I actually opened the batting for Australia against India. What an achievement! I think I made a total of five runs. There were no thigh pads, no helmets, no box (not that the women needed one of those) and I remember receiving a bruise the size of a dinner plate on my thigh after one match.
|An Ocean of Cricket (Victory Books, 2013)|
I remember one of the islanders came from Samoa and he was a natural at cricket. But I think he'd had lots of practice back home as the book An Ocean of Cricket depicts. This pictorial feast is a celebration of cricket in a few Pacific island countries.
Adam Cassidy works for the International Cricket Council (ICC) in their East Asia-Pacific office and his father Barrie, is a well-known Australian journalist who hosts the sporting program Offsiders. They collaborated to produce this wonderful book which all cricket lovers would find interesting. The pictures are great - showing men, women and children all participating in cricket at the 'grass-roots' level and the more serious ICC sponsored levels in Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu and PNG. The pictures of the kids playing in the villages are delightful. Some are so young they can barely hold a bat. For many villages, the ocean is the outfield. Women players feature just as often as the men and many uniforms are vibrantly coloured. It's no doubt that these people are passionate about their sport.
If you love cricket and you love the islands then this book is a treasure. It certainly brought back lots of fond memories for me.