Saturday, 29 September 2012

A Gentleman's Game

I had the pleasure of attending the annual 'Gentleman's match' between Parnell and Whangarei's Central City Club this afternoon.  It's an annual fixture between the two clubs, with hosting rights being rotated each year. This was Parnell's year to host, and Orakei Domain with the artificial wicket was chosen as the venue. They are two very different clubs, with Central having a total of  8 teams in the whole club, and Parnell with 12 teams just in Grade 4.

Parnell v Central City  at Orakei Domain 29 Sept 2012

I only found out the match was on when I was at the Grade 5 Academy net session early this morning, and all the Parnell old guard were getting gear together for the match this afternoon. An invitation was extended to me to join them at the boundary rope and stay around for the barbecue afterwards. I could hardly refuse!

So, once I'd done all my little jobs, I packed up my cricket chair, grabbed some food and a couple of kids, we headed down to the Orakei Domain for a Spring Saturday cricket session. It was warm, but not that sunny and the match was delayed by an hour so the grounds could dry out. This resulted in 40 overs each being played. I won't go into great detail about the final score, or the individual results as that is not what this is about. This is an annual match between two clubs with mutual connections, who enjoy catching up either at Cobham Oval in Whangarei, or at Parnell's home ground. It's a chance for old friends to catch up and tell stories, relive good times, and also to make new friends.
It's one big family of people all enjoying themselves over a game of cricket.

During the hours that I spent sitting at the boundary rope, we had sunshine, we had clouds and even some light showers. There was tipene run going on behind me, and rugby kicks happening to my right. I had a cold beer pressed into my hand, and was offered muffins, biscuits and cups of tea. I had strawberry juice on my chin as I watched the leg stump go spiraling in the air.  Then I watched a tail ender batting with glee as I brushed cake crumbs from my shirt.

It was the best kind of day.A cricket match in September will always make me smile, but seeing the absolute pleasure with which these two teams faced off, was sheer delight. I love how both teams applauded each other's efforts, and everyone just enjoyed a jolly good game of cricket, and each other's company.

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