2016 Napa Valley World Series of cricket winners

Cricket clubs diversity to be highlighted during 2017 World Series of Cricket match

Napa Valley World Series of Cricket TossThe diverse makeup of the Napa Valley Cricket Club will be on show on Sunday, July 23 as the club host their annual World Series of Cricket match at the Napa Valley Expo in downtown Napa.

The Napa Valley Cricket Club (NVCC) will host its sixth annual “World Series of Cricket” match this coming Sunday from 10am at the Napa Valley Expo in downtown Napa. The match marks the halfway point in the clubs 2017 season, their first playing matches in Napa having moved from their previous ground at The Fairgrounds in Calistoga over the winter. As ever the game will be hotly contested as the Rest of the World (RoW) team of members look to retain the trophy they won in 2016 against a strong American & Australian (AA) team who lead the annual contest 3-2 having won last in 2015.

With cricket being the second most popular sport in the world, after soccer, the NVCC uses their annual World Series match to showcase the game and encourages locals and visitors alike to come watch, and learn about, the game.  Cricket is played in over 100 countries worldwide and close to home the game has a strong and passionate following in the South Bay.

“Our World Series match has become the big match of the season for our members” said NVCC president Rob Bolch, an Australian, “and with almost all The Safradi Brothers - Mustafa and Mujtaba - pictured at their first match for NVCC recently at Arroyo Park, Davis. Submitted Phof our playing members available for the match it means the cricket will be of a very good quality from both teams who this year are looking pretty balanced. The addition of a number of new members with our move to Napa has added even more diversity to our ranks in particular with the Afghan born Safdari brothers, Mustafa and Mujtaba, joining in 2017. So when we add all of the players together we’ll have players from Australia, America, Ireland, the UK, South Africa, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan playing the World Series match. And when we add in non-playing members we can also add Brazil and Jamaica which I’m guessing makes us one the most internationally diverse organizations in the Napa Valley.” continued Bolch “It’s a fun day out for the family with supervised activities for the kids, food from Compadres and beverages from our sponsors Clos du Val and Anchor Steam Brewing.”

New Zealand born Yountville resident Bernie Peacock captains the RoW team for the 2017 match and he has a wealth of talent at his disposal. In addition to the Safdari brothers, league cricketer and long-standing NVCC member Amritpal Bhatal has made himself available for the match. “It’s going to be a great day, both on and off the field.” says Peacock “As the holders of the trophy we go into the match feeling confident but need to make sure that we make the right decisions with both bat and ball, as the AA team have some strong match-winning players in their NVCC County captain Bernie Peacock (L) shakes hands with NVCC City captain Chandanpreet Singh at the toss for the inaugural NVCC City v County Challenge Matchranks. If we can get those players unsettled, or even better, take them out of the equation, I think we’ll see a good contest that we hope to win. Off the field I’m excited to be playing the match at the Expo in downtown Napa as a number of family and friends will be coming along for the day to enjoy the spectacle.”

Australian all-rounder John Leake will be captaining the AA team in 2017 and he’s looking forward to the challenge of taking back the trophy. “The World Series is always a great day out for family and friends and having it in Napa this season will mean we can probably expect a larger crowd than in previous seasons.” says Leake “The team we’ll be putting out this year is strong in all departments, but particularly in the fielding department with our American fielders Pete Cameron and Jared Thatcher and their “baseball arms” being singularly effective at keeping the run scoring down. That, in tandem with a decent bowling line up and a strong batting line up means that we’re pretty confident of taking the trophy back from the RoW side.”

The toss for the game, to decide who bats or bowls first, will take place at 10.15am with Napa Mayor Jill Techel performing the task. Commentary on the 2017 American playing members of the NVCC. From left, Peter Cameron, Jared Thatcher, and Jamie Johnson. Submitted Photogame will be provided by American born NVCC member Jamie Johnson who played cricket in the UK for 24 years. During the innings lunch break and during drinks breaks, explanations of the game and its rules will take place at the “pitch” area in the middle of the ground.

Admission is free for the day with food from club sponsor Compadres Rio Grille and refreshments from Clos du Val and Anchor Brewing on sale. An instant cellar drawing with wine worth in excess of $2000 will take place at the end of proceedings to raise money for the club. Tickets will be on sale on the day for $5 each or $20 for five.

World Series Match Day Details
FREE ADMISSION
Sunday 23rd July 2017 from 10am – 4pm (approx.)
Napa Valley Expo, 575 Third St., Napa, CA 94559

 

Sponsors

The Napa Valley Cricket Club wishes to acknowledge the assistance of the following sponsors

Clos du Val, Anchor BrewingCompadres Rio GrilleCrown Hill Stone SupplySt. Helena OptometryAmcor, Azmera ConsultingCaliber Home Loans19 Crimes Wines, John Fearless.

Lyve Systems Inc., Stone Universe3 rock marketingBill Wagner Realtor, Napa Gourmet Foods, ZAM Apps, Mechanics BankTugboat.

Napa Valley CC members pictured in the historic Brockton Pavilion during their recent tour to Vancouver.

Vancouver hosts first international match by Napa Valley CC on recent tour

The Napa Valley Cricket Club went international recently on their annual tour, playing a match on the historic Brockton Oval cricket field in picturesque Stanley Park, Vancouver. Described by legendary Australian batsman Don Bradman in 1948 as “the prettiest ground upon which it has been my pleasure to play, it really is a magnificent setting” the NVCC couldn’t have played at a more stunning venue for their first international cricket match.

With its northerly latitude, Vancouver is suited to matches that start later in the day and go on into the evening and so NVCC’s match with local club Meraloma CC (MCC) was slated for a 4pm start. The Meraloma club, founded in 1923, is based out of Connaught Park in the Kitsilano neighborhood of Vancouver and the club field a number of teams at various levels of the British Columbia Mainland Cricket League in addition to an adult Women’s team and a number of underage teams for both girls and boys.

Meraloma CC captain Raj Sidhu (L) shakes hands with NVCC tour captain Leigh Ritchie after the toss at picturesque Stanley Park in VancouverThe NVCC couldn’t have picked a better weekend to travel north of the border with the temperature nudging 80 degrees and their match scheduled just a couple of days after the summer solstice, ensuring light for playing well into the evening. MCC captain Raj Sidhu won the toss and decided to bat first and give Leigh Ritchie, the NVCC tour captain, and the NVCC team something to chase. MCC started strongly with the bat and their openers Dave Avren and Tommy Keady batted solidly for MCC seeing off the NVCC opening bowlers Tim Irwin and Tim Kay, with both batsmen getting to 30 runs and retiring – local social rules for the match to allow more to participate. It wasn’t until the 13th over that NVCC found some success with the ball when club president Rob Bolch had MCC captain Sidhu trapped LBW (leg-before-wicket) for only five runs.

MCC continued to add runs despite a slow outfield and a brace of wickets for NVCC off-spinner Brendan Helme did little to slow the run rate with yet another MCC player, Stuart Grills retiring at 30 runs. Some sharp glove work behind the stumps from NVCC wicket-keeper Phil Bourke stymied any thoughts of a flourish from MCC as they reached their 30 over allocation. Despite Bourke’s quick hands, MCC posted 160 runs off their 30 overs, a good score on the Brockton pitch.

Tour captain Ritchie sent Bolch out to open alongside club stalwart and Tour Manager, Clive Richardson. While Bolch eventually “got his eye in” and scored his first run after 12 dot balls Richardson struggled to get bat on ball and was bowled for two runs off 16 balls. Bolch dealt exclusively in ones and twos as he found it difficult to pierce the MCC field and alongside Richardson, Irwin (7 off 3) and Paul Armbruster (15 off 27), Bolch ended up with 21 runs off 51 balls. That sluggish start by Bolch and Richardson was to come back Opening batsmen for the NVCC on their tour match at Stanley Park, Vancouver. Clive Richardson (L) and Rob Bolch.and haunt NVCC later in their chase. Some good application with the bat by Kay that included two fours was ended by a stunning catch by MCC’s Shah Hamid and from there the NVCC middle order imploded with Jamie Johnson (0 off 2), Bijoy Ojha (5 off 11), and Pete Sander (2 off 7) contributing to what was looking like an early end to the NVCC’s innings.

Bourke had other ideas and after this strong showing with the gloves, he decided to take the game to MCC with a series of strong shots and quick running. Bourke found company in fellow left-handed batsman Andrew Healy as the pair added 16 runs for Healy’s, and the NVCC’s, ninth wicket. Healy lost his wicket to a turning ball from Scott Anderson and that brought tour captain Ritchie to the middle. Whilst not renowned for his skills with the bat Ritchie and Bourke made great use of their right-handed / left-handed combination and rotated the strike regularly to keep the MCC fielders moving. The pair batted for the final four overs and added 26 runs to take the NVCC’s score over 100, to 116, and add some respectability to the chase total. The highlight of the final pair’s efforts was a huge six by Ritchie lofted high and long over bowler Norm Baldwin’s head, beyond the long-on boundary

Australian Ritchie reflected on the tour saying “We were truly privileged to play our first international match against Meraloma CC on such an incredible ground. Not only is it steeped in history but the setting is simply stunning and I can see why “The Don” (Bradman) The mountains to the north of Vancouver as seen from Stanley Park as the NVCC played their first international tour match recentlywas so full of praise for this ground almost 70 years ago. The hospitality shown to us by the Meraloma CC guys was great. It was a good, hard and fair cricket match and afterward over a curry dinner it was great to share stories of our mutual love of the game of cricket, and share and hear stories of each club’s history.”

For those interested in learning more about the game of cricket the NVCC will host their annual Napa Valley World Series of Cricket pitting members from America & Australia against members from the Rest of the World. This match takes place at the Napa Valley Expo, 575 Third St., in downtown Napa from 10:30am on Sunday, July 23. Admission is free. Kid activities will be provided. Food, beer, and wine will be on sale and club members will be happy to answer any questions on the intricacies and quirks of the game.

Next Match
Sunday 23rd July, 2017 – as the NVCC play their annual World Series of Cricket on the Silverado Green and the Napa Valley Expo in downtown Napa from 10:30am (check website for details)

Sponsors

The Napa Valley Cricket Club wishes to acknowledge the assistance of the following sponsors

Clos du Val, Anchor BrewingCompadres Rio GrilleCrown Hill Stone SupplySt. Helena OptometryAmcor, Azmera ConsultingCaliber Home Loans19 Crimes Wines, John Fearless.

Lyve Systems Inc., Stone Universe3 rock marketingBill Wagner Realtor, Napa Gourmet Foods, ZAM Apps, Mechanics BankTugboat.

2017 American playing members of the NVCC. From left, Peter Cameron, Jared Thatcher, and Jamie Johnson. Submitted Photo

Americans playing cricket in the Napa Valley – and loving it

Founded in 2012 by a group of cricket loving expatriates, from both north and south of the equator, the Napa Valley Cricket Club (NVCC) has, in a short period, established itself as one of the best-organized clubs of its kind in the country. The Napa Valley name allied with the warm hospitality that the club extends to visiting teams means that there is no shortage of team’s wanting to come and play the second most popular sport in the world against the NVCC. After 5 years based out of the Fairgrounds in Calistoga, the NVCC will play their 2017 matches at both the Napa Valley Expo and McGrath Field at Napa State Hospital. In 2018 the club hopes to host all of their home matches at the Napa Valley Expo in downtown Napa. The move to Napa has seen an infusion of new members, with playing members in the mid 30’s while total membership is just under 100.

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