Awaiting El Salvador's fifth season
Season five in El Salvador is expected to be the best yet with the trend of growth in the sport continuing. The country’s cricket board is conducting negotiations in the hope of realising two very interesting possibilities; a second field with a local Polo Club and a residential village only a few miles from the sea.
International competition is slated for December and March and, most importantly, the intake of local players has more than doubled since this time last year.
To meet this demand, a fourth club 1821 Jaguars now joins the Cuscatlan Chiefs, Atalcatl Knights and Ceiba (formerly known as Team Dell) in the El Salvador Cricket League. It is good also to see the clubs being run along the franchise model rather than centrally for the first time.
Club uniforms have been created, including logos, the club kit is being purchased, our website is being updated, and for marketing, recruitment & communication purposes we have created a Facebook site which has over 900 local members. It may not be ´sweeping the nation´, but there is a definite buzz around El Salvadorean cricket at the moment.
The formation of 1821 Jaguars is a result of interest generated through Facebook and our bi-annual magazine which is distributed to cafes around the city. Based in San Salvador, it takes its players from what we refer to as the ´outside world´. The three older clubs that have participated in the league for the last four seasons have been drawn from two principal sources, those being the British School and Dell. 1821 Jaguars are not from just one fixed source and include those who responded to our off-season promotion and wanted to give cricket a go. We did induct a couple of players from Chiefs' squad from the fourth season to add a few experienced heads, but it is at heart a new and cosmopolitan team. 1821 is the year of El Salvador's independence.
Each squad has about 14 players, with the percentage in each about 50% locals and foreigners, numbering to around 28 local players so far. Cricketing terminology hasn’t really been translated into the local tongue, so we tend to speak in Spanglish. Spanish sentences interrupted with English cricketing terms like ´run´, ´boundary´ etc.
We're hoping to host a tri-nations series in December, with two countries in mind. Should they be unable to accept, we've received an offer from the Los Angeles Cricket League, which gives us an option. In March, there's a possibility of a Central American tournament being held in either Panama or Mexico. We really want to take part in two international tournaments a year, ideally hosting one.
So now we enter the fifth El Salvador Cricket Season with our expectations greater than ever.