The founder of Matjiesfontein (affectionately known to all as “Matjies”), James Douglas Logan, motivated the first three Cricket Test Matches in South Africa (1889-1896), and also the first two Test Matches against England in the UK (1889 & 1901).
He also organised three Cricket Matches featuring England against invitation SA teams at Matjies (1896, 1899, 1901).
As a mark of respect for the historic cricket importance of the matches which took place between these English and South African teams at Matjies, and the fact that James Logan was instrumental in motivating cricket matches against England from the very beginning, we annually travel to Matjies to play the “Matjiesfontein English-SA Cricket Celebration Match”.
The game is played by invited English and South African players, and takes place on exactly the same pitch on which the actual matches took place.
History of Events
James Douglas Logan was an emigrant Scotsman who was shipwrecked en route to Australia. Employed as a railway porter at Cape Town Station, he quickly rose to the rank of Superintendant of Railways in the Cape Province, and went on to became one of the wealthiest and most influential men in the Province. He was also a cricket enthusiast, and was the initiator and organiser behind the first English Teams to play in South Africa. He founded Matjiesfontein in 1884, and built the Lord Milner Hotel in 1898.
History of James Douglas Logan – http://www.theheritageportal.co.za/article/empire-war-cricket-south-africa-logan-matjiesfontein
Cricket At Matjiesfontein
The early English teams played three matches at Matjies and George Lohman, a player thought by some to be the best Cricketer in English Cricket history, is buried at the Graveyard close to Matjies, were he spent the last three years of his life – a victim of tuberculosis.
During the Boer War, Matjiesfontein was a rest and recuperation base for the English troops, and during this time a cricket match took place between an invitation “English Team” and an invitation “South African” team.