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‘Cricket? Is that the game with horses?’

  Posted on: July 24th, 2009

ICC Annual Conference Delegates 1Playing and promoting cricket in Peru is not without its challenges: 99% of the population has little or no idea what the game is about, hence the confusion with polo, croquet, or more understandably, baseball; there is only one cricket pitch in the entire country (five and a half times the size of the UK) – and football is played over it for nine months of the year; the nearest away game is some 2,400 km away in Santiago, Chile; and the nearest shop selling cricket equipment is in the USA.

So, it was with a sense of awe and wonder that Cricket Peru Secretary, Miles Buesst, found himself in the spiritual home of cricket, Lords Cricket Ground in London, attending the International Cricket Council (ICC) Centenary Conference, from Sat, June 20th to Fri, June 26th, 2009. This was the first time in history that all 104 member countries of the ICC had been invited together to discuss and celebrate the game of cricket, and some people had made a Herculean effort to get there: two representatives from the South Atlantic island of Santa Helena made a five-day boat journey to South Africa in order to catch a flight to London!

The week-long conference was a chance to reflect on the global expansion of the game of cricket, which can now confidently claim to be the second biggest team sport in the world, and which continues to expand, driven by the new powerhouse of the game, India, whose vast population has a fanatical adherence to the game. By comparison, Cricket Peru is a tiny player; nonetheless, it was a great pleasure to be able to rub shoulders with the great and the good of cricket, both past and present; and to be able to speak enthusiastically of the many attractions of Peru and the strides being made here to develop the ‘great game’.