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The ICC Americas region launched its centenary celebrations at the Annual Beach Cricket Tournament in Chile on February 27 and Argentina hosted the 110th edition of the classic North v South match on March 6, 2009.
The Catch the Spirit celebrations are aimed at promoting the ICC’s centenary, the Great Spirit of cricket and the wide appeal and diversity of the game. While the Full Members including Bangladesh, the West Indies and recently South Africa, have played their role in celebrating the ICC’s centenary, the spotlight fell on Chile and Argentina to showcase the spirit of the game in their country.
The Annual Beach Cricket Tournament at Viña del Mar’s Playa del Deporte on Chile’s coast captured the sun, sea and sand which represents the spirit of the game in Chile. India successfully defended the title they won last year, by beating England in the final, while Australia came third beating Argentina in the play-off. It was the two Chilean teams though which provided the tournament with the excitement, illustrating the great potential for the game in South America.
The beach cricket festival was followed by the 110th Edition of the North v South three day game at the Belgrano Athletic Club, Buenos Aires. The idea for this historic fixture was born in a railway station in the far northern city of Tucuman, when the proposal was made and accepted to challenge Buenos Aires. Early in November of 1891, the cricketers of the North travelled to play the South at Palermo in Buenos Aires, and the legendary tale of this famous game had begun.
The 2009 fixture saw the South beat the North by eight wickets (North 151 and 69, South 162 and 61 for 2). The South took just ten and a half overs to knock off the 59 runs they needed to complete, in less than two days, the first outright win in this historic fixture since their 22-run victory in 2000. Billy MacDermott, with 8 for 44 and a crucial innings of 31, won the Man-of-the-Match award, with Diego Lord (7 for 38) and Gary Savage (52 not out and 26) named as Best Bowler and Best Batsman respectively. Miguel Rowe took the Spirit of Cricket Award. ICC
Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and AfricaFeeds: Martin Williamson
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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.