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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How an Englishman funded a 2G Flicx Pitch to help grow the game in Uruguay

What motivated a man from Cheltenham to fund-raise for a cricket pitch to be sent 6812 miles across to Montevideo in Uruguay? Our business development manager Ashley Appleby finds out in the ninth episode of #AshAsh …

Rob’s wife was born in Montevideo, they have four sons and their best chance of playing international cricket was to represent Uruguay. In the past few months Rob has embarked on a unique fundraising project to raise funds for a 2G Flicx Pitch to be sent out to South America so that hard-ball cricket can be played with the aim of improving the standard of training and matches. In due course it could enable teams to tour Uruguay.

Cricket in Uruguay actually has a long and interesting history with Victoria Cricket Club established in 1842 by British ex pats. In 1868 the first game between Argentina and Uruguay took place whilst a touring side from the MCC visited in 1926 when the team included future English prime minister Alec Douglas-Home! A recent revival has taken place with John Biscomb setting up the Uruguay Cricket Association (UCA) in 2007 with president Hidhu setting up the UPL playing tape-ball cricket on La Rambla with the majority of players now having a South – East Asian origin. These players are taking the game forward and are committing huge amounts of time to establishing the game. Esteban McDermott the ceo of Cricket Argentina has also been a great help in enabling the Uruguayan players to develop.

Project 27 has so far gained 24 of 27 donors who have each pledged £100 towards the pitch (with help from a voucher too from Flicx UK) and the aim is for the pitch to be sent out to Uruguay in time for the 150th anniversary game between neighbours Argentina in December 2018.

” We did some initial research and tried to find what we thought was the best solution and the due diligence showed that the 2G Flicx Pitch was the best option and we are grateful for the support we have had with the project” said Rob

Clubs or charities looking to raise funds for facilities might like to look at Rob’s model, whilst crowdfunding websites could also be used if more time is available. If anyone is interested in supporting Cricket Uruguay and helping them complete their fundraising efforts, do contact Rob Sharp at rob_sharp100@hotmail.com

You can also follow Cricket Uruguay via Twitter https://twitter.com/CricketUruguay 

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HOW TO | Move your 2G Flicx Pitch easily with the Flicx Safety Trolley

The beauty of the upgraded 2G Flicx Pitch is its ease of movement and portability. It is possible for one person to move and install the 2G Flicx Pitch and prepare a consistent surface for cricket which is low maintenance and means you can play cricket where previously it might not have been possible for example on a grass football field or over a worn astro or synthetic pitch. Moving the 2G Flicx Pitch is easy with the Flicx Safety trolley … Here Ashley Appleby describes some of the bespoke features of the Flicx Safety trolley…

This video demonstrates how to strap your 2G Flicx Pitch (Supplied as 2 half pitch batting ends) onto the Flicx Safety Trolley for transportation …

Top Tip – Ash shares his advice in terms of finding the “balance point” to most easily move your 2G Flicx Pitch…

TRANSPORTATION RECAP 

  • Always use the Flicx Safety Trolley to move your 2G Flicx Pitch on and off the field
  • Using the trolley makes it possible for 1 person to move and install the 2G Flicx Pitch pitch
  • Strap the 2G Flicx Pitch up before moving
  • Ensure you follow manual handling best practice advice when lifting the pitch onto the trolley (ie – bend knees)
  • Watch your head when tilting the trolley back – place your hand on the top of the pitch when tilting

By following these steps you will get the best performance from your 2G Flicx Pitch season after season.

Tilt the pitch on the trolley to find the tipping point for ease of transportation. Use your hand to support the pitch

This is part of our HOW TO series of blogs and short videos … If you have found this useful you might also like …

HOW TO | Store your 2G Flicx Pitch (Read Blog)
HOW TO | Roll up your 2G Flicx Pitch correctly (Read Blog)

Applications of the 2G Flicx Pitch

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HOW TO | Store your 2G Flicx Pitch to ensure maximum performance and longvevity

Storing your 2G Flicx Pitch correctly will ensure maximum performance. The 2G Flicx Pitch should always be stored UPRIGHT and ON IT’S END and very tightly rolled. You should use the always use the Flicx Safety trolled supplied with the pitch to move it and you can keep it stored on the trolley for ease of transportation and when storing in your kit cupboard/storeroom/shed/groundsmans hut. Ashley Appleby explains more…

In this way the pitch will only take up 50 X 50cm in your storeroom (height of 1.8m) and when you roll it out again for your next match or training session, the pitch will not be wavy and will settle onto the under surface quickly (we recommend rolling your pitch out 30-45 minutes before use).

STORAGE RECAP 

  • Store inside when the pitch is not in use
  • Roll up tightly and strap
  • Store upright on its end (you can keep it on the Flicx safety trolley supplied)

By following these steps you will get the best performance from your 2G Flicx Pitch season after season.

A 2G Flicx Pitch arrives as 2 half pitch batting ends of ease of use. They just clip and zip together in the middle to form your full match pitch

This is part of our HOW TO series of blogs and short videos … If you have found this useful you might also like …

  • HOW TO | Move your 2G Flicx Pitch easily with the Flicx Safety Trolley (Read More)
  • HOW TO | Roll up your 2G Flicx Pitch correctly (Read Blog)

Applications of the 2G Flicx Pitch

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HOW TO | Roll up your 2G Flicx Pitch correctly

It’s highly important to roll your 2G Flicx Pitch back up tightly after use and store in a coil shape. Follow these top tips to get the maximum performance from your portable pitch. Unlike the original Flicx Pitch, the new 2G Flicx Pitch is softer and much easier to use. The upgrades to the surface have resulted in more versatility in terms of pitch applications but also advice that the 2G Flicx Pitch should be used as a roll out, roll up surface rather than permanently laid.

Here our business development manager Ashley Appleby, shows you how to roll back up your 2G Flicx Pitch correctly after use.

ROLL UP RECAP 

  • Unzip the full match pitch into two batting ends
  • Insert two straps under the pitch
  • Roll the pitch back up from crease to the middle
  • Roll as tightly as possible into a coil and keep square
  • Strap up and tie together for safety

By following these steps you will get the best performance from your 2G Flicx Pitch season after season.

Showing how a 2G Flicx Pitch 1/2 pitch roll looks like tightly rolled and strapped ahead of storing on its end

This is part of our HOW TO series of blogs and short videos … If you have found this useful you might also like …

HOW TO | Store your 2G Flicx Pitch (Read Blog)
HOW TO | Move your 2G Flicx Pitch easily with the Flicx Safety Trolley (Read More)

Applications of the 2G Flicx Pitch

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Cricket games played down Worcester High Street! Flicx supports #Street6s

Flicx UK, home of the worlds most versatile cricket pitch, supported the Worcester Street Sixes tournament last week which involved 18 teams of six a side, using soft balls, plying street cricket on Worcester High Street!

Street Sixes is a charity cricket event supported by the Worcestershire Ambassadors and played in the middle of Worcester High Street with the aim of raising funds and awareness to take cricket to places its not normally played, supporting young children from underprivileged backgrounds in Worcestershire. The matches were played on a range of colourful 2G Flicx Batting ends which gave the tournament vibrancy and a consistent surface for the players to enjoy. Worcestershire CC used their own bespoke branded green street 6’s pitch, there was a blue Wicketz pitch loaned by the local Lords Taviners group and Flicx brought their new beige pitch along.  Take a listen to our Business Development Manager Ashley Appleby being interview at the event which was also featured on BBC West Midlands.

Speaking about the event Tom Raymond-Hill, Cricket Development Director at Worcestershire Cricket Board said “We’re really pleased with how Street6s has gone this year and the link up with Flicx. Street6s in its essence is about bringing the business community together to play cricket in an unusual place which in turn raises funds to take cricket into deprived communities. On this occasion the funds raised have purchased Flicx Pitches which were not only used on the day but will be donated to local Wicketz hubs.”

 

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The Wicketz Community Cricket Programme #AskAsh Episode 6

The latest episode of #AskAsh features our partnership with Lord’s Taverners with six of their Wicketz programmes now having access to a bespoke blue 2G Flicx Multi Aged Pitch (MAP) to help over come their facility challenges …

Wicketz is a community cricket programme targeting young people across the UK living in areas of deprivation and hard to reach groups. Our aim is to establish sustainable community hubs that provide year-round weekly sessions with a focus on developing crucial life skills and tackling issues that are prevalent to the local community.

Wicketz will tackle issues that negatively affect its participants and communities. Through sport, it will improve prospects of participants by developing their social and personal skills such as leadership, communication and self-esteem.

Said Henry Hazlewood, Head of Cricket Programmes “The long-term goal is to create a sustainable club environment focused on the wellbeing of its participants and local communities, and to leave a legacy beyond the funding cycle of the programme. Often in the areas of high deprivation that we are working, there is a distinct lack of green space. Wicketz needs this green space to try and establish a ‘home’ for Wicketz in the community. By providing 2G Flicx pitches to some of these communities it will enable us to build a thriving community hub that has long-term prospects. The Flicx pitches will enable us to do more and give the opportunity to more young people from these areas that need sporting provision the most.”

If your charity, County Board or organisation has a similar requirement, do get in touch with us – call 01295 816765 or request a quote for a multi-aged pitch click here.

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And the “Flicx Pitch Pitch” winners are …

Excuse the pun but we have been well and truly bowled over by all the entries in our “Flicx Pitch Pitch” competition and it was a very difficult task for our MD Richard Beghin to pick a winner but we have the result…

Congratulations Iceland Cricket! Here is their winning entry

‘Audun hit the ball over Grettir’s head. He could not catch it, and it bounced away over the ice. Grettir bowled the next ball so that it hit Audun in the face. Audun lashed out and hit Grettir with the bat, then kneed him in the groin.’ – Grettir’s saga. Cricket was invented by the Vikings in the ninth century, and it was a violent game to say the least. The pitches were uneven and so were the matches; there were many serious injuries. Had the Vikings installed a Flicx pitch, the path of history could have been very different. The ‘Game of Thrones’ could have been ‘Game of 50 overs per side with a Break Between Innings for Tea’. It is sad to say that although ‘krikket’ still flourishes in Iceland today, the pitches are as uneven and unpredictable as they were a thousand years ago. No longer are the burly Vikings in the firing line, but the brave and sports-loving children of Reykjavík. The ball bounces like crazy on our artificial football pitches, and if only we had a proper cricket pitch then we could at last enjoy our cricket in a safe and happy way.

Immigration has such a positive influence on Iceland. Refugees and economic migrants, Muslims and Hindus, Brits and Barbadians have breathed life into Arctic cricket. With sponsors and fundraising, we have launched programmes bringing cricket to schools and refugee centres, but we need to be sure that the children are safe. The Icelandic word for safety is ‘öryggi’ and ‘gaman’ means fun, but cricket can teach the Icelanders a new word – a word from the special language of cricket. All cricket-lovers know this language, and they know that ‘Flicx’ means safety and ‘Flicx’ means fun. Let’s bring Flicx to the volcanic rock of Iceland!

We were impressed by the passion for cricket shown in so many of the submissions from clubs looking to gain extra capacity for their junior sections, to schools looking to introduce formal cricket for the first time right up to national cricket associations looking to integrate refugee communities through cricket. There is no doubt that the 2G Flicx Pitch can play such a vital role in boosting participation and increasing the standard of matches and we hope to continue to work with all the clubs and schools that entered to develop their facilities in the coming months and years.

Speaking about the winning entry Richard Beghin commented ” Flicx has always been about developing cricket and the entry from Iceland really showed passion for developing the game and a structure where their new 2G Flicx Pitch will have a huge impact in the country by creating a portable facility for young players to develop and will host senior cricket matches. We are already seeing Iceland make a huge impression at the World Cup – maybe one day we will see them at Lords or some of their players in the IPL!”

For more information about the 2G Flicx Pitch range, visit our website or watch #AskAsh our monthly vlog for top tips on using the world’ most versatile cricket pitch! WATCH #AskAsh

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4 matches hosted on 1 cricket oval at Dean Headley’s Sport Bash festival!

2G Flicx Pitches were used to host a Kwik cricket festival at Ketton Sports Club last Friday as part of former England Cricketer Dean Headley’s Sport Bash event. This fun filled family sports day supports The Matt Hampson Foundation. Four 2G Flicx Batting Ends (two beige and two green) were placed on the outfield and the only preparation required was to cut the grass short under the wickets. These portable, roll out wickets hosted the BGL Kwik Cricket Cup and Plate over the course of the day.

Organiser Dean Headley is familiar with the 2G Flicx Pitch as his school Stamford purchased one around 6 months ago and for Sport Bash Headley was looking to solve a few issues and hence turned to Flicx …

’’With the growing number of teams that entered this years BGL Kwik Cricket festival at Sport Bash 2018 we needed to increase capacity on the Ketton Cricket Club oval to help increase growing participation, the additional cricket fields created by dividing the oval into 4 smaller fields. Using the 2G Flicx cricket pitch was huge successful with players, coaches and parents alike all having a great time.

The true bounce off the 2G Flicx cricket pitches ensured that loads of runs was scored and the fact that you can just roll these wickets out in the outfield after cutting the grass short meant that the ground staff were not overworked by having to cut, roll and paint wickets where the bounce would not have been as good as it was on the day using the Flicx cricket pitches.’’

After a great day of cricket Uppingham U9’s won the final by 14 runs whilst Stamford U9’s won the Plate Final against Bourne. This ground utilisation concept was described by Ashley Appleby in #AskAsh and it’s becoming a common request from national and local cricket associations looking to boost participation in areas of limited space. 1 oval can be divided in 2,3 or 4 junior cricket pitches.

For more information on the 2G Flicx Pitch range visit http://www.flicx.co.uk/pitches/ 

 

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Competition | Make your “Flicx Pitch Pitch” for your chance to win!

To celebrate our 21st birthday we are launching a new worldwide competition, a “Flicx Pitch Pitch” open to all clubs and schools looking to use a new 2G Flicx Pitch to improve the quality of their cricket provision or create new teams or development programmes.

The competition is open until Sunday 17th June and all you need to do to enter is compile a short pitch of no more than 300 words and complete the competition entry form. To ENTER and for full T+C’s visit http://www.flicx.co.uk/competition/

The 2G Flicx Pitch is the world’s most versatile cricket pitch solution and has a multitude of applications. It can be used …

  • To convert a grass football or rugby field into a cricketing venue
  • Over a synthetic field
  • On the playground or other concrete bases
  • On the beach for beach cricket
  • In the nets to upgrade worn or under performing synthetic surfaces
  • For indoor cricket
  • On the outfield to host multiple junior matches
  • As a second or third square to protect your turf wicket and many many more

Call us today to find out if the 2G Flicx Pitch is right for your application +44(0)1295 816765 or REQUEST A QUOTE or VIEW OUR 2018 PRODUCT RANGE.

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