Inter Insular 1956

The match was due to take place on Saturday 4th August 1956 at the College Field on Kings Road in Guernsey

The Guernsey Press on Tuesday 31st July reported the team as was usual:

‘Guernsey have selected their side to play Jersey on Saturday at the College Field and is as follows: R J Van Leuven (Capt), J W Brache, C J Cowling, J A Martel, H F Rich, R C N Roussel, V M Chapell, P K Smith, H V Stone, P Warren and A Burt.


The Star on Monday 6th August reported:

‘It was stated by an official of GICC that “a misunderstanding over team selection” caused the match at College Field to be called off because the Jersey representative team, due to play a Guernsey side, had not arrived.
Everything was set for the big match. The wicket was prepared, and the Guernsey players were arriving. Even the stumps were in position and the spectators were arriving at the ground.
First enquiries about the Jersey side were started just after 11 o’clock, when no-one from the sister island had put in an appearance. The mail steamer from Jersey was visited, and phone calls to the Airport were made, but still there was no news of the missing team.
The clock had ticked past 11.30, the time the match was due to begin, but still no players had arrived. Telephone calls were put through to Jersey, and when the time had passed midday, it was decided that the match would be off.
Notices were placed on the gates of the ground to the effect that the game was off.
Selection of the Guernsey side had been made public earlier in the week, and in consequence enthusiastic Jerseymen eligible for selection to represent their island made inquiries as to what the team was, but no information could be given. No team had been selected!
Who are the people responsible for the Jersey team’s selection? I understand that about 4 years ago 2 fixtures each year, one home and the other away, between GICC and the JICC.
Cricketers who were not members of the JICC, but who played in Jersey leagues, were not in favour of the system, because they were not eligible for selection.
As a result of this, it was decided that representatives from the Jersey Island Cricket Cub, the Jersey Cricket League, the Jersey Cricket Combination and the Jersey Saturday Cricket League should meet once a year, just prior to the fixture, for the selection of the side.
For two years this system worked well, but the members of the JICC complained that they were not informed about the selection and were eventually ignored completely.
Now the question has arisen: whose duty is it to inform the Selection Committee when to sit?
The fixture appeared on the JICC’s fixture card this season, out of courtesy only, but the Island Cricket Club captain said that the JICC had nothing to do with the arrangements for the game.

On the same day, Monday 6th August, the Guernsey Press included an article by an Evening Press Reporter:
‘As a results of what an official of Guernsey Island Cricket Club described as “a misunderstanding over team selection” the cricket match between sides representing Guernsey and Jersey did not take place at the College Field on Saturday. The Guernsey players went to the field prepared to start the match at 11.30 and found the wicket prepared and stumps in position. But the opposition failed to appear.
The Guernsey side for the match was selected some days previously and enthusiastic cricketers in the sister island who were in the running for places in the Jersey side made enquiries regarding the composition of their team. But no-one was able to give any information. The fact was that no team had been selected.
Who was responsible for the selection of the Jersey side?
The position as I understand is that up to about four years ago there were two matches each between the GICC and the JICC on a home and away basis.
But this arrangement did not find favour with cricketers who took part in league fixtures who were not members of the JICC. As a result it was decided that representatives from the Jersey Island Cricket Cub, the Jersey Cricket League, the Jersey Cricket Combination and the Jersey Saturday Cricket League should meet every year and pick a team to represent Jersey against Guernsey in a match which would replace one of the two JICC – GICC fixtures.
This arrangement apparently worked satisfactorily for two years but then members of the JICC claimed they did not hear anything of the selection and their representative was not informed. They were simply ignored.
And now the question is being asked: “Whose duty is it to warn the selection committee to meet and choose the Jersey team?”
Each organisation has a representative on the selection committee, but who has the responsibility of convening the meeting?
An official of the JICC is reported to have warned the committee to meet on previous occasions and the fixture is actually printed in the JICC fixture list. But this, the JICC captain stated, had been published out of courtesy, the JICC had nothing to do with the arrangements for the match.
When the Jersey players failed to arrive on Saturday morning enquiries were made at the White Rock and the Airport, but naturally no information was available, the missing cricketers had not been seen. The enquiries were then switched to Jersey and as a result of telephone conversations it was ascertained that no players were on the way.
The Guernsey officials therefore had to call off the fixture. It was not possible to arrange another match, and notices informing would-be spectators at the College Field that the game would not take place were afixed to the gate of the Field.’

It is interesting to note that it refers to an agreement that one of the two GICC v JICC fixtures becomes a Guernsey v Jersey match about 4 years previously and this had worked well for 2 years. These must have been the matches in 1950 and 1951, as 1952 was not played. Prior to that date matches were always referred to as GICC v JICC.