Corfu and Other Unusual Places to Find Cricket Abroad

Published: 17th September 2009
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Canada is one country that features rarely in cricketing circles yet it has a popular cricket tradition which is growing all the time. Canada claims to have started playing cricket as far back as 1785 and recorded its first international cricketing event in 1844 when it played the USA in New York. It is now working hard to establish itself in international circles so that some of its 12,000 players can start competing with the bigger cricketing nations. Canada has almost 300 cricket clubs and includes a Ladies cricket association which started in 1994.

Visit a modern, bustling city like Singapore and you may be surprised to come across a very prominent cricket ground. In fact the famous cricket ground here sits in a very central place, nestled in amongst some extremely high skyscrapers. It has been able to retain that location due the cricket pitch now being a prominent part of the city's identity.

Towering 280 metres over the cricket ground is the UOB Plaza Tower, which was once the tallest skyscraper in the world outside North America when it was built in 1986. Interestingly it shares the title of the highest building in Singapore with other buildings of the same height as that is the limit allowed by the airport authorities there.

In France you may not expect to find any cricketing traditions but you would be mistaken. A cricket club was set up in Cannes in 1887 but struggled to survive, primarily due to the outbreak of war in 1914. A further seventy years past by before the Monet Carlo Cricket Club started in 1989 and year later the Cabris cricket club formed. One of the youngest cricket clubs in France also has an amazing ground. The pitch of the Entrecasteaux Cricket Club in Provence sits in a green valley overlooked by the woods opposite and the 16th Century buildings of the ancient town. The club provided a training location for a French national junior team prior to European competitions in 2009.

Corfu Town in Corfu is a Greek town that owes its cricketing history to the British Garrison and the Royal Navy outposts that existed on the island in the early 1800's.

The British left the island in 1864 yet the seed of cricket had already started germinating and two cricket clubs remained with local players. In the early 1900's cricket boomed on the island with an annual cricket festival attracting many visiting teams, particularly from naval ships in the British Fleet. After the Second World War Corfu's reputation as a holiday island grew and many British teams included the island on their foreign tours, which took them to the island to enjoy its milder off-season weather. In return the local teams on Corfu also repaid visits by coming to England to play. Cricket is still very popular on Corfu with several teams contesting over 100 games every year. The original cricket ground in Corfu Town, which stills exists on the Esplanade opposite the Liston building, is rather small in size now due to new car parking requirements for the town. To make up for that a new, larger, ground has recently been opened at the Kontokali Marina further north along the coast. There are many foreigners who decided to settle on Corfu, but the cricket association will only allow non-nationals to play in its team once they have been resident on the island for more than four years.

Of all of these cricketing locations, the pitches on Corfu could come as an interesting discovery to many cricket-loving UK tourists who could even include an afternoon watching their favourite game during their next break in Corfu

The island of Corfu has many plus points for tourists like stunning scenery and fine architecture as well as being a community enjoying a relaxed lifestye. The author enjoys everything about Corfu as well as its connection to cricket .

Travellers thinking of visiting and are looking for flights to Corfu can find out more here and in his other reports about Corfu.

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