Team seeks sponsorship August 8, 2007

Gangster team set to tour Australia

Ted Hayes, manager of one of the most unlikely cricket teams in the world © Mugshot Magazine

Think of cricket and Compton and imagines of Denis, greenery and Lord's no doubt spring to mind. But a team from the notorious gangland of Compton, in Los Angeles are making the place increasingly famous in cricket lore.

The Homies and the Popz team, made up of ex-Latino and African American gangsters, was brought together nearly a decade ago by cricket enthusiast and Hollywood film producer Katy Haber and US social activist Ted Hayes. The team has, so far, toured the UK four times, rapping in front of Prince Edward at Buckingham Palace.

But now they're set to tour Australia, where they will use their high exposure to help raise money and publicity for other Australian groups attempting to deal with similar issues in their own community as well as a series of competitive club sides. These include opening Australia's premier Indigenous cricket competition, The Imparja Cup, in Alice Springs, and the Big Issue Street Socceroos.

The rights to make a movie about the team are currently in negotiation with Disney and Australian billboard and cricket board game manufacturers are helping to publicise the team. But that's only if they can get out to Australia: the the team's management have made some progress towards organising the tour, but they still require a major cash sponsor to come on board.

Hugh Snelgrove, their publicity and sponsorship manager, explained: "We need a major corporate backer for airfares, accommodation, transport etc. Product donations would also be good. The matches will help raise funds for RecLink Australia, the Mavis Abberton foundation and the Big Issue Street Socceroos as well as, most importantly, the Compton Cricket Club themselves."

Potential sponsors should email

Jenny Thompson is assistant editor of Cricinfo