About Me

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Victoria, Australia
I am an author of Young Adult Fiction books. I worked as a teacher in the Pacific Islands for seven years. Whilst in the Solomon Islands I taught PSSC English before the ethnic tension in 2000 forced a change of plans. I love Pacific literature, art and music. You can find me on Facebook at Beth Montgomery Author.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

An Ocean of Cricket by Adam and Barrie Cassidy

Years ago when I lived in Nauru, a small cricket competition was set up by an expatriate Australian teacher.There were four teams: the Aussie teachers, the kiwi builders, the Indian public servants and the Island labourers. I remember that the teams were so short of players that most of us chipped in to play. Resources were in short supply. The two batsmen divided up the gloves and pads as there was only enough for one player. So I wore one glove and one leg pad onto the crumbling concrete pitch.
   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)
   The field was crushed coral; there wasn't a blade of grass anywhere. There was only one mat for the pitch so at the end of each over, the batsmen changed ends. It was lots of fun but far too hot under the tropical sun.
   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.

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