Sport

J'can cricketers to compete in Red Bull Campus Cricket World Finals

Saturday, July 19, 2014    

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FOURTEEN Jamaican cricketers from tertiary institutions across the island will be going, along with their two coaches to compete in the Red Bull Campus Cricket World Finals July 21- 26, 2014.

The competition is being held at Wormsley Cricket Club, often described as the most beautiful ground in England, and the Kia Oval.

Beginning with round-robin stages at Wormsley, the four top teams will proceed to the finals next Saturday at the Kia Oval. With teams participating from all over the world, the final day is set to be a multi-cultural celebration of cricket. Participating countries include Sri Lanka, Pakistan, South Africa, and Bangladesh, among others.

Despite not knowing who their competition is, the Jamaican team is not deterred. Coach Terrence Corke said, "We know which countries they're coming from, but we don't know the players, so we don't quite know what to expect. We're just going to have to hit the ground running and assess as we go along."

The Jamaican players were selected from the Mico University College, Church Teachers' College, the University of the West Indies, the University of Technology and the GC Foster College.

Each player was picked based on his prowess during the local intercollegiate cricket competition.

Despite not playing together as a regular team, the team has worked together, putting in the effort to represent their country well on the world stage. "The team has done some training together and the camaraderie is good and they're all in high spirits," said Corke.

Most of the team members play professionally in Jamaica and are currently competing in the local Senior Cup competition, keeping them in good form to represent Jamaica on an international stage.

Some of the best campus cricketers in the world will be in the United Kingdom participating in the world finals of Red Bull Campus Cricket. Following on from the first World Final played at the R Premadasa in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in 2013, this edition will be at the Wormsley Cricket Ground and the Kia Oval featuring eight teams from eight countries.

Both grounds lay claim to cricketing history in the UK. Wormsley Cricket Ground, which coincidentally has been modelled on the Kia Oval, is as picturesque a ground as one may see and in the mould of the traditional village greens. However, the cricket that has been played there has been nothing short of world-class. Since its establishment in 1992, Brian Lara and Graham Gooch have scored centuries there. Andrew Flintoff, Imran Khan, Kumar Sangakkara, Michael Atherton, and several touring parties from Sri Lanka, Australia, South Africa and the West Indies have all walked the greens at Wormsley.

As the eight teams fight for a place in the last four, from next Monday to Wednesday in the group stages, the players should have plenty of inspiration from their surroundings.

The semi-finalists then move to the Kia Oval next Saturday, where they will walk on an outfield, on which international cricket was first played 134 years ago.

The Kia Oval also played host to the first-ever FA Cup final in 1872, and a decade later came an infamous Test loss for England.

An obituary of English cricket was printed following that defeat, which would eventually lead to the creation of The Ashes series between Australia and England. It also saw the last innings of Donald 'The Don' Bradman in 1948.

The participating countries will be represented by the following institutions: United Kingdom — Leeds Bradford MCC; Australia — University of New South Wales; Bangladesh — University of Liberal Arts; India — Rizvi College; Pakistan — Karachi University; South Africa — University of Pretoria; Sri Lanka — International College of Business and Technology; and West Indies — Jamaica.

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