with the South African cricket team in 1935, Chris Duckworth the second for the English tour of 1955, and Tony Pithey the third against England in the home series of 1956/57. The Logan Cup, a weekend contest between the four provinces, Matabaleland, Mashonaland, Manicaland and Midlands was played on an annual basis, later incorporating Northern Rhodesia, while in the winter months, with the farmers in fallow, Sunday Country Districts' Cricket abounded. Additionally in the late 1950s and early 1960s, in those winter months, the Stragglers, made up of a number of Mashonaland players, travelled to Blantyre for weekend matches on matting wickets against Nyasaland. In the 1961 game Chris Duckworth scored 91 in 58 minutes.

David Lewis was the captain of the Rhodesian team for 10 years, from 1953–54 to 1963–64, and the team included players such as Colin Bland, Chris Duckworth, Godfrey Lawrence, Percy Mansell, Joe Partridge, Tony and David Pithey, Lloyd Koch and Paul Winslow. By the 1970s, the team was captained by Mike Procter and included players such as John Traicos, Duncan Fletcher, and Robin Jackman. However, despite this wealth of talent Rhodesia never managed to win the Currie Cup.

Rhodesia was visited by a New Zealand team at the start of their tour of South Africa in October 1961. They played two three day first-class games against Rhodesia, the first in Bulawayo and the second in Sailsbury. Both matches ended in draws.[1][2] An International XI toured the nation in 1961–62. This was the first tour by an international team of southern Africa that was confined to Rhodesia. The International XI visited the country in February–March 1962 and played matches in Kitwe, Bulawayo and Salisbury.

A Commonwealth XI cricket team toured Rhodesia in the 1962–63 season, playing two first-class matches against teams representative of Rhodesia, in Kitwe and Salisbury. Captained by Willie Watson, the Commonwealth XI included several famous or well-known players such as Basil D'Oliveira, Rohan Kanhai, Roy Swetman, Chandu Borde, Roy Marshall, Bill Alley, Trevor Goddard and Peter Loader.

The team played Currie Cup in 1979–80 as "Zimbabwe-Rhodesia" then left the competition for good at the close of that season, after Zimbabwe officially became independent.


Two hundred and forty two cricketers represented Rhodesia with noted Rhodesian players including Denis Tomlinson, Chris Duckworth, Tony Pithey, David Pithey, Jackie du Preez, Joe Partridge, Godfrey Lawrence and Colin Bland. These were the only Rhodesian born cricketers to represent South Africa, together with Shropshire-born Percy Mansell and the South Africans Paul Winslow, Mike Procter, Peter Carlstein and Egyptian-born John Traicos but the team never won the Currie Cup.

David Lewis was the captain of the Rhodesian team for 10 years, from 1953–54 to 1963–64, and the team of his era included players such as Bland, Duckworth, Lawrence, Mansell, Partridge, the Pithey's, Winslow and Lloyd Koch. By the 1970s, the team was captained by Mike Procter and included players such as Traicos, Duncan Fletcher, and Robin Jackman.


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