Friday, 16 September 2011


NB. This very short piece was written for The Cricketer and published in their September 2011 issue.

Belgrano Cricket Club, Buenos Aires

Deep in that most anglophile of South American cities, Buenos Aires, lies the historic Belgrano Athletic Club, venue since 1891 of an annual North versus South three-day cricket match that has first-class status. Skipper of the Belgrano Barbarians cricket, James Drummond, had been eagerly anticipating the upcoming Lord’s Test but predicts that “only a handful of die-hard fans with access to the internet will follow it live, as there’s no TV or radio coverage. The rest of us will check BBC for updates and reports.”

As well as scant media exposure, the impact of Test #2000 is further reduced by both a negligible Indian ex-pat presence in the city and the fact that “Argentina is also playing in a T20 tournament in Miami, which will be followed more keenly”, while local attention has been firmly on football’s Copa América, hosted by Argentina, which finished this Sunday [July 24].

Indeed, of the sports introduced by Brits, it was cricket that least took hold among the locals, being largely restricted to ex-pats in clubs like Hurlingham, Lomas, and St Alban’s. Anyway, adds Drummond, “the Argentines are quite fickle. Now it’s the rugby season, so the focus in the English clubs is definitely there.” That said, during the World Cup, Estebán MacDermott’s national cricket team did locate some all-night bars showing matches, where they duly rendezvoused to “follow individual players – like KP and Tendulkar – rather than teams”. Delightfully non-partisan (and very British)!

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