Ashes to ashes

As the Ashes start tonight, we thought it only right to look back at one of the most important cricket matches in Western Australian history.

In October 1954 the 10,000 ton freighter Paloma was en route to Fremantle with her cargo of frozen meat to be picked up at Wyndham. While the meat was being loaded, Captain Perry offered his traditional challenge to the Wyndham Cricket Club.

The match was played in extreme heat on a bumpy ground covered with a large number of trees. Because there was no discernible boundary, every run had to be sweated out.

One Wyndham batsman was hospitalised by an over-enthusiastic fast bowler, and everyone's heads were sore following the clubhouse drinks.

The game was close, but finally won by the men of the Paloma by seven runs. The only time a meat ship eleven had ever defeated a local side.

In celebration, a screw top jar was filled with The Ashes of Wyndham and presented to Captain Perry.

Now, it might be unfair to note that the Paloma was carrying the English cricket side, which had already won the other Ashes, even before playing at the WACA. You might even use the words 'eleven ring-ins'.

But at Dodgy Perth we prefer to remember it as one of the few times an English team has won on WA soil. Just because we can.



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