I’m in Hamilton, Waikato for the weekend for tomorrow’s first One Day International between New Zealand and England. From here on in my travelling takes me wherever England play and as a result, like my adventures in India, there’ll be a lot more cricket related stuff appearing on the blog.

So to appease readers who aren’t so taken with my favourite sport, here’s a nice early morning picture from the Bay of Islands yesterday:

20130216-092240.jpg

For everyone else and for those cricket newbies who’ve diligently carried on reading, here’s a deliberate plug for my cricket club back home in Bedfordshire.
Hamilton is home to a mighty New Zealander who now resides in my neck of the woods. Kiwi Geoff, or Jif, as he is sometimes known, has been instrumental in helping take Elstow CC forward. As a result mainly of Geoff’s enthusiasm and fundraising efforts we now have facilities and a junior cricket set up to be proud of. Keen to carry on the good work, this summer we play host to Australia and New Zealand as international cricket comes to Bedfordshire.

Promising ‘Bigger Bashes Than The Ashes’, at Elstow Cricket Club we are looking to serve up a feast of international cricket on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th June. The tournament will be held at our club’s home, The Warren, Elstow, deep in the English game’s forgotten heartland, Bedfordshire, and will comprise a three-team T20 competition between sides from England, Australia and New Zealand.

Staged to coincide with the Antipodean nations’ visits to England in Summer 2013, the Elstow Tri-Nations Series offers an antidote for the discerning cricket fan looking for an alternative to over-priced venues and free from the soap operas and sideshows that are synonymous with the modern game. Elstow Cricket Club is keeping international cricket real.

Dubbed The 3M’s Trophy, in honour of Messrs Martin, McGrath and Mullally, we recognise something of ourselves in those three signature number eleven batsmen. There’s the quest to improve, to entertain, to give your best when everything’s stacked against you and sometimes even triumph.

Elstow Cricket Club is looking to do exactly this as we welcome the world to The Warren. We have set ourselves the target of accumulating the same amount in pounds raised over the weekend as these upstanding have-a-go merchants achieved in Test runs.

Times five… Plus a bit more.

The funds we raise for the club will enable us to grow membership, especially of the junior ranks, and develop the club’s facilities. We held a similar event to tie in with the last Australian tour in 2009 – The Elstow Ashes – and next year’s project is the long awaited follow on to this. The teams will get the honour of representing their country, under floodlights and roared on by a vociferous local crowd. Local bands, brews and barbeques will also help make the weekend.

Get your fun off the A421 and get down to Bedfordshire for a smorgasbord of international cricket this summer.

If you’re an Australian or Kiwi reading this and want to achieve one of your life’s ambition by turning out for your team, if you’re a potential sport loving sponsor and can donate a few readies or are a local keen to volunteer or turn up and and support over the weekend, please get in touch with the club at elstowcricketclub@hotmail.com or via this website.

Please try and support us if you can. Thank you for reading.

For the non-cricketers among you who’ve kept reading and, indeed, everyone else, here’s a picture of Uncle Ken’s cannons (Hello Geoff!).

20130216-100756.jpg

Booooommm!!!! As Kevin Pietersen might say.

Have a great weekend.

Advertisements