August 12, 2010

Falkland Islands

A festival of cricket for the Falklands

Tony Munro

The cricketers of the Falkland Islands may become regular visitors to Scotland if plans for further stagings of the 'Festival of the Three Falklands' cricket festival are realised.

Last month, teams representing the Falkland Islands, Falkland in Newberry, Berkshire, England and Falkland in Fife, Scotland played a series of matches.

"Tentative plans are in hand to make this triangular tournament a regular feature every 3 to 4 years which would be an excellent idea providing we can manage the logistics of fielding teams for ICC competitions and also for friendly overseas tours," Roger Diggle, Falkland Islands Cricket Association official and player, told Cricinfo.

Although it was in some respects a tournament, it's success wasn't measured by the customary wins and losses. "The Festival of the Three Falklands was a very sociable affair. It started with a traditional Scottish ceilidh (a fancy term for a good meal, lots of drink and Scottish dancing). Speeches were given by representatives of all three clubs and also the provost of Fife, Councillor Frances Melville," Diggle explained.

Among the Islanders' squad were the current and former Attorneys General of the territory and its Chief Medical Officer.

In the first match, Falkland Islands won the toss and sent Falkland (Newbury) in to bat. The English Falklanders amassed 220 from their allotted 40 overs before bowling out the Islanders for 103.

Any reduction in overs always has the potential to even things out and perhaps this was the case in the second match. Originally it was to be a 40-over contest, but torrential rain on the first day saw it reduced to a 10-overs 6-a-side affair, which was won by the Islanders by three wickets with two balls to spare. The win ensured the Falkland Islands returned home with the Drysdale Cup, donated by Falkland (Fife) resident, Karen Drysdale, whose great-great grandfather and grandfather were both captains of Falkland (Fife) CC. The tournament wrapped up with a win for Scotland as Falkland (Fife) beat Falkland (Berkshire).

It's been an unusually busy year for the Falkland Islands who played in their first ICC tournament in June when they took part in the Americas Division Four event in Mexico.

Meanwhile, back home in the South Atlantic, there are plans to install the Islands' second cricket pitch in Stanley (in addition to the existing one at Mount Pleasant). This will allow a weekday Twenty20 league and under-15 and under-17 competitions to start in the 2010-11 season.

Linked with the appointment of a development officer shortly, the Falkland Islands Cricket Association aims to have 100% of school-age children play cricket in the school sports curriculum for a minimum of 6 weeks a year. "We think we might be the first country in the world to achieve 100% participation at school age," Diggle said.

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