|Colours||Green Gold Red|
|Home ground||Blundstone Arena|
|Sheffield Shield wins||3 (2007, 2011, 2013)|
|Matador BBQs One-Day Cup wins||4 (1979, 2005, 2008, 2010)|
|KFC Twenty20 Big Bash wins||0|
|Official website||Tasmanian Tigers|
The Tasmanian cricket team, nicknamed the Tigers, represents the Australian state of Tasmania in cricket. They compete annually in the Australian domestic senior men's cricket season, which consists of the first-class Sheffield Shield and the limited overs Matador BBQs One-Day Cup.
Tasmania played in the first first-class cricket match in Australia against Victoria in 1851, which they won by three wickets. Despite winning their first match, and producing many fine cricketers in the late 19th century, Tasmania was overlooked when the participants in Australian first-class tournament known as the Sheffield Shield were chosen in 1892. For nearly eighty years the Tasmanian side played an average of only two or three first-class matches per year, usually against one of the mainland Australian teams, or warm-up matches against a touring international test team.
Tasmania were finally admitted to regular competitions when they became a founding member of the Gillette Cup domestic one day cricket tournament upon its inception in 1969. They have performed well in it, winning it four times, and having been runners-up twice. It took a further eight seasons before Tasmania were admitted into the Sheffield Shield in 1977–78, and it was initially on a reduced fixtures list, but by the 1979–80 season, they had become full participants, and slowly progressed towards competitiveness within the tournament, first winning in the 2006–07 season—after almost 30 years in the competition. In the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash the Tigers have yet to win, but were runners-up in 2006–07.
Tasmania play their limited overs cricket in a predominantly green uniform, with red and gold as their secondary colours, and have a Tasmanian tiger as their team logo. They play home matches at Bellerive Oval, Clarence on Hobart's Eastern Shore, though matches are occasionally played at venues in Devonport and Launceston.
Cricket almost certainly has been played in Tasmania since the time of European settlement in 1803. It was a popular pastime among marines, who were responsible for security in the fledgling colony. The first recorded match is known to have taken place in 1806, although it is most likely that unrecorded matches were already being played at this time. According to the colony's chaplain, and famed diarist, Robert Knopwood by 1814 the game had become very popular, especially around the festive season at Christmas.
By the 1820s there had still not been any official club organisation, but matches were being played on a regular basis. Cricket is recorded as having been played in the settlements at Richmond, Clarence Plains, Kempton, Sorell, in the Macquarie Valley west of Campbell Town, Westbury, Evandale, Longford and Hadspen.
Many of these matches seem to have been organised between hotel licensees, in order to create profits through the sale of food and beverages, and through betting on the outcome. One such match that was arranged in March 1826 by Joseph Bowden, the hotelier of the Lamb Inn on Brisbane Street was played for a winner's purse of 50 guineas between "Eleven Gentlemen from the Counties of Sussex and Kent against the choice of the whole Island of Van Diemen’s Land".
There is no evidence to suggest an "official cricket season" during the first two decades of the colony, and many of these games initially seem to have been played around June and July, to coincide with the traditional English cricket season, rather than the Tasmanian summer. Accounts of such matches suggest games were often played in atrocious conditions due to winter rains and cold conditions. But by the 1830s, logic had prevailed and cricket seems to have reverted to the southern summer months. Club cricket had also become well-established by the 1830s. One of the earliest men responsible for organising cricket within the colony was John Marshall, who was established the Hobart Town Club soon after his arrival from England. Soon after in 1835 the Derwent Cricket Club was formed making it the oldest surviving cricket club in Tasmania, and in 1841, the Launceston Cricket Club was formed, making it the second oldest surviving cricket club in Tasmania, and third oldest in Australia. Cricket had soon also spread into many regional settlements throughout the Colony of Tasmania, making it one of the most popular pastimes there. Some matches were played as part of district festivals, with large banquets following play.
By the late 1840s organised cricket was doing well in both Hobart and Launceston, and was spreading throughout the colony. In 1850 the first "North" versus "South" match was held in Oatlands, midway between Hobart and Launceston, and won by the South. The success of the match prompted promoters to organise an inter-colonial match, and the inaugural first-class cricket match played in Tasmania, which was also the first ever first-class cricket match in Australia, was played in 1851 between Victoria and Tasmania in Launceston at the Launceston Racecourse. The game was billed as "The Gentlemen of Port Phillip versus the Gentlemen of Van Diemen's Land". The game featured four-ball overs and no boundaries, attracted a crowd of about 2500 spectators, and it was a timeless match, but only lasted for two days. Tasmania emerged victorious by three wickets.
Despite winning the first ever first-class match in the Australian colonies, Tasmania felt its geographic isolation in the form of a lack of competition. Few touring sides wished to undertake the long sea journey to the island in the late 19th century. The game also developed more slowly, with Tasmanian clubs maintaining a belief in amateurism at a time when mainland clubs were turning to professionals to further their development. Also a lack of innovation stymied progress. The Victorian side that visited in 1858 had adopted the new round arm form of bowling, and it demolished the Tasmanian batting order unused to the technique. The population decline of the 1850s as Tasmanians moved to the Victorian goldfields also had a negative effect on the quality of players Tasmania could select.
Despite the problems facing Tasmanian cricket, local teams did occasionally play against competitive sides. The English tourists of 1861–62, played against Tasmania, winning by four wickets. Tasmania played against Victoria three times in the early 1870s, but lost all three matches, convincing the Victorians that Tasmania was not suitably competitive. Tasmania did not play another first-class match until 1877, when it travelled to Adelaide to take on South Australia.
The 1880s provided better progress for the colony. In 1880 the TCA Ground had been established, providing a permanent ground to play on in the colony's capital, Hobart. The establishment of an organised regular local competition led to improvement in the quality of players. John Davies, owner of local newspaper The Mercury, was a keen cricket fan, and through personal connections, he arranged various touring English sides to visit the colony, and victory for Tasmania against the English tourists in 1887–88 led to Victoria resuming competition with Tasmania.
In the 1890s, the colony was playing representative cricket against Victoria almost every year, and occasionally against New South Wales as well. The colony could also boast genuinely first-class quality players, such as Kenneth Burn, Charles Eady, and Edward Windsor, the first two of whom played test cricket for Australia. However, the retirement of Eady and Burn by 1910, and in-fighting between Hobart and Launceston again threatened first-class cricket in Tasmania. The outbreak of World War I also saw a large loss of playing talent, killed on the battlefields. Cricket was suspended during the war, and did not resume until 1923, albeit with severe financial problems.
Following World War I, Tasmanian representative sides usually had to content themselves with matches against touring international sides during brief stopovers, while they travelled by ship to mainland capitals. Occasionally Tasmania would play the odd game against mainland state sides, but it was usually only one first-class match per season.
The inter-war years proved a period of consolidation for Tasmania, as the state struggled to recover from the devastation of the war. Club cricket was hampered by rivalry between the south, north and north-west. Several exceptional cricketers emerged in this period, such as Laurie Nash, Jack Badcock, though a lack of opportunity led many to pursue cricket careers on the mainland. The quality of cricket in Tasmania varied from time to time, but after World War II the standard was high. Cricket resumed much faster than it had done after World War I, and excellent players such as Ronald Morrisby, Emerson Rodwell, and Bernard Considine emerged. This prompted moves to be made by the Tasmanian Cricket Association for further matches and recognition.
Despite the skills of Rodwell and Terence Cowley, Tasmania struggled to beat Victoria in the 1950s. As a result, the Victorian Cricket Association decided to end the regular matches against Tasmania, and the English tourists also decided to downgrade matches against the state to second-class status. As a result, the Tasmanian Cricket Association made a first attempt to join the Sheffield Shield in 1964, but was rejected. The Australian Cricket Board of Control outlined areas in which the state's administration would need to be improved before Tasmania could participate in the Shield. Despite this, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia supported Tasmania by sending full-strength sides to take on the state as warm-ups to their Shield campaigns over the following few years. When the domestic one day competition was established in 1969, Tasmania was granted full playing status.
The arrival of Lancashire all rounder Jack Simmons in the 1972–73 season proved a turning point in the fortunes of the team. His inspirational captaincy lifted the competitiveness of Tasmania. In the 1974–75 and 1975–76 seasons, Tasmania were losing semi-finalists in the Gillette Cup. The Tasmanian team was finally admitted to the Sheffield Shield by the Australian Cricket Board in 1977 on a two-year trial basis, although it played a reduced roster in comparison to the other states. Tasmania's points on the ladder were calculated at x5 and /9 due to the fact they only played each other state once (instead of twice) during the season. A famous victory by 84 runs at the TCA Ground against the Indian tourists in 1977 helped the TCA to convince mainland cricket authorities that Tasmanian cricket was nationally competitive.
Simmons had proved an inspirational captain for Tasmania, and although the side only won one of the twelve first-class matches under his leadership, that had more to do with the quality of the homegrown players at the time. His List A cricket record was more successful, leading Tasmania to six victories in eleven matches. He also assisted the TCA in modernising the administration of cricket in the state.
After making the Gillette Cup semi-finals in the 1974–75, and 75–76 seasons, Tasmania qualified for the final for the first time in the 1977–78 season, but lost to Western Australia at the WACA Ground by seven wickets. A surprise victory came the following year in the 1978–79 Gillette Cup domestic one-day competition, in a repeat of the previous year's final. The game was played at the TCA Ground in Hobart, and the home ground advantage proved decisive, with Tasmania beating Western Australia by 47 runs. Within a fortnight Tasmania had won their first Sheffield Shield match, again beating Western Australia, this time by four wickets in Devonport. The victory showed the mainland states Tasmania was capable of competing among the nation's best.
The presence of the Simmons, and the 1978–79 Gillette Cup victory had brought attention to Tasmanian cricket, and soon other international professionals joined the state for brief stints to both help out Tasmania's development, and gain further experience in Australian conditions. Michael Holding, Winston Davis, Patrick Patterson, Richard Hadlee and Dennis Lillee were among the more notable players to represent Tasmania in the late 1970s and early '80s.
After finally being admitted to the Sheffield Shield permanently, the Tasmanian side initially struggled for success and consistency, and were the competition's whipping-boys throughout the 1980s and early 90s. The rise of a local hero in the form of David Boon, who by 1984 had achieved international fame, showed the country, and the world, that Tasmanian cricket was here to stay. Wicket-keeper Roger Woolley also briefly rose to prominence, representing Australia in two tests, and four One Day Internationals in 1983–84. The pair had become the first Tasmanians to represent Australia at test level since Charles Eady in 1910.
Despite their skills, the Tasmanian side struggled to win throughout this period. A fact strongly disputed by Tasmanian 'Spinner', John Bridger whom repeatedly refutes claims of Victoria's dominance against the minnow state, despite the obvious facts. Regardless of the lack of competitive success, one exceptionally bright point came with the unearthing of a rare talent in Ricky Ponting, who would go on to become one of the world's best batsmen.
A reshuffle in the administration and organisation of the TCA in 1991 did not have an immediate effect, but the mid-1990s brought a more professional approach, and the state's side re-branded as the Tasmanian Tigers, and with a new headquarters in the renovated Bellerive Oval, the state finally started to achieve more regular success. The side surged to the final for the first time in 1993–94, only to lose to New South Wales, but showed they were capable of successes at first class level. The 1997–98 season saw the Tigers qualify for the final off the back off a remarkable six straight victories, and they were desperately unlucky not to win the competition after such dominance.
In the late 1990s Tasmania continued to produce top level cricketers. Players such as Jamie Cox, Dene Hills, Shaun Young and Michael Di Venuto became stars of the state side, and can all be considered unlucky not to have found a place in the Australian side.
The Tigers continue to remain competitive in all forms of the Australian domestic game, and in 2006–07 were successful in claiming their first-ever Sheffield Shield title. Five years later, they won the Shield a second time in 2010–11, and again in 2012–13. The Tigers have also qualified for the final on four other occasions in 1993–94, 1997–98, 2001–02 and 2011–12, but had to settle for second place.
The Tigers have fared better in the Ford Ranger Cup, winning it four times in 1978–79, 2004–05, 2007–08, and in 2009–10. They have also been runners-up twice in 1977–78, and 1986–87. The Tigers were also unlucky to finish as runners-up in the second season of the Australian domestic Twenty20 KFC Twenty20 Big Bash competition in 2006–07.
Tasmania's recent successes at domestic level have been reflected in selection for the Australian national cricket team. Spinner Jason Krejza played two tests on the back of solid performances for the state, but failed to impress at international level. Brett Geeves was selected in the One Day International squad for 2008, and has since gone on to also play in the Indian Premier League. Fast-bowler Ben Hilfenhaus was included in the national squad for the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 and a tour of India, before making his test cricket debut in South Africa in 2009. During the 2009 Ashes series, wicket-keeper Tim Paine was called into the squad as a late replacement for injured reserve wicket-keeper Graham Manou.
Cricket Australia encouraged the state sides to recruit a foreign star for the 2009/10 season, in order to boost the appeal of the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash internationally. Tasmania pulled off one of the biggest coups in this recruitment programme, when they signed Sri Lankan star Lasith Malinga. Disappointingly for the Tigers, Malinga was forced to withdraw due to a change in international commitments for the Sri Lankan side. On 16 November 2009, Cricket Tasmania announced that Dimitri Mascarenhas would replace Malinga as Tasmania's overseas player for the 2009/10 KFC Twenty20 Big Bash. However Rana Naved-Ul-Hasan played instead of Mascarenhas. Ul-Hasan also played the following season of the Big Bash.
Main article: Bellerive Oval
Main article: TCA Ground
Tasmania have traditionally played cricket both in the state capital Hobart, and Launceston which is the largest city in the north of the state. Cricket was first played on open ground in Hobart, but soon dedicated fields began to be laid out. One such field was the TCA Ground on the Queens Domain. Although it wasn't officially opened until 1880, cricket had been played on the site prior to this. From the 1880s however, it became home to both the Tasmanian Cricket Association and the state's first-class side. To ensure equal access to the population in the north, Tasmania would often also play home matches at the NTCA Ground in Launceston, which had also hosted the first-ever first-class match in Australia, between Tasmania and Victoria in 1851.
When Tasmania was admitted to the Gillette Cup for the 1969–70 season, they began to spread the matches to a third venue, Devonport Oval in Devonport. The TCA Ground had remained the Tasmanian team's official home ground though.
During the re-branding process of the early 1990s, the TCA was faced with a dilemma about their ground. The TCA Ground had a reputation for poor soil and windy conditions, and games were often played in blustery condition with chilly winds blowing off nearby Mount Wellington. The decision was made to move both the offices of the Tasmanian Cricket Association, and the official home ground to Bellerive Oval in Clarence. The decision was a wise one, as it saw test cricket introduced to the state for the first time, and coincided with an improvement in results for the Tasmanian side.
It is not known what colour caps the first first-class sides of Tasmania wore, although claret and red examples survive from the 19th century. Sometime towards the middle of the 19th century, the state had also adopted dark green, red, and gold as the state's unofficial colours, and these have persisted in use by state representative sporting teams since then. Bottle green and light green have occasionally been used in the place of dark green.
The cricket team quickly adopted dark green as their cap colour, and although this is similar to the more iconic Baggy green cap worn by the national side, the use of it by Tasmania pre-dates the national side doing so. Soon after the development of the flag of Tasmania in 1876, the red lion-passant that is featured in the state badge upon the fly was also adopted to feature upon the cap badge.
This cap, in dark green with a red lion upon a white disk was in use throughout the late 19th, and most of the 20th centuries. In 1991 the Tasmanian Cricket Association re-branded and modernised its business structure, at the same time taking on a new logo to publicly show the modernisation of its organisation. The new logo featured a thylacine, a well known symbol of the state in front of a red and dark green background, with three strips rising from its back, symbolic of three stumps in front of a large golden ball. This logo was used to replace the lion on the front of the cap that had served for 120 years.
In the 1995–96 season, all of the domestic sides in Australia re-branded with nicknamed monikers in the style of American sports franchises. It was a practice common in the countries football codes, but previously never done in cricket anywhere in the world. The Tasmanian cricket team naturally chose to adopt the Tasmanian tiger as its animal representation, and changed the cap badge once again. The new logo featured a thylacine's face on a triangular logo, with three strips across one of the ears.
Players with international caps are listed in bold:
|No.||Name||Nat||Birth date||Batting style||Bowling style||Notes|
|1||Caleb Jewell||21 April 1997||Left-handed||—|
|9||Charlie Wakim||9 July 1991||Right-handed||Right-arm off break|
|21||Jordan Silk||13 April 1992||Right-handed||Right-arm medium|
|33||Mac Wright||22 January 1998||Right-handed||Right-arm leg break|
|61||Tim Ward||16 February 1998||Left-handed||–|
|7||Mitchell Owen||16 September 2001||Right-handed||Right-arm medium||Rookie Contract|
|20||Beau Webster||1 December 1993||Right-handed||Right-arm off-break/medium|
|54||Tom Andrews||7 October 1994||Left-handed||Slow left-arm orthodox|
|30||Bradley Hope||13 July 1999||Right-handed||Right-arm medium-fast||Rookie Contract|
|–||Nivethan Radhakrishnan||25 November 2002||Right-handed||Right-arm off break/Slow left-arm orthodox||Rookie contract|
|2||Jake Doran||2 December 1996||Left-handed||Left-arm medium|
|13||Matthew Wade||26 December 1987||Left-handed||Right-arm fast-medium|
|28||Ben McDermott||12 December 1994||Right-handed||Right-arm medium|
|36||Tim Paine||8 December 1984||Right-handed||Right-arm medium||Cricket Australia contract|
|5||Gabe Bell||3 July 1995||Right-handed||Right-arm medium-fast|
|12||Riley Meredith||21 June 1996||Left-handed||Right-arm fast|
|19||Jarrod Freeman||15 June 2000||Right-handed||Right-arm off-break||Rookie contract|
|22||Jackson Bird||11 December 1986||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium|
|27||Lawrence Neil-Smith||1 June 1999||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium|
|43||Sam Rainbird||5 June 1992||Right-handed||Left-arm medium-fast|
|46||Peter Siddle||25 November 1984||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium|
|72||Nathan Ellis||22 September 1994||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium|
|–||Iain Carlisle||5 January 2000||Right-handed||Right-arm fast-medium||Rookie contract|
|–||Billy Stanlake||4 November 1994||Right-handed||Right-arm fast|
Main article: Tasmanian cricket captains
Main article: List of Tasmanian representative cricketers