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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Van der Stel Cricket Club is situated in the centre of Stellenbosch, approximately 50 kilometres out of Cape Town. The club is based in the heart of the Cape Winelands and boasts breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. The facilities at the club include 4 artificial and 3 turf nets, as well as 2 fields. There are currently three senior men's teams, a womens team, a social team as well as a blind cricket team. The club competes in the leagues of the Boland Cricket Union.

Van der Stel Cricket Club is a direct descendant of the first town cricket team of Stellenbosch. Stellenbosch is the oldest town in South Africa having been founded in 1679 by the then Dutch governer of the Cape, Simon van der Stel. Cricket was played from very early on in Stellenbosch, and by the 1860's it was by all accounts the most popular sport in the town. There were no special fields or facilities and any open area would be used for matches.

In 1864 the first official cricket club was established as the Stellenbosch Cricket Club. In 1865 the secretary of Stellenbosch C.C. addressed a letter to the town council requesting the use of part of the Adderley Square (formerly and currently known as the 'Braak') as a playing field. This request was acceded to and a 'pitch' was laid out. The field was used from 1865 to 1885.

Several complaints were received from local businessmen and the surrounding churches due to the damage to windows as well as the 'unseemly behaviour' of players, and in 1886 the council relocated the club to the 'Vlakte', the land where the University of Stellenbosch Engineering faculty is currently situated. The club also started using the College Square, today the location of the University Library, as its practice area.

Up until 1923 the Stellenbosch C.C. team had been made up of townspeople and lecturers of the College / University. In 1923 the University started using the Coetzenburg sports fields, and it is here that a split between the town team, renamed the Van der Stel Cricket Club, and the University team may have occurred. In 1919, the town's rugby players had broken away from the University and formed the Vlottenburg Rugby Football Club. The rugby club was based at Bergzicht, one of the original farms set out in Stellenbosch in 1679. The idea of the town council was to keep the land as a greenbelt area in the heart of the town. In 1923 the Vlottenburg Rugby Football Club changed its name to the Van der Stel Rugby Football Club.

The period from 1923 to 1929 can be regarded as the dark ages of the Van der Stel C.C. and there is not much history relating to the club during these years. In 1929 Van der Stel Cricket Club first competed in the Western Province Country Cricket Competition. The club continued to compete at the 'Vlakte' until 1947, when it joined the rugby club at Bergzight.

CONTACT DETAILS

Van der Stel Sport Club
Corner of Bergzicht Rd and Du Toit Road
T 021 887 3158
F 021 887 2156
Email: manager@vanderstelsport.co.za

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