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Cricket Peru looks back on a busy year… and looks forward to an even busier one

  Posted on: June 5th, 2009

The 2008/09 season has been one of consolidation and progress for the Cricket Peru, but challenges still lie ahead. We saw more people participating in cricket, in various forms, than ever before, and our plans to (re)introduce cricket to local, British schools have begun to take root.

The playing season began in September with a weekly indoor cricket session at Markham College. This culminated in the 3rd Annual Cricket Veloz Championship on Sunday, December 14th, with four teams of 11 competing for the coveted Chimu Adventures Trophy.

The outdoor season ran from February to April, played at Lima Cricket & Football Club. As well as ten friendlies, that attracted some 50 players in total, we held the 3rd Annual Twenty20 Championship over 3 weekends in March, with an India – Pakistan – Sri Lanka XI Chak De ending as deserving winners of the Chimu Adventures Shield. We were also honoured to host a touring side, the Hollywood Golden Oldies, for a weekend in March. Sadly, a planned visit by the Guyana Masters in April was cancelled at the last minute.

The national team participated in the 8th South American Championship (SAC) in Sao Paulo in April. Despite picking up the wooden spoon, it was a great experience for the Peru team and a good indicator of where we need to go in terms of performance development. It was also a pleasure to be able to attend the Championship held in Brazil for the first time, and congratulations to Cricket Brasil for hosting such a successful event.

The average age of the Peru team at the SAC was 41.2 – a stark reminder that youth development is essential to the future of Peruvian cricket! To that end, our focus has been on schools cricket, with four colleges in Lima so far participating, and 80 boys and girls involved. The PCF is now funding coaching in two schools, Markham College and Hiram Bingham; we have acquired a lot more kids cricket equipment; and, in November, we were able to hold a mixed, 11-a-side, under-13, inter-schools game at Markham, with the visiting side, San Silvestre School, emerging victorious in what we hope will be the first of many such games.

Away from the playing field, there have also been developments. Most notably, the PCF is close to achieving official recognition from the Peruvian Government, which is a crucial administrative step in the game’s development. Members of the PCF committee also participated in a weekend seminar on Cricket Administration given by ICC Americas Regional Development Officer, Grant Dugmore in November 2008 and an umpiring course given by ICC-qualified umpire, Ruban Sivanadian, in April 2009.

So, we approach the 2009/10 season with a good deal of optimism, aiming to build on this progress. We plan to double the number of teams participating in the annual Twenty20 Championship to eight, as a means of expanding the player base.

We have been exploring various locations where we can install a new, artificial cricket strip, and after a few false dawns, we have been given the green light to use an area at Cambridge College in Lima. We have been disappointed in the past, so our fingers are firmly crossed that this really comes to fruition.

We would also like to develop cricket outside of its traditional centre, Lima. The two cities targeted are Cusco, where a group of ex-pats has already staged a historic game in the shadow of Sacsayhuaman, at 3,500m above sea level; and Tacna, near the border with Chile, which has a sizable Asian population, and already provides players for the Peru national team. It is hoped that a team from Lima can make the trip to one or both of these places to play cricket in the coming year.

Peru will be sending a team to the ICC Americas Division III Championship in Chile in October 2009, and we await the visit of the MCC and Australian Old Collegians to Lima at Easter 2010 with a great deal of excitement.

MILES BUESST,
Cricket Peru