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Fans Bowled Over by New Cup

Published: May 16, 2006 (Issue # 1169)


A cricket tournament for international students played from Thursday to Sunday was the first of its kind in St. Petersburg.

The pitch was not exactly as clipped as Lords, the ball was borrowed from another sport and the British team crashed out early, but participants in the The St. Petersburg Cricket Cup 2006 brought to the city the passion of one of the worlds most popular and perplexing sports.

The tournament, which took place at the Polytechnic Institute Stadium near Ploshchad Muzhestva, gathered eight teams from four continents.

A team of Indian players, India 11, won the tournament Sunday, beating team Diamond, a combined team of Indian and Pakistani students.

The traditional cricketing rivalry between India and Pakistan is often seen as a peaceful alternative to political conflict between the two nations. But on Sunday, politics was present anyway.

The political discussions will always be there, but it is everywhere also in football, organizer Lanson George, an Indian, said.

A team from the British Council fell in the first knockout round to a World 11 made up of engineering students from all over the world.

Cricket, played between two teams of eleven players on a oval grass field with a 20.12 meter flat pitch in the middle, is a bat-and-ball sport from the same family as baseball and softball.

Orginating in England, the sport is wildly popular in countries of the former British Empire and its complex rules and rich folklore often make it baffling to spectators not steeped in its traditions.

A professional cricket match can last up to five days, but at the St. Petersburg Cricket Cup, matches were shortened to wrap up the tournament in one weekend.

The equipment used was not exactly up to regulation standard either.

We have the bats from home, because we cannot buy the proper equipment in Russia, organizer Zahid Ahmid said as he dribbled the tennis ball that substituted for a proper cricket ball, which is a hard leather ball about the size of a fist.

Without the correct protective equipment, playing with a real cricket ball can be lethal.

Approximately 40 cricket fans, mainly medical students from South Asian countries, cheered loudly when the final began.

Umpires, who followed tradition and wore ties and hats, kept the match moving as the young students bowled, batted and ran as best they could.

Whenever the ball was in play, the attacking team was ever eager to destroy its opponents wicket.

When the tennis ball hit the wicket, putting out the batsman defending it, the attacking team celebrated as if they had scored a goal in soccer.

The final was a four-hour thriller in which India 11 trailed to the Diamonds for the most of the game, but recovered and won by a single run to take home the inaugural St. Petersburg Cricket Cup.

The spectators also enjoyed the sporting spectacle.

I never thought I was going to see this game in this country, a thrilled fan said during the match.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Sept. 18


Get your nerd on at Boomfest, St. Petersburgs answer to the United States popular ComicCon. Starting today, this international festival of comics will take over venues throughout the city center and includes exhibitions of comics and illustrations, film screenings, competitions and the chance to meet the genres authors, artists and experts.



Friday, Sept. 19


SPIBAs newest addition to their Cultural Discoveries events is Handmade in Germany, an exhibition featuring unique handmade objects of a significantly higher quality than mass-produced items. The work of over 100 German manufacturers will be displayed during the event, which opens today in the Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Paul on Nevsky Prospekt and runs through Sept. 28.



Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during todays Djembe and Vuvuzela, a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of todays round table discussion on Interaction with Trade Unions being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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