Australia - 1913 to 1988.
Cricket - main page.


Cricket has also featured on Australian telegrams because of the prominent role it has played since the 1860s to the present in the Australian way of life.

To access cricket-related information, use the following links:

    1. Date stamps - see Adelaide Oval and the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

    2. Broadcast from the Adelaide Oval.

    3. Ray Lindwall.

    4. Bill Johnston;

    5. Gerry Hazlitt, the Australian XI and a Reply-Paid telegram.

    6. COLLECT cables about the 3rd Test at Melbourne in January 1948.

Generally telegrams sent from Cricket Grounds were Multiple Telegrams - so addressed to several recipients (here newspapers) on the one basic form. That saved the repeated writing of the same message and also saved the list of recipients in one place. Sometimes things do not go according to plan:

"There is nothing more unsatisfactory - either in private or public affairs - than divided responsibility. Blunders of the most glaring character may be committed, and nobody is to blame. This is probably more noticeable in the departments of the State than in commercial pursuits generally, but it pervades all sections of the community to a greater or lesser degree.

One complaint on the present occasion is in respect to the Telegraph Department. We went to considerable expense, on the occasion of the recent cricket matches in Melbourne, to obtain progress reports during tbe day for the information of the public and the immense crowds which blocked up the street in front of this office from midday till late at night showed the large amount of interest which was taken in the result.

Unfortunately, however, many of tbe telegrams were so long delayed in transmission that they were utterly valueless by the time they reached us. One message of 10 words, for instance, was lodged on the 27th December at the Melbourne office at 3.53 p.m., and was not delivered to us till 5.32. If we allow 25 minutes for the difference in mean time, we find that it actually occupied one hour and ten minutes to transmit an emergency telegram of 40 words from Melbourne to Sydney!! Of course the Sydney office blames Melbourne, and Melbourne blames somebody else and, in this way, the responsibility is shunted from one to another till nobody knows through whose fault the delay was occasioned.

In reply to a formal complaint lodged with the manager of the telegraph station at Sydney, we received the following memo:

Adverting to your note of the 28th ultimo, I am informed by the manager of the Melbourne office that the delay complained of was due to the report being addressed to other papers, Adelaide, etc., on the same form and it appears they were sent there before Sydney. A smart operator will, we believe, send away as many as 40 words a minute. If, therefore, the message of 40 words, with which we are now dealing, had to be sent to two other places before coming to Sydney, that would account for a very small portion of the delay. The fact of the matter is that there was gross negligence both in Sydney and in Melbourne, and we would commend the authorities, if they have any respect for the reputation of the department, to make a fuller and more complete inquiry into the matter.

Some light may be thrown upon the general confusion - which reigns in this intercolonial service - by another instance which we have to hand. A second telegram of a similar character was lodged at the same office at 4.10 on the same day, just 17 minutes later than message No. 1, and was delivered at this office at 5.18, or 14 minutes earlier than the telegram which was despatched 17 minutes later. We are not aware of what principle these messages are despatched from the Melbourne office, but no greater confusion could ensue if they were shaken up in a bag and drawn for after the fashion of a Chinese lottery.

We have only named two out of a dozen instances which we have at hand, but they are quite sufficient to show that the telegraphic service between Sydney and Melbourne will stand a great deal of improvement before it can be regarded as the pink of perfection".
(Sydney Daily Telegraph, 10 January 1882).