SARS sinks Singapore's season

Welcome to Beyond the Test World, CricInfo's regular round-up of news and events from the rest of the cricket-playing world, edited by Tony Munro. Click here for last week's instalment

SINGAPORE: SARS puts the focus on the domestic competition
Dinesh Chelvathurai

The outbreak of the SARS virus, which afflicted most of south-east Asia, has produced one of the quieter starts to a Singaporean season. The biggest casualty was the Under-19 Youth Asia Cup, which had originally been scheduled for July, but has now been moved to Pakistan. The U-15 Tuanku Ja'afar Tournament, due to take place in Hong Kong this month, has been postponed indefinitely.

The eagerly anticipated Divison Three of the ICC World Cup Qualifying League had been planned for Malaysia in August, but was also cancelled, this time because of lack of funding. It was a major blow for the Singapore national team, who have been deprived of any top-level competition this year.

Instead the focus has shifted to the adult league, which consists of 27 teams in three divisions. Kallang Colts are poised to win the Division One title for the first time in the 55-year history of the league. Kallang, led by Singapore's captain Zubin Shroff, are a young side and their success augurs well for the future. Ceylon Sports Club and the Indian Association lie second and third, but Kallang will need to slip up in their remaining three matches if either is to grab the title.

The Schoolboy League, which underpins the development programme, is also in full swing. The Anglo-Chinese Junior School, led by Timothy Singham, emerged as winners of the U-13 title after defeating Tanjong Katong School in the finals. Anglo-Chinese Independent School, led by Tham Shu Chua, overcame St Andrews Secondary School to win the U-17 title.

BELIZE: MCC wins both matches against Belize national team

The Marylebone Cricket Club has taken on the selfless task of spreading the gospel of cricket to some of the further-flung (and sunnier) parts of the world, and began their tour of Belize and the Cayman Islands with two wins against the Belize national team. MCC's captain, Richard Greatorex, immediately demonstrated his form in the first match, making 102 in a total of 231 for 5. Belize stuck to their task, with the medium-pacer Kevin Flowers taking 3 for 48, but their batting quickly came unstuck. Dr Bidar Swani top-scored with 55, but Belize were all out for 117.

The following day, the teams met again in Belize's capital, Belmopan City, and MCC were given a rougher ride. Greatorex again top-scored, but his 25 was one of several cameos as they scrambled to 174 for 9. Swami was again the mainstay of Belize's effort, scoring 62 in 80 minutes - but he had little support and Belize were all out for 120.

It was an encouraging effort from Belize, whose team was virtually home-grown, with nine players born in the country and the other two qualified by residency. MCC now move on for three matches in the Caymans, starting on July 18.

BRAZIL: Australians beaten in S o Paulo

A busy Brazilian season will culminate in early December when Curitiba hosts the country's first international tournament. Argentina A and Chile will join Brazil for a competition which is intended to be held every year that the South American Championships are not staged. Although Argentina's full-strength team has never lost a match at the championships, it will be sending a development side to balance the competition..

S o Paulo, Brazil's cricket capital, has seen plenty of activity on the domestic front, the highlight being the defeat of the visiting Australian team, the Galahs. They came into the match fresh from games in Chile, Argentina and Paraguay, but the Galahs lost their momentum during several days of R-and-R in Rio de Janeiro.

S o Paulo batted first and made 208 for 9 from 35 overs, thanks largely to the Australian-born allrounder Greigor Caisley. Caisley opens both the batting and bowling for Brazil, and had reached 98 when the penultimate wicket fell. Not unlike Doug Walters, Caisley promptly smashed his next ball for six to reach his century. The Galahs never recovered and were bundled out for 116. Mark Mitchell finished with 6 for 25 from eight overs.

An undefeated Indian team has pulled ahead of Antipodeans and the Rest of the World in the popular S o Paulo triangular competition. The World XI mainly consists of expat Brits, with the odd South African, Pakistani or West Indian as well, but occasionally a few Brazilians fill in when a substitute is required.

It is probable that a fourth team will join the competition, in which case a new ground will almost certainly have to be found. The current venue, a football pitch in Cotia, is slightly undersized by cricket standards. Adjacent to the football pitch is unused ground which will be developed in co-operation with Brazilian rugby.

The purpose of this page is to publicise cricket at the non-Test level in as many countries as possible, from Test aspirants down to scratch matches in an embassy compound with a piece of wood and a tennis ball. If you would like your country's news to appear on this page, please email Tony Munro at bttwcom@hotmail.com.