Sat in Tito’s Beach Bar a couple of weeks ago listening to Jon Gaunt broadcasting his Sun Talk show in the background commenting on some tapas that he was sampling, I couldn’t help reflect that it was all very civilised, if not more than a little mad.
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Amongst a whole bunch of things I was in Mojacar to do, I had agreed to meet up with some of the boys from Mojacar Cricket Club ……. I use the word ‘boys’ in the loosest possible context you understand (if in any doubt check out the photo!)
Cricket is a mad game, it can’t be denied. Look at the facts: grass stains and white clothes! you can play a whole match and never bat, not bowl, touch the ball a hand-full of times the whole day, and still claim it was a ‘great game’. Watching it can take five whole days, end even then there is no result, but don’t worry it can take 5 games of 5 days to decide the winner!
Cricket is also one of the best games in the word. I love it! I played it pretty well as a youngster between the ages of 13 and 19, captaining a number of teams, winning a few awards, and taking an unforgettable catch off the last ball of a semi-final to win the game and put the club through to it’s first ever final. A unique blend of individual talent and team spirit, nothing defines England better than a game of cricket on the village green on a Bank Holiday Monday.
So there I was sat in the sunshine in Mojacar, enjoying a cold beer and listening to the Chairman David Redpath passionately tell me all about the Mojacar Cricket Club: they play in the Costa Blanca League, which comprises 14 teams and is fully supported by the ICC. Established for 9 years with a strong committee structure and management, they are very keen to develop the youth cricket, and to get more Spanish people aware and involved. A number of the club have formal coaching badges, and all the matches have fully qualified umpires officiating.
All very sane and sensible, so I knew there must be a ‘but’ heading my way ……….. and there was! There are only two pitches in the whole league, one in La Manga and one in Benidorm. Madrid have three teams in the league which is a long way to travel for a game of cricket …… madness eh! Mojacar Cricket Club practice on a Wednesday () and Sunday () at La Mafa, the Mojacar Football Pitch and are busy raising funds through fund raising, subs and memberships (including social membership) to try and generate interest in establishing a cricket ground in the Mojacar region.
Although the league play 45 over games there is also the option to play in a European Twenty20 competition. This however runs over a number of days so expense plus logistics prohibit participation at this stage. In addition, twice a year Mojacar Cricket Club host a Beach Cricket Competition at Tito’s on the Mojacar Playa, and the next one is this Saturday the 6th June.
Leaving David and the boys, my over-riding thought was how impressive it is when against quite a few odds, a group of people are committed to making something happen. I was also left with really fond memories of broken fingers, a broken nose, rainy days sat around hoping to get at least a few overs in, but also of hitting the winning run and taking the catch to win a match. This doesn’t mean I am persuaded to dust off my pads yet, but Mojacar Cricket Club seems to be in very capable and passionate hands ……. cricket what a sport, all very civilised if not more than a little mad.