Friday evening, August 27th, saw bouncers and googlies causing leg breaks and off-breaks with fine legs ending up in the slips. Sound a little strange? As the Canadian participants found out, cricket can be a confusing game. Played under unseasonably grey and rainy skies, the 2nd annual Emperors Challenge Cricket match turned into a tense competition.
The two teams competing for the title of Emperors Challenge Cricket champions were pulled together by Dr. Nigel Matthews, who spends a month of every year doing a locum in town. The group was divided into two teams; those who competed in the Emperors Challenge run and those who didn?t. What really seamed to be determining the division were the South African?s versus the Australian?s and English, although this was thinly disguised by the Emperors Challenge angle.
First to bat were the Boomerangs (the Aussie/English/Canadian team), scoring an outstanding 56 runs, thanks to the partnership of Jason Schembri and Justin Pouliot, scoring 40 runs. The Challengers (the South African/Canadian team) were amazing out in field, but unable to stop the quick running of Schembri and Pouliot.
The South Africans (Challengers) came up to bat after a tea and cucumber sandwich break. The Challengers scoring started with Daniel Helm hitting a six onto the road, but even that couldn?t pull them into the lead.
After a titanic struggle, the Boomerangs showed brawn and steel by walking away with the title of Emperors Challenge Cricket Champs. Trophies were presented to the winning team and to the Most Valuable Players.
Cricket is an ancient game thought to have been invented by Henry VIII in the mid 1500?s. In Cricket you are ?in? until you are ?out?, unless you are ?not out?. Your leg may be before the wicket and a yorker could come through the gate. You could be hit for six and whip of the bails but have to suffer for an overthrow. Seamer?s often use silly mid-on?s and silly mid-off?s but can still be hit to mid-wicket. Fielding in the gully can be fun particularly if a flipper is bowled even if the sight screen gets in your way.
Needless to say the jargon used in this game is as interesting as the history and traditions of the ancient sport. The Canadian?s playing for the first time were certainly thrown in the deep end (armed with about five minutes of coaching) but showed their true Canadian spirit by competing strongly and having a lot of fun.
Special thanks should go to Dr. Nigel Matthews who spent a great deal of time and effort to bring a sport that he is passionate about to Tumbler Ridge. Anyone interested in this unique sport should look forward to next summer as more cricket fun is going to occur.
If you don?t understand anything about the game it?s OK?.that?s cricket!