England play an ODI at Swansea

England’s rugby players had met their Welsh counterparts at St. Helen’s but in July 1973 their cricketers met New Zealand at Swansea in the first-ever One-Day International staged on Welsh soil.

The allocation of the game to Glamorgan’s seaside ground followed an extensive period of lobbying to the games authorities by Wilf Wooller who argued that the recently introduced format of limited-overs cricket should be allocated to different venues than the traditional ones used for Test Matches, especially grounds such as Swansea, which had a deserved reputation for attracting decent crowds for tourist matches.

A crowd of just over 10,000 duly attended the ground with five large marquees on the rugby pitch in order to provide dining and catering facilities for the crowd, VIP guests and sponsors. They were treated to an England victory by seven wickets and had the chance to watch Warwickshire’s Dennis Amiss make a forthright century. His innings followed some probing new ball bowling by John Snow and Geoff Arnold who had reduced the Kiwi’s to 15/4. Glenn Turner and Vic Pollard then mounted a recovery but New Zealand’s eventual total of 158 after 52.5 overs proved to be insufficient and Cyril Walters, who in 1934 had become the first Welshman to captain England in Test cricket, was able to present Amiss with the Man-of-the-Match Award.

Ray Illingworth, walking fourth left, leads out the England team for the ODI against New Zealand at Swansea in July 1973. Dennis Amiss is second left. Photo Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

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