February 4, 2008


Eccentrics on ice

Martin Williamson
A woman prepares to bowl during 'Cricket on Ice' in Saint Moritz, this began in 1988, when a group of Britons challenged the students of the international boarding school Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz to a game, Switzerland, January 31, 2008
 © Getty Images


While European cricket, outside some die-hards in the southern regions, is in its winter hibernation, The Times reports that there is one festival celebrating. For in St Moritz it is the 20th anniversary of Cricket On Ice.

The British are credited with bringing most of the sport and tourism to St Moritz and, inadvertently, one distinguished Brit is responsible for the dottiest activity of all.

In 1988, David Gower - soon to be made England captain for a second time - played here in an inaugural game on the lake. It was a marketing ploy, a picture opportunity, but Gower characteristically provided more publicity than planned by sinking his car on a thin patch of ice. They talk about it to this day.

Soon after Gower’s car sank into the murky depths, Daniel Haering rounded up enough British friends to get a team together for another cricket match against his former school. It was the start of an eccentric institution.

Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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Posted by Michael Bailey on (February 6, 2008, 16:55 GMT)

Cricket in Europe does not hibernate... Its volunteers are busy taking coaching/umpiring/scoring courses and playing indoor cricket, as well as carrying out many of the administrative tasks that come with the game! For example, in Austria, Switzerland's co-host at this summer's European Football championships there are tournaments in Vienna and Graz - not to mention continued club trainings and youth development work!

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Martin Williamson
Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.

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