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Herbert Hayton Castens – South African only national rugby and cricket captain

Did you know that Pearston in the Karoo Heartland is the birthplace of the only person who was captain of both the South African national rugby as well as national cricket team?
Herbert Hayton Castens (23 November 1864 – 18 October 1929) was born in Pearston and went to England where he was educated at Rugby and Oxford, where he studied law and received a Blue at rugby. He also played cricket for Middlesex and South of England. In 1889-90 he played for Western Province, scoring 165 on Christmas Day against Eastern Province.
In 1891 a British rugby side toured South Africa and Castens refereed the first tour match, which was against a combined Cape Town rugby side.  On 30 July, he captained South Africa in their first rugby international, against the British Isles team, played at the Crusader’s Ground in Port Elizabeth which they lost.
In March 1894, the year that the South African Cricket Association was established, Castens captained Western Province to victory in the final of the Currie Cup tournament at Newlands in Cape Town, scoring 61 in an innings victory over Natal. Soon after, a South African cricket tour to England was organised, with Castens appointed as the captain. South Africa played matches against the first-class counties, but no Tests or first-class matches were played.
Castens later moved to Southern Rhodesia, where he worked as an advocate, and was later elected to the National Legislature, and served as secretary to the government for a number of years. He died on 18 October 1929 in Fulham, London, at the age of sixty-four.
Herbert Hayton Castens  

Herbert Hayton Castens and the South African cricket team to England  

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