Between 1974 and 2007 Australia issued 19 stamps related to Cricket. Two of these issues, the Non Olympic Sports and The Sports Series 1, included Australian Football issues.
This prestige booklet was part of the Impressions 2007 sale and the stamps were issued on the 6 November 2007. (although the FDCs were dated 1 November 2007.)
The stamps were reported to be a “faithful reproduction of the original” except that the micro-date 2007 had been added.
The Introduction shows a lithograph of the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1876. The first test between Australia and England was played there in 1877.
Australia Post issued five 18c se-tenant stamps and a 45c stamp on the 9 March 1977. The stamps showed batsman, bowlers, fielders and the wicket keeper on a backdrop of the MCG. The pavilion shown is the first built at the MCG in 1854. The clock was added in 1860. A re-enactment test was played in 1977 with the result being the same as the first test, with Australia winning by 45 runs.
The stamps, in 2007, were issued as se-tenant and perforated for the 18c stamps but the 45c was imperforate. They all contained the micro-date 2007. They were set on a background photograph of the MCG in 1930.
There was also a copy of the 1977 FDC issued with the Melbourne Philatelic Sales Centre CDS. The original cover had its own pictorial postmark.
There is also a lithograph of the ground in 1860 with the Victorian Eleven in the surrounds. Included are Tom Wills and William Hammersley both of whom were involved in the codification of Australian Football in 1859. They were both founding members of the Melbourne Football Club.
The third issue was the Australian Sporting personalities issue of the 18 February 1981. Two of the personalities were the cricketer, Victor Trumper and the tennis player, Sir Norman Brookes. It was thought that Sir Norman was the first Australian Footballer to appear on a stamp. Unfortunately in 2016 it was discovered that it was actually his brother Harold who played two games for St Kilda in the 1898 season.
The Sport Series of 13 February 1989 included a 3c Aussie Football and a 70c cricket issue. Both are shown on the Australia Post FDC with the Streaky Bay postmark.
On 15 October 1992 the Sheffield Shield Centenary was commemorated by the release of two stamps, one of the bowler’s end and one of the batsman’s end. The two together showed the Gray Smith Stand at the MCG. Australia Post released a single cover with 6 different postmarks for each State Cricket Association and one for the Shield.
The Shield was presented for the 1893-94 season and was won by South Australia. As it was not ready by the season’s end it was presented during the half time interval in a Norwood and Port Adelaide game. The two stamps are displayed with the 70c Sports series cricket Stamp as an imperforate issue.
No history of cricket would be complete without “The Don” Bradman. Arguably the greatest cricketer of all time, he was the first Non-royal, non-deceased person to appear on Australia Stamps. He was the first person portrayed in the Australian Legend Series which was issued on the 23 January 1997.
Two stamps were issued, one being a portrait and the other based on Bradman’s Record Innings of 452* in 1930 at the SCG for NSW against Queensland. The same two stamps were reissued with the date 1908-2001 as a vale issue. The two sets of stamps and the Vale issue are shown on the sheet along with “The Dons” Baggy Green cap from the Sports Treasure issue, 8 March 2005.
The Postcard (incorrectly described as maximum card but no postmark) shows Bradman on his Way to a Century Against Worcestershire in 1948. The PNC has the Bradman at the SCG stamp. Both were part of the Legends issue. The photograph shows Bradman entering the MCG. It was used as the image on the maxicard associated with the Baggy Green Cap.
The last set shows an imperforate Miniature Sheet from the Ashes series released on 16 January 2007.
This issue caused a lot of discussion about whether the imperforate stamps were valid for postal use. Australia Post ruled that the stamps are valid as long as they are ” posted in their original format. ” For example, the Ashes issue minisheet is valid if it is posted as a minisheet. The stamps cannot be cut out and used for postage.
Seven First Day covers, dated 1 November 2007, of the minisheets were produced by the Wesley Cover Service. All but two are postmarked with the permanent pictorial MCG postmark.