Mercury Beach Cricket Tournament report from Sierra Leone

The Sierra Leone Cricket Association (SLCA) hosted the Mercury Beach Cricket Tournament on Sunday 25th November, 2018, which took place at the Place Resort,Tokeh Beach, Freetown. The tournament was a six-a-side competition with a maximum of five over per innings. Six teams participated in the tournament, and these teams were divided into two groups of three each – Group A consisted of the Indian Combined, Veterans Combined and the Sierra Leone Under-19 Boys, while Group B featured the Pak Stars, British High Commission/DFID and the Sierra Leone Women’s Team.

The teams arrived on the beach with the hope that the tournament will start at 10 a.m.; however, due to the high tide, the first match was delayed until just a little after 12 p.m. The beautiful Place Resort at Tokeh beach provided the tournament with a very big space, which allowed for two playing areas to be created side by side. This ensured that two matches could be played simultaneously on a Flicx pitch. The British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Guy Warrington, was a key player in the British High Commission/DFID team. There were several dignitaries in attendance, including Mary Hunt, the head of DFID and Karen, the wife of the High Commissioner. Besides, there was the presence of cricketing royalty. The British High Commission/DFID team had three guest players who were Sierra Leone Men’s national cricketers – Emmanuel Kamara, Lansana Lamin and Emmanuel Pessima.

Group Matches
The opening match in Group A saw Veterans Combined taking on the Indian Combined, with the Veterans Combined coming out on top by 14 runs. In Group B, the opening match witnessed the British High Commission/DFID against the Pak Stars, with the Pak Stars winning a close encounter by three runs. After each team in both groups had completed two matches, the situation in Group A was that the Indian Combined and Veterans Combined had qualified for the semi-finals, while the Sierra Leone U-19 boys could not make it. Similarly, in Group B, it was Pak Stars and British High Commission/DFID who made it to the semi-finals, with the Sierra Leone Women’s team missing out.

Semi-final and Third Place Matches
In the first semi-final on Ground A, British High Commission/DFID lost to the Indian Combined by 20 runs. In the other semi-final, the Pak Stars defeated the Veterans Combined by four wickets. The third-place playoff was reduced to a three-over affair, in which Veterans Combined defeated the British High Commission/DFID by 12 runs. In this match, it was amazing seeing Francis Trevor Samura, the Chief Executive Officer of the SLCA, play for the Veterans Combined as a guest player.

Final
All eyes were now on the big derby match – Pak Stars and Indian Combined were the finalists. Pak Stars could be said to be favourites coming into the contest, as they were undefeated during the group stage and had a convincing victory in the semi-final. Indian Combined won the toss and elected to bat first, but lost early wickets. Abass Gbla and Shaheeb Khan played beautifully and led their team to a decent total of 62 runs. Pak Stars thus required 63 runs to win from five overs. Their chase was steady from the outset, and they batted with great composure to win the match by five wickets with two balls to spare.

The award ceremony took place on the beach right after the final, but before the presentation, the Chief Executive Officer of the SLCA, Francis Trevor Samura, made a short statement about the importance of the event and extended his appreciation to all those who came to enjoy the event. John Hunt, captain of the British High Commission/DFID team, made a brief statement as well, and then handed over the bronze medals to the Veterans Combined team, who came third. The Indian Combined, who were runners up received their silver medals, while the Front Office Manager of the Place Resort, Omar Ngera handed over the champions’ trophy and medals to the deserving winners, the Pak Stars, who were ably led by their captain Nabeel Shahzad.

Emmanuel Pessima said “I would wholeheartedly like to thank our major sponsor Mercury International for their confidence in our work. We are also very grateful to the Place Resort at Tokeh Beach, which provided the tournament with delicious food, wonderful facilities and amazing hospitality for the Beach Cricket tournament and was a wonderful host. I would also like to give a shout-out to Harish Agnani of Chiothram for his donation of beverages for the Beach Cricket tournament; keeping our attendees hydrated is an important job, and we’re so thankful for the help! Many thanks to Raceway Company too, for their support in transporting some of the players and officials. Members of The Union did a fantastic job in officiating in the matches and ensuring that all the duties were executed very well in order to have a successful event, and special thanks to John Hunt for his brilliant contributions on the planning of the event. Thanks also to Abubakarr Bangura for arranging the medals, and to Flicx UK for providing us with a Flicx pitch. Lastly, I would like to thank the Sierra Leone Cricket Association for giving me the opportunity to serve as the tournament coordinator for what was another memorable Beach Cricket tournament.”

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5 questions from clubs in Australia on the 2G Flicx Pitch … answered!

If your club or school in Australia is looking to grow its cricket programme or if you need to create additional cricket spaces by converting grass spaces or artificial pitches into cricketing venues then the 2G Flicx Pitch is now available and is getting great feedback from clubs, associations and schools using the product. The 2G Flicx Pitch is a problem solver in terms of creating additional capacity and also with it being a portable, roll out cricket wicket, you can move it to different venues both outdoors and indoors and it is suitable for junior and senior cricket, hard ball or soft ball. Here are 5 questions on the products performance and applications from customers in Australia with names removed which you might find useful …

If we can help your club with a quote including our shipping offer to Australia, do GET A QUOTE or take a look at THE 2G FLICX PITCH RANGE

1.Will 2G Flicx pitch work on top of turf centre wicket for our juniors on a Friday night thereby protecting the turf for our seniors on the Saturday (xxxx xxxxx, Cricket Club S.A)

The 2G Flicx pitch is a versatile portable roll out wicket that can be used on various surfaces to create or add additional cricket facilities including grass and turf blocks, this will allow you to offer more junior cricket matches without the worry of wearing out the turf centre for your seniors

2. We have major ground shortages for cricket, can the 2G Flicx pitch be rolled out straight on grass without needing to lay a concrete base to facilitate matches (xxxx xxxxx, Cricket Club, Perth)

Grass open areas, parks, reservations, football and soccer fields can all be converted into cricket match and practise facilities using the 2G Flicx pitch, it is important to identify a flat area and cut the grass short for optimum performance, there is no need to have a concrete base as the pitch can be rolled out directly on top of grass.

3. How does the 2G Flicx Pitch work?? (xxxxx xxxxx, W.A)

The 2G Flicx pitch is a portable roll out wicket that can be used on various surfaces to create cricket facilities for both match and practise. Each match pitch comes delivered as 2 half pitch batting ends that easily clip and zip together in the middle to roll out into your match ready wicket, after matches it is simple to unzip back into 2 half pitch batting ends for easy transportation and storage, these batting ends can also be used for junior matches bowling from one end.

4. What sizes are available, can various stages be played on 1 pitch? (xxxxx xxxxx, Victoria)

The 2G Flicx pitch is available in various sizes for matches including 20.12m, 18m, 16m and 14m depending on your needs, our new 2G Flicx (Multi-Age-Pitch) has integrated creases for all 3 stages incorporated into 1 pitch making it easy to host your matches across all 3 stages on 1 easy to use very low maintenance pitch.

5. I am interested in a portable pitch for juniors and seniors that can be used on synthetic ovals (xxxxxx, xxxx College, Melbourne)

Synthetic ovals and sports fields can now be converted into cricket facilities using the 2G Flicx match pitch, in our tests we have found that on deep rubber crumb synthetics the pitch may need a rubber pad to stabilize the rubber crumb and give better bounce or soft cricket balls need to be used to provide you with realistic bounce, on newer synthetic fields that have a combination of sand/organic fill this is not necessary as the base is more compact and firm allowing the pitch to work effectively. Hockey astro fields can also be used and provides a great surface for the pitch. The recent upgrades and developments on the 2G Flicx pitch make it possible to use the 2G Flicx pitch for juniors and some senior teams especially those teams playing in lower leagues.

For more information do watch our vlog #AskAsh CLICK HERE or the thumbnail below

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Get set for a better Indoor Net!

With the county sides now returning for pre-season and top cricketing schools already making plans for the 2019 season, attention turns to winter nets. As the world’s most versatile cricket pitch solution, the new and improved 2G Flicx Pitch performs really well indoors and many top venues have already made the switch over from traditional matting.

Here are our business development manager Ashley Appleby’s top 8 reasons why the 2G Flicx Pitch is a great solution for your indoor nets …

  1. Improved bounce even on sprung floors over conventional matting
  2. Offers realistic turn and seam movement for bowlers
  3. Ball comes onto the bat encouraging stroke play
  4. Easy to roll up and store away (can be roll out by one person using the Flicx Safety Trolley)
  5. Uses less storage space, only ½ sq meter for 2 batting ends.
  6. Coaching pitches aid player development with focused colour coded zones
  7. Hard wearing, with correct use and care the 2G Flicx pitch is expected to last 5-10 years
  8. No taping required, the pitch won’t move… simply roll it out and play

One school to recently purchase 2G Flicx Pitches for both their indoor and outdoor programmes is Warwick School. Says Head of Cricket Simon Francis “The 2G Flicx skills pitch has been a fantastic addition for our cricketers for their winter training. Both batters and bowlers have benefited from more visual cues and targets, both individually and against each other. For our coaches it creates lots of opportunities to create challenges for bowlers and batsmen, as well as making it easier to judge where the ball pitched more easily. It has created excitement for the young bowlers as something new and interesting to interact with”

As well as in sportshalls with wooden sprung floors, the 2G Flicx Pitch can also be used in indoor football centres where 3G rubbercrumb surfaces are laid. This is a particularly popular application for indoor cricket leagues.

IMPORTANT | Remember the 2G Flicx Pitches are supplied in two half pitch batting rolls so one pitch is two batting ends for your indoor centre or sportshall. It’s important to follow a few key guidelines with regards to getting maximum performance from your pitch including storing the two rolls separately rolled up tightly on their ends.

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