- “Next year, the cricket cup may go to someone else, but your certificate will always be here.”
- ―The cricketers
Thomas and the Cricketers is the first story in the 1990 Annual.
A hurricane sweeps over Sodor. As Thomas passes the Elsbridge cricket field, he is amazed to see a match being played. The driver explains it is the final of the Sodor Knockout Competition. That is why they are playing in the strong wind. When Thomas reaches the junction, James tells him of all the damage caused by the hurricane. Thomas is worried, but bravely sets off on his return journey. As he nears the cricket field, the guard sees the cricketers waving frantically and pulls the emergency cord. The brakes come on and Thomas screeches to a stop just in front of a fallen tree. Thomas takes the passengers back to the middle station, where Bertie takes the passengers home. Thomas then goes back to the cricket field to watch the match. Elsbridge wins by a small margin and a few days later, the Fat Controller presents the club with a special certificate.
- James (not seen)
- Annie and Clarabel (do not speak)
- Percy (cameo)
- Toby (cameo)
- Bertie (mentioned)
- The Fat Controller (mentioned)
- This story was later adapted into the 1992 book Thomas and the Hurricane.