A big part of the Grasshoppers culture revolves around tours. These have mostly been overseas tours although in the early years the Grasshoppers made short tours to England to coincide with Ireland matches. The English tours have largely disappeared due to the radical changes in the Ireland set-up in modern times where the team travels all over the world. 

By 2015 the Grasshoppers had completed 17 major overseas tours stretching from 1981-2013.


List of Tours

  • South Africa 1981/1982
  • Zimbabwe 1987
  • Round The World 1989
  • Zimbabwe 1990
  • Zimbabwe 1995
  • Cyprus 1996
  • South Africa 1998
  • South America 2001
  • South Africa 2003
  • Barbados & St Lucia 2005
  • South Africa 2007
  • Spain - La Manga 2007
  • India 2009
  • South Africa 2010
  • Barbados & Antigua 2011
  • Spain - La Manga 2011
  • South Africa 2013

South Africa 1981/1982

Manager: Dixon Rose, Captain: Graham Crothers.

Tour Opponents Date Result Margin
South Africa 1982 Sir Wilfred Isaac's - Wanderers 29/12/1981 Lost 60 Runs
South Africa 1982 Kent Park Taverners - Johannesburg 30/12/1981 Drawn  
South Africa 1982 Pirates - Johannesburg 02/01/1982 Won 36 Runs
South Africa 1982 Missionaries - Durban High School 06/01/1982 Won 135 Runs
South Africa 1982 Umzinto - Natal 07/01/1982 Won 1 Wkts
South Africa 1982 Cane Rats - Umzhali Natal 08/01/1982 Won 96 Runs



If there is one thing that sticks out when reflecting on a tour that took place over 35 years ago it is how much we crammed into a couple of weeks. Looking back at the inaugural 1981-2 Grasshoppers Tour to South Africa it was an unforgettable experience, not least because of the hospitality we received, the famous people that we met and the strength of our squad. This was arguably the strongest ever Grasshoppers touring party as it contained eight Ireland internationals, six Interprovincial players, an Ireland umpire, three useful club cricketers and a demon of a supporter in Charles Corlett, Simon’s father, who joined us in South Africa. I doubt if there was ever a more energetic and partisan father of a sporting son and I don’t think we’ll ever meet anyone to match his after-match revelry, repertoire of rugby songs or consumption of alcohol. Charles was the consummate tourist and did much to enhance our experience.

Whoever appointed the Manager and Tour Captain certainly had a sense of humour as Dixon Rose and Graham ‘Doc” Crothers were rarely on the same page, but with the experienced Dermott Monteith, Alfie Linehan, Paul Jackson, Stephen Warke, John Elder, Chris Harte, and Simon Corlett on board there was never any chance of things getting out of hand. Indeed it was a remarkable tour for camaraderie as everyone got on with each other and the Grasshoppers ethos of touring was built on the friendly spirit this tour stimulated.

Prior to the tour a lot of preparatory work was put in by Phillip Nixon, Jimmy Kirk, Graham Crothers, John Elder and Phillip Billingsley, while the North of Ireland overseas professional Kevin Skjoldhammer was an important and very efficient organizer at source. There was also an inherent element of controversy involved as the tour was held during the Apartheid boycott and the high profile composition of the squad inevitably attracted criticism. Not surprisingly, the Northern Cricket Union and the Irish Cricket Union distanced themselves from the tour and pointed out it was a private tour outside their jurisdiction. And so the party slipped quietly out of Ireland on a cold late December morning in 1981 and headed for South Africa on a very circuitous route, compliments of Gullivers Travel and Air Portugal. Despite the long journey there were compensations, not least the copious supply of wine and if anyone didn’t know much about each other prior to the tour, they certainly did after 18 hours travelling and drinking.

Our arrival at Jan Smuts International Airport in Johannesburg was an event in itself with South African Cricket President Ali Bacher and his colleagues treating the party to a champagne reception to set the tone for two weeks of supreme hospitality and friendship. Settling in at the Holiday Inn was quick and painless with Manager Rose in complete control and the following two days of acclimatization involved a day at Wanderers Cricket Club and lunch as guests of the local Press Association and some practice at the world-famous sports resort. New acquaintances quickly became friends and the delivery of 24 cases of the best local wine cemented friendships forever, not least with the recipients in room 904 Messer’s Maurice Moore and Clarence Hiles. The tour shebeen was established although card schools were played in Billy Kirk’s room.

The first match against Sir Wilfred Isaac’s XI at Wanderers resulted in a surprise 60 runs defeat against a useful team that included former South African captain Roy McLean and New Zealand captain John Reid, who was on holiday visiting his son. It had nothing to do with the two-hour lunch break and early tour revelry, but more about jet lag as the batting crumbled after a promising start from skipper Crothers (41) and Stephen Warke (39).  The second match against the Kent Park Taverners at the picturesque Auckland Park, home of the Johannesburg Country Club, started in beautiful sunshine and the only distraction was the sumptuous lunch being set up on the boundary. Phil Nixon (40) and Jimmy Kirk (45) were not deterred and a healthy 183-8 allowed skipper Monteith the luxury of a declaration. In reply, John Reid hit some ferocious drives, but nobody saw a hail shower creep up and everyone was sent scurrying to the clubhouse leaving the splendid BBQ in tatters. However, the lunch in the clubhouse was five-star and it took a lot of coaxing to get both teams back on the field. The hailstones had transformed the wicket into a seamer’s paradise and Monteith claimed that for 15 minutes Hiles was “the most unplayable bowler in the world.” However, it was a short respite and the rain followed to wash out the game and send everyone back to the bar.

In between games there was plenty to see and experience not least the apartheid system in place. Everyone is entitled to their opinion on the South African political regime, but for this writer the system was abhorrent and it came as no surprise that it was eventually toppled a decade later.

Kevin Skjoldhammer was an excellent host and with Charles Corlett now in full swing news of the social side of the tour was spreading fast around Jo’burg. The New Year was brought in at the Skjoldhammer residence with plenty of refreshments, good company and a magnificent BBQ. Unfortunately the tour manager ‘slipped’ and fell into the pool, but that apart it was another night to savour. Next day we faced the Pirates at Greenside without cantankerous Billy Kirk who somehow ‘missed’ the bus after the tour manager reinforced some discipline with tighter timekeeping. Bill was not amused! However, we enjoyed the company of Ireland rugby stars John Robbie and Frank Quinn, plus John Lyons who played at Bangor and in Dublin for a few years. It was a good day for the Grasshoppers as we won our first match on tour by 36 runs with five-wicket hauls from the masters Monteith and Corlett, and a fine half-century from the suave Jimmy Kirk (57) and a quickfire 30 from the lively Jacko.

Cricket tours are not just about cricket, so when a trip was mooted to spend a day at the Sun City Million Dollar Golf Classic a party quickly gathered. Brian Ferris and Simon Corlett were the drivers, navigators and mechanics and although we got lost a few times exiting Johannesburg, we inadvertently got the chance to see Soweto first-hand and it was not an experience we’d like to repeat. Also, on the journey we had a puncture, but the very capable “man for all seasons” Simon Corlett, quickly got us back on the road. 

Sun City was surreal, magnificent and exhilarating. The golf was outstanding on a superb African course and the laidback and relaxed atmosphere allowed us to get close to the players. Lee Trevino’s exuberant stories after his round reverberated all down the valley and there was an added bonus when we joined Jack Nicklaus and Sean Connery for an impromptu golf lesson.  Was it Davy Napier who asked Jack about a missed putt on the 4th to receive the reply “Even Ray Charles could have got that!”

John Elder stayed on to meet friends and enjoy the big Glen Campbell concert while the rest of us headed back into the most spectacular electric storm imaginable, but happily we all got back safe and sound.

The tour was split between Johannesburg and Durban with a match planned in Pretoria. We drove down to Durban and got a chance to enjoy the unique beauty of Africa before arriving at the seaside capital of Natal. Durban was very different than Johannesburg and our new home at Seaboard Holiday Apartments was more akin to a holiday resort than a base for serious athletes. We also discovered the best value in the country at the “One Rander” restaurant where you could enjoy a sirloin steak with chips and salad for 1.45 rand.  Hamburgers were 60 cents and desserts 20 cents. Obviously it was popular with the tourists!

Unfortunately the match at Pretoria was rained off, but we played three games in Durban against the Missionaries (Durban High School Old Boys), Umzinto CC and the Caine Rats CC.

Against the Old Boys we won by 135 runs thanks to Warky’s fine 82 and Simon’s 53 not out, with four wickets from seamer Hiles and the others shared between Corlett and Monteith. We scrambled a narrow one-wicket win over Umzinto chasing 78 with too many hangovers and we won our final game against the Caine Rats by 96 runs. Big hitters Brian Ferris (51), Stephen Warke (48) and Davy Napier (23) were rampant and Bilko was the best of the bowlers with three wickets.

In Durban we also had a golf game where Alfie spent more time in the bush than on the course and we met up with Neville Daniels and spent a day at the big Datsun Shield Natal versus Transvaal match at Kingsmead. The cricket featured South African greats Mike Proctor, Clive Rice, Graham Pollock, Barry Richards and West Indian Alvin Kallicharran, but the day will be best remembered for a drinking session that started harmlessly in the hospitality tent and eventually “put out the lights” of most of the participants long before the end of play. 

But all good things come to an end and after saying goodbye to Africa we returned to snow-clad Britain after surviving a horrific electric storm over the Sahara Desert that had everyone saying their prayers. Worse was to follow when we arrived in Dublin and had to suffer the horror of a road trip north through some horrendous roads covered in deep snow. But we all made it home to tell the tale and over the ensuing 35 years to reflect on a wonderful tour. Friendships were made on that tour that have stood the test of time and although our dear friends Charles, Dermott and Phillip have passed to a higher calling we can still sit down 35 years later with any of the tourists and reflect on some unforgettable happy experiences.

That’s the legacy of the 1981-2 South Africa tour.


Clarence Hiles

August 2015


Tour Party

Tour Party

Tour Manager-Dixon ‘Damager’ Rose

Tour Captain-Graham ‘Doc’ Crothers.

Phillip ‘Bilko’ Billingsley

Simon ‘Growler’ Corlett

John ‘Big Daddy’ Elder

Brian ‘Dutchman’ Ferris

Chris ‘Gonzo’ Harte

Clarence ‘Clarendo’ Hiles

Paul ‘Jacko’ Jackson

Jimmy Kirk

Billy Kirk

Alfie ‘Sir Alf” Linehan

Dermott ‘Monty’ Monteith

David ‘Snapper’ Napier

Phillip ‘Stumper’ Nixon

John ‘De Winter” Shaw

Stephen ‘Warky’ Warke

Alickadoo-Charles ‘Bulldog’ Corlett

Zimbabwe 1987

Manager: John Elder, Captain: David Napier

Tour Opponents Date Result Margin
Zimbabwe 1987 Stragglers - Harare South 07/04/1987 Lost 144 Runs
Zimbabwe 1987 Norton 08/04/1987 Won 54 Runs
Zimbabwe 1987 Mabeleland CD - Hwange 11/04/1987 Lost 3 Wkts
Zimbabwe 1987 Mabeleland CD - Hwange 12/04/1987 Won 57 Runs
Zimbabwe 1987 Trelawney 18/04/1987 Won 93 Runs
Zimbabwe 1987 Trelawney 19/04/1987 Won 55 Runs
Zimbabwe 1987 Doma 21/04/1987 Lost 5 Wkts
Zimbabwe 1987 Karoi 23/04/1987 Won 54 Runs
Zimbabwe 1987 Mashonaland U25 - Harare South 25/04/1987 Won 78 Runs
Zimbabwe 1987 Mashonland CD - Harare South 26/04/1987 Lost 7 Wkts
Zimbabwe 1987 Horseshoe 15/05/1987 Lost 4 Wkts


Tour review to folllow. 

Round The World 1989

Manager: John Elder, Captain: Alan Waite

Tour Opponents Date Result Margin
World 1989 Lautoka - Fiji 18/03/1989 Won 57 Runs
World 1989 Suva - Fiji 20/03/1989 Won 3 Wkts
World 1989 Eden Park Auckland - New Zealand 23/03/1989 Lost 125 Runs
World 1989 Papatoetoe - New Zealand 24/03/1989 Lost 25 runs
World 1989 Seddon Park Hamilton - New Zealand 26/03/1989 Lost 6 Wkts
World 1989 Seddon Park Hamilton - New Zealand 27/03/1989 Lost 99 Runs
World 1989 Fern Leaf - New Zealand 30/03/1989 Won 63 Runs
World 1989 Mount Invitation - New Zealand 01/04/1989 Lost 59 Runs
World 1989 Tauranga Invitation - New Zealand 02/04/1989 Lost 4 Runs
World 1989 Johore Cricket Council - Malaysia 07/04/1989 Drawn  
World 1989 Singapore Indians - Singapore 08/04/1989 Drawn  


Tour review to folllow. 

Zimbabwe 1990

Manager: John Elder, Captain: Ivan Connolly

Tour Opponents Date Result Margin
Zimbabwe 1990 Enterprise 10/04/1990 Won 38 Runs
Zimbabwe 1990 Enterprise 11/04/1990 Lost 1 Run
Zimbabwe 1990 Hwange 15/04/1990 Won 44 Runs
Zimbabwe 1990 Bulawayo Stragglers 20/04/1990 Won 40 Runs
Zimbabwe 1990 Inyathi - Turk Mine 21/04/1990 Won 4 Wkts
Zimbabwe 1990 MCD Bridges - Selous 22/04/1990 Won 41 Runs
Zimbabwe 1990 Trelawney 24/04/1990 Won 82 runs
Zimbabwe 1990 Shamva 25/04/1990 Won 130 Runs
Zimbabwe 1990 Wedza 27/04/1990 Drawn  
Zimbabwe 1990 Mashonaland CD - Harare South 29/04/1990 Won 7 Wkts



Zimbabwe 1990 Squad

The 1990 Tour of Zimbabwe was a wonderful trip-impeccably organised by John Elder and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.
Our team was strong-good solid cricketers who could all perform well on the pitch, but also after the match, when they could relax have a beer, chat to the opposition and watch the sun go down.

There some stand-out performances that come quickly to mind-a couple of the pace bowlers wrecked the bar in Wedza, and John Gilliland (who didn’t like the sun) would wrap himself in more clothes than a man would wear on a frosty morning in Comber, cover himself in sun block, and then play beautifully.
We won all our matches (bar a 20 over bash) climaxing with a great performance to beat Mashonaland Districts on our last day.

This was a wonderful tour which produced lasting memories for everyone.

Ivan Connolly
Tour Captain   

Zimbabwe 1995

Manager: Graham Crothers, Captain: Alan Waite

Tour Opponents Date Result Margin
Zimbabwe 1995 Enterprise 08/04/1995 Won 49 Runs
Zimbabwe 1995 Mashonaland District Select - Bindura 09/04/1995 Lost 4 Wkts
Zimbabwe 1995 Mashonaland East Zone - Wedza 11/04/1995 Lost 5 Wkts
Zimbabwe 1995 Mashonaland West Zone - Tengwe 13/04/1995 Won 37 Runs
Zimbabwe 1995 Trelawney 18/04/1995 Lost 2 Wkts
Zimbabwe 1995 Mashonland South Zone - Selous 19/04/1995 Lost 1 Wkt
Zimbabwe 1995 Bridges XI - Harare South 20/04/1995 Lost 105 Runs
Zimbabwe 1995 Mashonaland Country Districts - Goromonzi 21/04/1995 Lost 6 Wkts


Tour review to folllow. 

Cyprus 1996

Manager: Andy Clement, Captain: Alan Waite

Tour Opponent Date Result Margin
Cyprus 1996 RAF Akrotiri 12/04/1996 Won 10 Wkts
Cyprus 1996 Personnel & Training - Akortiri 13/04/1996 Won 6 Wkts
Cyprus 1996 Army - Dkhelia 14/04/1996 Won 88 Runs
Cyprus 1996 Episkopi Garrison 16/04/1996 Won 36 Runs


Tour review to folllow. 

South Africa 1998

Manager: Sam Beckett, Captain: Graeme Hunter

Tour  Oppenent Date Result Margin
South Africa 1998 Kookaburras - Durban 29/03/1998 Won 48 Runs
South Africa 1998 Pheasant Pluckers - Harrismith 30/03/1998 Won 7 Wkts
South Africa 1998 Durban University 31/03/1998 Lost 65 runs
South Africa 1998 Berea Rovers - Durban 04/04/1998 Lost 16 Runs
South Africa 1998 Crusaders - Durban 05/04/1998 Won 93 runs
South Africa 1998 Duck & Divers - Kloof 06/04/1998 Won 67 Runs
South Africa 1998 Groot Drakenstein 09/04/1998 Won 109 runs


Tour review to folllow. 

South America 2001

Manager: Sam Beckett, Captain: Chris Yeates

Tour Opponent Date Result Margin
South America 2001 St Georges College - Buenos Aires 31/03/2001 Won 99 Runs
South America 2001 Argentina Presidents XI - Hurlingham 02/04/2001 Lost 4 Wkts
South America 2001 Old Wellingtonians - Hurlingham 06/04/2001 Tie  
South America 2001 Belgrano 07/04/2001 Lost 4 Wkts
South America 2001 Argentina Masters - Hurlingham 08/04/2001 Won 1 Wkt
South America 2001 Sao Paulo Athletic Club 13/04/2001 Won 16 runs
South America 2001 Sao Paulo Athletic Club 15/04/2001 Won 9 Wkts


Tour review to folllow.  

South Africa 2003

Manager: Andy Clement, Captain: Chris Yeates

Tour Opponent Date Result Margin
South Africa 2003 Elgin 23/02/2003 Lost 3 Wkts
South Africa 2003 Stellenbosch Scorpions 24/02/2003 Lost 6 Wkts
South Africa 2003 Old Mutual - Cape Town 27/02/2003 Lost 5 Wkts
South Africa 2003 Groot Drakenstein 01/03/2003 Won 30 Runs


Tour review to folllow.  

Barbados & St Lucia 2005

Manager: Alan Waite, Captain: Chris Yeates

Tour Opponent Date Result Margin
Barbados 2005 North Star 02/04/2005 Lost 85 Runs
Barbados 2005 University of West Indies - 3W's Oval 05/04/2005 Lost 117 Runs
Barbados 2005 G Spot XI 07/04/2005 Lost 78 Runs
Barbados 2005 Yorkshire 08/04/2005 Drawn  
St Lucia South Castries - Beausejour 11/04/2005 Lost 6 Wks
St Lucia St Lucia Police 13/04/2005 Lost 77 Runs
St Lucia Gros Islet 14/04/2005 Won 113 Runs

Tour review to folllow.  

South Africa 2007

Manager: Alan Waite, Captain: Neil Russell

Tour Opponent Date Result Margin
South Africa 2007 Western Province CC - Wally Wilson Oval 30/12/2006 Lost 4 Wkts
South Africa 2007 Scorpions - Stellenbosch 04/01/2007 Won 23 Runs
South Africa 2007 Old Mutual - Pinelands 06/01/2007 Won 74 Runs
South Africa 2007 Friendly Cricketers - Sahara Park Newlands 07/01/2007 Won 53 Runs


Tour review to folllow.

Spain - La Manga 2007

Manager: Alan Waite, Captain: Michael Turkington

Tour Opponent Date Result Margin
La Manga 2007 Mosacar - La Manga 27/10/2007 Lost 8 Wkts


Tour review to folllow.

India 2009

Manager: Alan Waite, Captain: Neil Russell

Tour Opponent Date Result Margin
India 2009 British High Commission - Delhi 20/02/2009 Won 8 wkts
India 2009 Paul XI - Delhi 22/02/2009 Lost 1 Wkt
India 2009 Cricket Club of India - Brabourne Mumbai 25/02/2009 Lost 40 Runs
India 2009 Bombat Gymkhana - - Mumbai 27/02/2009 Lost 94 Runs
India 2009 Tata - Mumbai Oval 28/02/2009 Won 7 Runs
India 2009 Vasco - Vasco City Goa 02/03/2009 Lost 4 Wkts
India 2009 Arlem Breweries - Goa 04/03/2009 Lost 4 Wkts
India 2009 Salongkar - Goa 05/03/2009 Lost 7 Wkts


Tour review to folllow.

South Africa 2010

Manager: Alan Waite, Captain: Robert Kennedy

Tour Opponent Date Result Margin
South Africa 2010 Durban University Old boys 18/03/2010 Lost 23 Runs
South Africa 2010 Schalk Burger XI - Welbadacat Estate 22/03/2010 Lost 1 Run
South Africa 2010 Elgin Country Club 24/03/2010 Won 34 Runs
South Africa 2010 Garden Old Boys 26/03/2010 Won 55 Runs


Tour review to folllow.

Barbados & Antigua 2011

Manager: Neil Russell, Captain: Andrew Cowden

Tour Opponent Date Result Margin
Antigua 2011 Jennings CC - Sir Vivian Richards Stadium 26/03/2011 Won 8 Wkts
Antigua 2011 Bolands CC - Antigua Recreation Ground 27/03/2011 Won 121 Runs
Barbados 2011 Pickwick CC 29/03/2011 Lost 10 Wkts
Barbados 2011 North Stars CC 03/04/2011 Won 111 Runs
Barbados 2011 Conrad Hunt XI 05/04/2011 Lost 8 Wkts
Barbados 2011 St Johns CC 07/04/2011 Lost 3 Runs


Tour review to folllow.

Spain - La Manga 2011

Manager: Alan Waite, Captain: Andy Clement

Tour Opponent Date Result Margin
La Manga 2011 Ostend 23/09/2011 Won 20 Runs
La Manga 2011 Barmy Army 24/09/2011 Won 7 Wkts
La Manga 2011 Valencia 24/09/2011 Won 16 Runs
La Manga 2011 United UK Asians 25/09/2011 Lost 8 Wkts


Tour review to folllow.

South Africa 2013

Manager: Alan Waite, Captain: Peter Shields

Tour Opponent Date Result Margin
South Africa 2013 Malekutu - Ingwenyama Sports Complex 23/03/2013 Lost 2 Wkts
South Africa 2013 Tukkies - University Pretoria 26/03/2013 Lost 253 Runs
South Africa 2013 SSE Cricket Institude - St Albans School 27/03/2013 Lost 88 Runs
South Africa 2013 St Albans College 27/03/2013 Lost 6 Wkts
South Africa 2013 CBC Old Boys - Pretoria 28/03/2013 Lost 5 Wkts
South Africa 2013 Western Province Cricket Club 31/03/2013 Lost 6 Wkts
South Africa 2013 Cape Town Cricket Club 01/04/2013 Drawn  
South Africa 2013 WPCC Academy - The Vineyards 03/04/2013 Lost 25 Runs
South Africa 2013 Groot Drakenstein 04/04/2013 Won 34 Runs


Tour review to folllow.


Various Managers and Captains

Tour Opponents Date Result Margin
Local Pirates - Ormeau 22/07/1982 Won 6 Wkts
Local Leicester University Staff - England 22/06/1986 Won 21 Runs
Local Shepstead - England 24/06/1986 Won 40 Runs
Local Poona Under 25 - Donacloney 02/07/1987 Lost 138 Runs
Local Mashonaland CD - Bangor 12/07/1989 Won 84 runs
Local Trelawney - Ormeau 10/06/1990 Won 48 Runs
Local Trelawney - Downpatrick 13/06/1990 Won 4 Wkts
Local Fern Leaf - Ormeau 24/07/1990 Lost 7 Wkts
Local Mullingar 09/09/2001 Won 42 Runs