Centenary on the Beach - ICC Americas Launches Catch the Spirit

Sat, May 23, 2009 1:25 PM

Centenary on the Beach - ICC Americas Launches Catch the Spirit
Annual Beach Cricket Tournament
The Annual Beach Cricket Tournament, Viña del Mar, Chile and 110th edition of North v South Match, Argentina hosted Americas launch of ICC centenary celebrations.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) Americas region launched its centenary celebrations at the Annual Beach Cricket Tournament in Chile on 27 February and Argentina hosted the 110th edition of the classic North v South match on 6 March 2009.

The Catch the Spirit celebrations are aimed at promoting the ICC?s centenary, the Great Spirit of cricket and the wide appeal and diversity of the game. While the Full Members including Bangladesh, the West Indies and recently South Africa, have played their role in celebrating the ICC?s centenary, the spotlight fell on Chile and Argentina to showcase the spirit of the game in their country.

The Annual Beach Cricket Tournament at Viña del Mar?s Playa del Deporte on Chile?s coast captured the sun, sea and sand which represents the spirit of the game in Chile. India successfully defended the title they won last year, by beating England in the final, while Australia came third beating Argentina in the play-off. It was the two Chilean teams though which provided the tournament with the excitement, illustrating the great potential for the game in South America.

The beach cricket festival was followed by the 110th Edition of the North v South three day game at the Belgrano Athletic Club, Buenos Aires. The idea for this historic fixture was born in a railway station in the far northern city of Tucuman, when the proposal was made and accepted to challenge Buenos Aires. Early in November of 1891, the cricketers of the North travelled to play the South at Palermo in Buenos Aires, and the legendary tale of this famous game had begun.

The 2009 fixture saw the South beat the North by eight wickets (North 151 and 69, South 162 and 61-2). The South took just ten and a half overs to knock off the 59 runs they needed to complete, in less than two days, the first outright win in this historic fixture since their 22-run victory in 2000. Billy MacDermott, with eight for 44 and a crucial innings of 31, won the Man of the Match Award, with Diego Lord (seven for 38) and Gary Savage (52 not out and 26) named as Best Bowler and Best Batsman respectively. Miguel Rowe took the Spirit of Cricket Award.

Haroon Lorgat, Chief Executive, ICC said: ?ICC?s centenary is a chance to celebrate our Great Sport and Great Spirit across the world. The Catch the Spirit events hosted by each of the ICC?s 104 Members not only commemorate a century of international cricket but also demonstrate the significant steps ICC has made in developing the game. As a governing body that ploughs all money earned back to its Members, we have just begun investing US$300 million into the development of the game among our second and third tier Members, the biggest commitment to grow a sport outside of soccer. The ICC Global Cricket Academy will also open in 2009 which will be a great opportunity to develop talent and the game further.?

Martin Viera, Regional Development Manager, ICC Americas said: ?I?m delighted that the Americas region is playing such an active role in celebrating the ICC?s centenary. The celebrations allow each country to catch the spirit of cricket in their own way and showcase their passion for the game around the world. We?ve already seen some great action in the Americas with Argentina hosting the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division Three. The Annual Beach Cricket Tournament at Viña del Mar, Chile and the classic North v South Match in Buenos Aires, as well as the forthcoming Catch the Spirit events, promise to make 2009 a fantastic year for cricket in the Americas with a touch of local flavour for a global celebration.?

The Catch the Spirit flag will travel to cricket playing countries throughout the continent and will be signed by the leading players and administrators of the game. Further Catch the Spirit events in the Americas include the Cup Match in Bermuda, the South Atlantic Ashes in the Falkland Islands, coaching clinics in the Turks & Caicos Islands and the National Club Championship in Canada.

These events illustrate the wide appeal of the game in the Americas and also the significant steps the ICC has made in developing the game on the continent in recent years.

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