March 12, 2014
Spirit of cricket alive in BA
Cricket and Argentina are not often linked in people’s minds, both within the country and abroad, but this year the Argentine Cricket Association (ACA) celebrates its centenary.
As part of the celebrations, the prestigious Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has sent a touring party to Argentina, including former international and current Warwickshire player Darren Maddy and several players with experience of country cricket.
On Monday night, at an event hosted by British Ambassador Dr. John Freeman at his residence in Buenos Aires, the MCC were thanked for their part in the ACA celebrations.
With the Argentine national side looking on, whom the MCC will face in three one-day internationals, starting tomorrow at the Hurlingham Club, the ambassador emphasized his hope for the development of the sport in the country.
“Cricket, and the length of time it’s been played here, is a useful reminder of the historical links between the UK and Argentina. In the centenary year of the ACA, I’m delighted that the MCC, the world’s most illustrious and historical cricket club, has chosen to honour the anniversary with a tour here,” said Freeman.
“When I arrived in Argentina, I was surprised to see in how many schools cricket was played — although, as someone who takes an interest in cricket, it would be great to see it more played.”
As part of its eighth tour to Argentina, the MCC also donated kit to the ACA, and will be holding training sessions for umpires and for under-13-year-olds in the province on Friday, to promote cricket locally. In the words of ACA chairman Malcolm Gibson, “the MCC embodies the spirit of cricket. This tour is essential to help us raise the profile of what is still a minor sport in Argentina.”
“The purpose of the tour is four-fold,” said MCC tour manager Malcolm Rollison at the event. “First, we are here to celebrate the ACA centenary; we are also here to provide the Argentine cricket team with competitive cricket before their international tournament in Jersey in July.”
However, as Rollison emphasized, a key goal of the MCC was to promote the spirit of cricket, “not just through how we play, but in how we conduct ourselves, on and off the pitch,” and to also aid the development of infrastructure of the sport in Argentina.
The MCC, captained by Alan Lewis, capped for Ireland and a former international rugby referee, and including Maddy and several county players, will be playing a one-day international against Argentina in Hurlingham tomorrow, and in Belgrano on Saturday and Sunday.