International Players

Ian Botham at Jesmond

The Jesmond ground has seen an astonishing range of the world’s greatest players – who remember their visits here with great fondness. A full list of matches is below on this page, and a list of players identified to date is here – please let us know if you can add to this list.

Australian fast bowler Dennis Lillee supported the campaign to save the ground with a beautifully-written essay which said: “ Jesmond is a postage stamp sized ground with the Geordie atmosphere of a MCG crowd. Many cricket grounds are forgettable. However in my opinion Jesmond should live forever. It should be a monument to what cricket is and should never lose.”

Heritage - W Indies 1957 prog - frontHeritage - W Indies 1957 prog - playersInternational teams have played at the ground from the 1911. They include India, Pakistan, the West Indies, Australia and South Africa. The most recent international visit was in 1997 when the Australians played a friendly match – it was a marvellous sunny day and a great opportunity to meet world-class players.

A recent addition to the Heritage Archive is the programme from the 1957 visit by the West Indies, donated by Bruce Rannie. The front of the souvenir programme shows captain John Goddard and vice captain Clyde Walcott. They played Northumberland CCC on 14 September – the squad included a 19 year old Wes Hall and, pictured, Sonny Ramadhin, Frank Worrell, Everton de Courcy Weekes and Alfred Valentine.

A “who’s who” of players took part in the Callers festivals and then the Heritage matches between an England XI and the Rest of the World XI. So far our researchers have added up to more than 200 internationals – there are doubtless many more!

Players included Michael Holding, Clive Lloyd, Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Ian Botham, and Fred Trueman. Commentators such as Henry Blofeld and John Arlott were in attendance.

The full list of international touring sides who have visited the Jesmond Ground is:

  • 1911 – India vs Northumberland
  • 1923 – West Indies vs Northumberland
  • 1927 – New Zealand vs Northumberland
  • 1928 – West Indies vs Northumberland
  • 1932 – India vs Northumberland
  • 1933 – West Indies vs Northumberland
  • 1935 – South Africa vs Northumberland
  • 1947 – South Africa vs Northumberland
  • 1950 – West Indies vs Northumberland
  • 1954 – Canada vs Northumberland (no play due to rain)
  • 1956 – Australia vs Minor Counties
  • 1957 – West Indies vs Minor Counties
  • 1958 – New Zealand vs Minor Counties
  • 1961 – Australia vs Minor Counties
  • 1965 – South Africa vs Minor Counties
  • 1974 – Pakistan vs Minor Counties
  • 1980 – West Indies vs Minor Counties

In addition, Australia played a match at the Ground in 1997.

And the Festivals – featuring a “Who’s Who” of players:

  • Callers Pegasus – 1881 to 1990

1981/82/83 Northumberland and Durham XI v An International XI
1984–1990 An England XI v International XI
(the 1990 match featured the appearance of the ‘England Greats’

  • Heritage Homes – 1991-1992

An England XI v International XI

  • Longhirst Management 1993-1994

An England XI v International XI