It’s Just Not Cricket, or Is It? - Guest Commentary

To those of us brought up in a certain tradition, what is and what isn’t cricket is a personal judgment made on grounds as much to do with morals as to the technicalities of the rules of the game. What certainly wasn’t cricket was the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore. This tragic and depressing event had an interesting effect on Symi’s young Pakistani and Afghan workers. Shocked as they were by the news they were not going to miss their weekend’s cricket, even if they had to play it themselves rather than watch it on TV. Did they have any equipment? No. Could they make do? Certainly. An old roof truss was cut down to make the bat, stumps (including bails) were sawn up out of scaffolding planks and a tennis ball wrapped in insulation tape completed the kit. No slap of willow on leather here. But it was a proper game, even though 5 a side cricket is a bit of a novelty. It certainly wasn’t a rounders bash about. The non-batting batsman had to use a stump to mark his position at the crease as there was only one bat. The flight of the ball tended to be a bit erratic as the tape peeled off, but several enthusiastic sixes were hit. There are certain advantages to a tennis ball!

Was it cricket? In my view it certainly was – in the best sense of the expression. This is an effort well worth supporting. These young men find themselves on this island, struggling to make money to send home to their families as a result of economic and political circumstances far beyond their control. They have made considerable personal sacrifice to get here and for them it is certainly no bed of roses. Surely they deserve some fun out of life on a Sunday afternoon? Is there anyone in the UK or elsewhere coming out to Symi who could be persuaded to bring out an old cricket bat or a couple of balls? They would be much appreciated. This match was not a one off, a second (7 a side!) was played yesterday. If anyone should be moved to put anything in the post, please send it care of Nicholas Shum, P O Box 5, Symi 85600, Dodecanese, Greece.

Nicholas Shum

Kojak –   – (Monday, March 30, 2009)  

I'm sure the England cricket team could send all their sporting gear - it would probably be put to better use!

Chrisanthy –   – (Tuesday, March 31, 2009)  

as i was reading I was thinking the same thing Adriana. Australia's cricket team should donate theirs too at the moment.

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About this Blog

I sailed into Panormitis Bay, Symi, by chance one windy July day in 1993 and have been here ever since. The locals tell me that this is one of the miracles of St Michael of Panormitis. A BA graduate with majors in English, Philosophy and Classical Civilisation, the idea of living in what is to all intents and purposes an archaeological site appeals to me. Not as small as Kastellorizo, not as touristy as Rhodes, Symi is just the right size. I live on a small holding which my husband and I have reclaimed from a ruin of over-grazing and neglect and turned into a small oasis over the course of the past 22 years. I also work part-time for Symi Visitor Accommodation, helping independent travellers discover and enjoy Symi's simple pleasures for themselves.

This page is kindly sponsored by Wendy Wilcox, Symi Visitor Accommodation.

Adriana Shum

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