Thursday, May 01, 2014

A Mexican day at the cricket

Cricket pretty much got me through high school, in the sense of making it tolerable enough to be able to hang in there while getting those bits of paper that let you move to the next level. During summer I just lived for the weekend game. During the school day I lived for cricket practice.

And there is cricket in Mexico. Indeed, this year Mexico won the South American cricket championship, beating Chile in the final. It's an upside of 'globalization'. Cricket: Mexico???? Well, sort of, in the sense that the victorious Mexican team reads:

Tushar Gupta – Captain - Phillip Barkhuzien, Jonty Hiley, Ben Owen (winner of the Fair Play award), Mark Goodall, Gavin Strong, Mike Beckwith, Manish Sirohi, Paul Sheppard, Tarun Sharma, Richard Wagner, Rob Howarth, Mostafa Mirza Mohammad.

The Mexican Cricket Association has an active campaing going to “get cricket into schools”, and there is every chance that in a decade's time a victorious Mexican team will contain a Hernandez and a Suarez, a Guzman and a Torres. Meanwhile, we have a regional winning team and cricket to watch.

Each year around 25 April, which is ANZAC Day for Australians and New Zealanders, remembering those from the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps who died in the famous World War 1 battle at Gallipoli, a cricket match is held at the Reforma Club grounds between an ANZAC 11 and a Rest of the World 11.

I made it to the game last weekend and this time took a camera with me. The ANZAC team were sporting shirts branded with the Yellowtail wine logo. There were lots of logos represented, some of which are captured in the photos.

It was a beautiful sunny Mexico City day. The Reforma club is just beyond the borders of the Distrito Federal. For me to get there involved a train trek from Copilco in the south to the end of the blue line in the North West at Cuatro Caminos, and then a bus trip. It took a while to locate the bus in the bustling terminus, but in the end I got there in plenty of time. There were lovely shady trees to sit under, and the game got underway.

Rest of the World batted first, and batted well, knocking up close to 150 runs in their 20 overs. The ANZACs were on the ropes at 6 batsmen down for only 30 or so runs, but some charitable bowling by the Rest of the World allowed a big partnership to develop and in the end it came down to the last ball, with the Rest of the World squeaking home by a couple of runs.

I had a wonderful afternoon and made the long trek home with a smile from ear to ear. As the main work on the house here nears completion I hope to be able to get out to some club matches during the season on at least a fairly regular basis.

The social and dining area above, and where the players sat waiting to bat when they weren't having a practice hit out in the nets (under tree, middle right hand side)

A look at the pitch before the stumps go in

Reforma Club buidings and football/soccer nets

Players catching up ahead of the game

The stumps going in before start of play

The opening over of the match

Second over of the match, Rest of World batting.

Deep fine leg fielder on the boundary.

Yellowtail logo shirt

Wags -- as in wives and girlfriends

Prestige British car logo, very popular in Mexico. My motorcycle acquaintaince, David Shepherd, is President of the Mexican Jaguar Owners Club. Classic bikes, classic cars for David.

Land Rover logo.

Land Rover logo bearer at the bowling crease. He got a couple of wickets and helped keep the Rest of the World scoring down as much as possible.

ANZACs batting and a Rest of World player named Matt bowling. He had 4 batsmen out in no time.

The youngest player on the ground, probably 14 or 15 years old, bowling from this end for the Rest of the World. He's into his delivery stride here.

Same youngster on his follow through after bowling.