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Electric Light Cricket: A uniquely South Australian sport

Blue Gum Park / Kurangga (Park 20)

photo-icon Drawing - Tim Ide

The last game of electric light cricket was played at this spot in 2006.

Invented by Alf Stone of nearby Cowandilla in the late 1920s as after-dark recreation for Diggers returned from the Great War, electric light cricket quickly found a place in the wider community.

It was played under floodlights and had rules of its own, explained at right.

For more than 70 years, in the warmer months this uniquely South Australian sport gave enjoyment to men, women and children throughout the State.

After World War II, this location became the home of electric light cricket. In the game’s heyday in the 1960s and 1970s, up to 50 teams would compete each week on the six floodlit courts where the stormwater detention basin is today.

The advent of year-round indoor cricket and changes in leisure time habits took their final toll on electric light cricket early in the 21st century.

Until then, anyone from unemployed people to schoolkids, social clubs to footballers, and the greats of world cricket could get a game of electric light cricket right here.

Game Rules:

• There were 18 players in an electric light cricket team.

• Each team had one 36-over innings.

• The batsman had a regular cricket bat. He could score 100. Then he had to retire.

• The bowler had a tennis ball. He could bowl two 12-ball overs, underarm.

• Runs were scored in twos and fours through the U-shaped arc of fielders.

• A team might score more than 700 runs in its innings.

• A match might go for three hours.

• At 1400 runs and 36 wickets in that time, electric light cricket was fast fun and entertainment.

City of Adelaide acknowledges the traditional Country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains and pays respect to Elders past and present. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. We acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the Kaurna people living today. We also extend that respect to other Aboriginal Language Groups and other First Nations.

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