The longest cricket test match in history is played between South Africa and England in Durban


South African cricket player, Bruce Mitchell

Friday, 3 March 1939

Today marks the anniversary of the longest cricket test match in history. The game was played between South Africa and England in Durban. The game continued until the 14 March - 9 days in total. England needed 41 runs to win at the close of the 9th day, but the match was drawn because the English players had to leave to catch their boat back to England.

Due to the draw result, and the length of this match, it is often referred to as the 'timeless' test, and the only one of its kind in history. Since then, the South African Cricket team, the Proteas, continue to break world records. On 01 February, 2013, Proteas captain Graeme Smith made history by becoming the first man in cricket history to captain his side in 100 Test matches.

Among South African players who participated in that history game were: A Melville, PGV van der Bijl, EAB Rowan, B Michell and many more.

• ESPN, ‘England tour of South Africa, 1938/39’, from ESPN Cricinfo, [online], Available at [Accessed: 04 February 2014]
• Wallis, F. (2000). Nuusdagboek: feite en fratse oor 1000 jaar, Kaapstad: Human & Rousseau.
• Cricket Trivia, Test Cricket, from Crictrivia, [online], Available at [Accessed: 25 February 2009]

Last updated : 26-Feb-2019

This article was produced by South African History Online on 27-Feb-2013

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