Playing Cricket in the Czech Republic

Bruce and Rod unrolling the pitch © Ricky Yates

Yes I’ve succumbed! Further to my earlier post entitled ‘Coming out of retirement’; I have started playing cricket once again for Prague Barbarians Cricket Club ‘B’ Team. Since the pre-season warm-up game that I described in that post, I’ve played in two Saturday League matches, the first on 8th May and the second on last Saturday 29th May. And last Saturday, I finally remembered to take my camera to the match to try and give some indication as to what is involved trying to play cricket in the Czech Republic.

Bruce and Rod unrolling the other half of the pitch © Ricky Yates

With the exception of the team from Dresden in Germany, (two hours driving time away), all the other teams in the Czech Cricket Union League play their matches at Vypich in the western suburbs of Prague, on an area of open parkland that the city authorities allow them to use. The area is big enough to allow two games to be played simultaneously. Therefore last Saturday, Prague Barbarians ‘B’ Team played the Plzen Panthers on Vypich field 1, whilst the Prague Barbarians ‘A’ Team played the Beroun Bears on Vypich field 2.

These first two accompanying pictures show the artificial pitch that we play on being put into place by my fellow players Rod and Bruce. It gives a whole new meaning to the expression ‘rolling the pitch’. Actually what they are doing is ‘unrolling the pitch’!

Dillon and Bruce nailing the artificial pitch down, supervised by Rod © Ricky Yates

Once the artificial pitch has been unrolled into place, it has to be nailed down at each end to ensure it doesn’t move when the bowler lands on it in his delivery stride. The third photo shows Bruce and Dillon doing just this, being supervised by Rod.

With the ground finally set up, the match could commence. Jerome, the ‘B’

The artificial wicket in place © Ricky Yates

Team captain, won the toss and decided to field first. We proceeded to produce a very good all round bowling and fielding performance and dismissed the Plzen Panthers for 93. We have three Czech teenagers who play for us and two of them, Damien and Adam, took five wickets between them. We held all our catches and effected a very good run out of their best batsman.

Our reply was slow and steady but then there was no need to take risks as we were chasing a relatively low total. We reached 94 with about five overs to spare and for the loss of only three wickets. Therefore I wasn’t even required to bat. Whilst the opposition dismantled the ground and put everything away, the victorious Baa Baas ‘B’ Team posed for a team photo.

The victorious Prague Barbarians 'B' Team; Back row from l to r, Steve, Alastair, Adam, Dillon, Damien, Andy, Rod. Front row from l to r, Me, Bruce, Saša, Jerome © Ricky Yates

After the game, we adjourned in good cricketing fashion, to the nearby bar where we celebrated our victory along with our ‘A’ Team colleagues who also won their match. When 0.5 litre of Staropramen is only 23 Kc (about £0.75), it is very easy to celebrate!

Part way through our early evening celebrations, Geoff the Club Treasurer stood up. He announced that there were still two spare club shirts left over from a supply purchased for the 2009 season. A meeting of the Club Committee had decided that they should be given to the two most deserving new recruits to the club who were deemed to be my Australian friend Bruce and me. So here we are posing as instructed by our fellow players, in our newly presented Baa Baas shirts.

Bruce and Me in our newly presented Baa Baas cricket shirts © Ricky Yates

I must apologise that the quality of this last photo in particular, and to a lesser extent, some of the others, is not as good as I would like. These photos made me realise that there was something wrong with the sensor on my camera. Therefore, on Monday 31st May, I returned the camera to the shop where I purchased it, just eight days before the 12 months guarantee was about to expire! I’ve been promised that it will be repaired and returned to me within the next 10 – 20 days. But in the meantime I shall have to rely on Sybille for any photos for future blog posts.

2 comments to Playing Cricket in the Czech Republic

  • Ricky, good to see you are in full swing so to speak. The weather looks rather nice too. Not typical early season UK. Your articles about cricket have made me wonder if there is an expat cricket set up here….possibly in Bangkok?

    I know there are hash house harriers, so why not cricket.

    Must say I do enjoy the 20/20 games that get broadcast here from time to time.
    .-= Mike at Wat Thai Temple´s last blog ..Wat Phra Kaew Phetchaburi =-.

  • Being from the states, Baseball is the traditional sport here, although it is loosing popularity. While I do enjoy playing baseball, watching it can be a little bit of a drag, especially if you are not a drinker.

    Cricket on the other hand, is something that I have always enjoyed watching on TV. I guess that may be because it is so different from baseball. I wish I could get a team going here…