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Beyond the Test World

Mexico: Gary Lineker, imperial executions and presidential palaces - the story so far of the Mexico City Cricket Club

While the Mexico City Cricket Club was founded in 1894, the game has been played in different parts of Mexico throughout the nineteenth century, notably in Puebla, Orizaba, Pachuca and Mexico City

Eliot Cartledge
While the Mexico City Cricket Club was founded in 1894, the game has been played in different parts of Mexico throughout the nineteenth century, notably in Puebla, Orizaba, Pachuca and Mexico City.
The earliest surviving photograph of the sport dates from circa 1865. It shows a line up of cricketers posing rather earnestly in the middle of a field.
One of their number is in fact the ill-fated Emperor Maximilian. Due in part to the rather turbulent nature of the country, British investment and industrial presence was sporadic.
After Juarez was restored to power after Maximilian was executed in late 1867, suspicion of the British and other colonial powers was overt and it took some years before this mistrust was laid to rest.
With sufficient numbers of sports-hungry Britons in the city, the Reforma Athletic Club was formed in 1894. One of the club's principle aims was to play regular cricket matches. Hence, the Mexico City Cricket Club was formed at the same time.
Cricket was played in the spacious grounds of the Presidential Palace in Chapultepec but later moved after World War One and, in fact, moved again to the present site at Naucalpan in 1962. The lush ground is in a delightful setting, surrounded by splendid eucalyptus trees in the hills on the outskirts of the city.
There have been no further disruptions to play from this time. In 1986 the English World Cup soccer squad enjoyed the environs at the Reforma Club and played some energetic cricket, the stars being Gary Lineker and Mark Hateley.
There are currently over one hundred and fifty players on the club's books and close to seventy social members. The club is divided into three large squads, Aztecs, Corinthians and Reforma.
Both limited and unlimited over fixtures are played every Sunday from October to June (excluding a three week Christmas break). The club tours Florida every year for the Sarasota Six-A-Side tournament and occasionally visits California and Belize.
The British & Dominion Club from Los Angeles toured Mexico in November 2000 and the Memorial Club from Houston return each March. A Belize national team tours as well as occasional visits from sides from California and Florida.
April sees the arch-enemies in battle as Anzac Day is celebrated with a typically passionate Ashes encounter.
In November 2000 an Australian coach was appointed to improve the playing standard of the club's playing members as well as to conduct coaching clinics in local secondary schools.
In addition, the MCCC is applying for ICC affiliated-membership. The case will be heard in June 2001.
The 2000/2001 season kicked off in October with two practice matches were played preceding a spectacular six-a-side tournament (newly appointed club coach Elliot Cartledge hit eight sixes in eight balls at one stage but has barely troubled the scorers since!).
The club's three team internal competition commenced in November. At this stage, last year's champion, Reforma, captained by North Londoner Max Cawdron, is taking all before them. Cawdron has already scored two unbeaten half-centuries and his side has been bolstered by the South African `keeper-batsman Carl Greyling.
Brisbane-born Dean Illot is ably leading the Corinthians side this season. He enjoyed six seasons of cricket in Chile before relocating to Mexico City. Aztecs are captained by another Australian, Elliot Cartledge, who endured a rather damp English summer in 2000 as playing coach for Thames Valley side, Kew, before seeking out sunnier climes.
Touring sides are, of course, most welcome to contact the MCCC with a view to enjoying the club's famous hospitality. New players from in and around Mexico City are also encouraged to get in touch with the club. The setting of the ground and friendly spirit of the club members will delight all comers.
Mexico City Cricket Club Contacts
Telephone  Email
Chairman: Keith Foster          5655 6082
Vice Chairman Paul Longshaw       5540 7904
Membership Secretary Nigel Bryans 5343 6803
Club Captain Max Cawdron          5584 1856
Club Coach Elliot Cartledge       5574 8046
Players Liaison Dean Illot        5207 8315