On the back of the recent compelling Ashes series, it is worth revisting the cricket scene in Valencia. One of the premier clubs in Spanish cricket is ‘Levante Cricket Club’, who are based in the heart of the city. Founded in 2012 when a handful of expats started playing under “Puente de La Exposición, the club have made great strides forward in recent years. Their crowning glory to date was becoming regional champions for the very first time in 2019. Since then they have been regular contenders for silverware in the East Coast and Central League, which includes clubs from as far away as Madrid and Murcia. They recently played hosts to La Manga Cricket Club in the T20 competition and came away with back to back victories to keep them well placed for another crack for the title this season. They play their home games at the iconic baseball ground in the riverbed park, not far from the ‘Torres de Serranos’. The club are regular hosts to touring sides from across Europe and has club members from all over the world.
A new form of cricket that has found a home in Valencia in the last few years is ‘Tape Ball Cricket’. Played with a tennis ball wrapped in tape to make it harder, it is played on pieces of wasteland, empty cars parks, or on anywhere with space that is flat and not being used.
Cricket España, the sole governing body of the sport in Spain sponsored a Tape Ball event in Valencia recently which included six teams from the city. Puerto Zalmi, Valencia Sultans, Ayora Qalander, Punjab XI, Badshah CC and Mislata XI all participated in the tournament and it was Zalmi that came out victorious at the end of a long day of cricket
For the second year running the IES School at La Canyada spent a day trying out the sport at Sporting Alfas Cricket Club.
The invitation from Alfas saw boys and girls learn the basic skills of batting, bowling and fielding, with the qualified coaches utilizing the “Criiio” programme that is dedicated to children learning and playing the sport for the very first time at an entry level. Criiio is an initiative by the International Cricket Council (ICC) that is an easy to deliver eight-week lesson plan to introduce the game to anyone unfamiliar to the sport. The unusual name derives from Cr (Cricket) iii (three stumps) and o (the ball) and further information can be found by clicking on the link below …
The project is available in English and Spanish and is being outsourced to schools throughout Spain. Many Spanish schools request the courses are delivered in English, and are using it in their programmes to give children practical and cultural experiences
Finally, Cricket España along with the Valencia based clubs are working hard to get cricket recognised as a federated sport in the region. A meeting with a local dignitary has taken place and the Chief Operations Officer of Cricket España Jaime Gonzalez is in the process of helping clubs with submitting their paperwork, in order to place in an application to the local government to reach this goal.
Any individual that would like to join a club or any school that would be interested in participating in the Criiio programme can contact Cricket España via the e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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