The 2014 edition of our annual charity cricket tournament took place on the 2nd August at Victoria recreation ground in Surbiton. The event ran so smoothly that it’s easy to forget the anxiety that preceded it, centered around the one element of any outdoor event that can’t be controlled: the weather. In the middle of a warmer than usual summer, forecasts were predicting a heavy downpour (even thunderstorms!) for the very day that we had been planning and promoting our cricket tournament for months. Crisis talks (of sorts) ensued and we decided to continue with the event regardless. Good thing too, as the anticipated storm never came. Nor was there that grumbling, on-off drizzle that is typical when the British weather can’t quite decide what it wants to be. Instead, amazingly, we had pretty much full beaming sunshine for the entire day, with zero instances of rain stopping play.
Thankfully the gloomy forecast wasn’t enough to put off the eager tournament-goers. Both gecko die-hards and newbies alike turned out in good numbers, and 11 teams competed in a group of 5 and a group of 6, with 2 teams from each progressing to the semi-finals. We are no longer surprised by the high level competition, and a consequence of our 5-over format is that upsets and unpredictability is the order of the day. One group was agonizingly close, with 3 teams ending the group stage with the same overall points total. As has become our standard, the calculation of total runs to total wickets ratio decided who would progress. In the first semi-final, Grundy’s team, which had done well to narrowly progress from the group stage, capitulated to the Srikantharajah’s strong bowling attack. In the other semi-final, Miles’ team, fielding a strong team as usual, were able to overcome the 2012 champions, Shakey’s team.
The final would be a repeat of last year’s, with Srikantharajahs as the returning champions challenged again by Miles’ team, who (like the Sri Lankan national team) were beginning to develop a reputation as perennial bridesmaids. Miles’ team batted first, and it was a taut and tight innings with both sides keeping their nerve. But a steady flow of wickets stifled any real momentum, the batsmen restricted to an unspectacular 54. So far, it was a repeat script from the year before, and at the midway point, you would’ve put your money on the Srikantharajahs exhibiting yet another batting masterclass. Miles’ team needed early wickets, and opening bowler Sai responded dutifully, first dispatching key opener Del. Deno was the next to go, and he admits that to this day he still has nightmares of the delivery. Victory was still not assured, however, while danger man Madu remained at the crease. He was able to keep the score ticking for a few overs, but the resistance ended with a scintillating catch at the boundary line. Miles’ team had soon achieved the tournament victory that had eluded them in recent years.
Apart from the cricket, the fantastic food was another highlight, we must thank all who brought cakes, sandwiches, and short-eats. Thanks to a generous offer from Slaughter and May Law firm to double the charity takings from the event, over £1100 has been raised. This money will be going towards the Meththa Foundation, which provides limb-fitting and physical rehabilitation services to those who have been left disabled following the recent conflict in Sri Lanka. More information can be found at: http://www.meththafoundation.org.uk
Special effort was made this year to capture the event in photos and on video. To remind yourself of the great day, and look forward to next year, take a look at our video montage below!