Norfolk Island – the oldest cricket ground in the Southern Hemisphere
Norfolk Island is a remarkable place. It is a tiny Pacific Island, defined by pine trees, jagged cliffs, stunning blue ocean, and an incredible history…including cricket.
The island, now an external territory of Australia, is isolated 1,673 km from Sydney, Australia. It was first discovered by Captain James Cook in 1774 and settled by British convicts in 1788.
Cricket is recorded as having been played by soldiers on Norfolk Island from 1838. It continued to be played after the island was settled in 1856 by Pitcairn Islanders, descended from the mutineers of the Bounty.
Norfolk Island’s cricket is located at Kingston Oval, and with games starting in 1838 it is the oldest cricket ground in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the oldest active sports grounds in in the world for any sport.
This beautiful and unique ground is bordered by the ocean and overlooked by Kingston’s World Heritage convict-era buildings.
Cricket is popular on the island, and Polytan was thrilled to recently help keep this remarkable tradition and ground going for future cricketers, especially as we have a personal connection with the island.
Polytan’s Norfolk Island Local
Shaun Goudie is not only General Manager of Sport Group Asia, but he also grew up on Norfolk Island.
Shaun moved to the island when he was 4 years old and lived there until he moved away for school when he was 13. After studying Engineering in New Zealand, he returned to the Island and took up a roll with the Norfolk Island Government as a power generation plant engineer.
Previously Shaun has built a synthetic turf and Laykold courts on the Island, and he was therefore delighted to help when he was approached by Brendon Christian from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications and the Arts, about the cricket wicket.
Shaun and the team installed the cricket wicket at Kingston Oval in late 2022. The photos are amazing. What a great place to make sport happen.