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Information and Reference on the Production of the Cricket Players Stamp Issues Produced by the Format International Security Printers

Leaders of the World Cricket Players Stamps
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Links to the various countries involved in the series are provided in the table at the bottom of the page.

Between 1984 and 1985 some of the islands of the British Commonwealth collaboratively produced an Omnibus issue of official postage stamps commemorating Famous Cricket Players. The concept was to start a new club simply called the Cricket Stamp Club. The club was to be promoted through the thousands of Cricket clubs in the UK. If it caught on the plan surely was to go worldwide. The agency to promote the issues was Philatelists Ltd.

Because of the very short time that the stamps were produced it is obvious that the program did not go well. The concept was planned to run through 1987 but it ended abruptly in 1985. Nine months after it started! There are several reasons why this happened. The Leaders of the World Cars and Trains program that was already running was beginning to decline because of bad publicity on the use of island dependency issues. Some countries involved in other Leader of the World issues were declining joining with this one. Cricket fans and clubs were not as enthusiastic about starting stamp collections as car and train enthusiasts had been.

The stamps were issued as Joined Pairs, the first stamp in the pair depicts a head portrait and the second stamp illustrates the cricketer in action.

A special stamp album was created and promoted through Stanley Gibbons. Title was Cricket - Leaders of the World.
Leaders of the World Cricket Players Stamp Album
The album pages gave detailed history on the player pictured on the stamp.
Leaders of the World Cricket Players Stamp Album Page
These stamps are genuine and were recognized and used as valid postal currency for the transport of mail throughout the world. All these stamps have been officially catalogued by Scott, Michel, Yvert et Tellier, Unificato, Stanley Gibbons, and Domfil. Certain catalogs wish to not give numbers for certain islands because of questions on validity or quantities. This project will show that because they were valid and that millions were not produced of each issue or series, that they should indeed be given numbers. The stamps were on sale in Post Offices in the individual countries of origin or their main post office outlets in regards to the islands, namely Funafuti for the Tuvalu Islands and St. Vincent for the dependencies for 90 days following issue. All the islands and dependencies have and had post offices themselves for which to send and receive mailings and all of the stamps were valid to use as such from their locations. Also there is plenty of evidence of postal usage of the issues as well.
The stamps were also available through the Philatelists Ltd. outlets.

According to one reliable philatelic source, the stamps for St. Vincent and Dependencies can still be validly used for postage in their country.


On August 8, 1984 the first set of cricket players was issued by Tuvalu Nukulaelae. Saint Vincent Grenadines joined in on August 16, 1984. Saint Vincent Grenadines and Nevis are the only two countries to issue more than one set of these. In October and November of 1984 Nanumea, Nevis, Tuvalu and Union Island issued sets. Saint Vincent Grenadines issued another set at that time as well.
The last set issued was for Nui on May 27, 1985.

Guess what? I have the original proposal on the Cricket Players series!

One thing I enjoy noting (to the dismay of some ego driven rumor makers) here is that the proposal in itself is solid evidence that millions of a single pair or single series of the Leaders of the World Cricket Players was never even thought of being produced!

I have scanned and produced a PDF file of the whole proposal (known as the Cricket Stamp Club Proposal) for public viewing. Mind you it is a 5.5 Meg file so please be patient with the download.

The Cricket Stamp Club Proposal by John Lagerwaard

Noting that if you reference the Tuvalu Philatelic Scandal article you can see that even Mr. Lagerwaard's first name is wrong in numerous areas. It is not Aart...

Printing orders have long since been lost for these but we can make a fairly accurate count of what was produced at that time by using the trial documents for other LOW issues and market research of what is being sold.

The links below will take you to the individual country pages for the countries involved in the Leaders of the World Cricket Players stamp series. Each page will show you the basic sets and the varieties that exist.

My findings for the Leaders of the World Cricket Players series is that there is no evidence of reprinting except for one or two issues. Aside from specimen overprinted sets very little in the way of varieties exist. Imperforates are close to non-existent as are progressive color proofs. No errors available anywhere.

In the 1995 final sale of the archive, evidence shows that press sheets and also panes of proofs of all the Cricket Players sets for Saint Vincent and Dependencies and Nevis were sold. Nothing for Tuvalu and Dependencies.
In the last couple years they showed up in auctions. I was lucky enough to pick up the Union Island issues in imperforate uncut press sheets of color proofs. Also single panes cut from one press sheet of finals. Similar lots were sold in auction for Saint Vincent and Saint Vincent Grenadines.
Several different uncut press sheets I found in Bileski estate lots showing that Kasimir was the buyer in the 1995 sale. There were generally 4-5 press sheets of the normal perforated issues saved in the archive. Almost all were broken for the gutters.

Therefore basically all varieties of these issues aside from the specimen overprinted sets can be considered rare if not extremely rare! Good news for Cricket Stamp collectors!

Click on the links in the table below to view details of the Leaders of the World Cricket Player issues that were created.

Your friend and fellow collector and researcher,

Enjoy the show!
Western Hemisphere Eastern Hemisphere

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UPDATED LAST ON: 07-Mar-2015 04:02 PM