Bogota’s Ashes

Bogota cricket festival
Photo: Camilo Mejía, Medellin CC

Record numbers at Bogota cricket festival, South American championships up next


ALE, CIDER, sunny intervals and cricket with a couple of rain-stopped-plays, balls in the road and some rosy red faces underestimating the strength of the sun. But before you think you’ve picked up the Yorkshire Post rather than The Bogotá Post, I’ll give the game away: this all happened here.

Over 50 cricketers gathered in the capital for the annual cricket festival at the Bogota Sports Club, with the 2015 edition boasting a new visitor in the shape of Medellín Cricket Club alongside regular touring side Cali CC.

“This weekend’s series was a major milestone in the development of Colombian cricket,” said Andrew Wright, president of the Colombian Cricket Board. “The quality and spirit of play between the teams was first-class and of note was Medellin’s first victory on the national circuit.”

Said victory came in the first game of the second day of play, as the paisas overcame Cali in the first ever meeting between the sides. Shaun Gilbert and Abhas Shrivastava starred with the bat as Medellin recovered from the loss of several early wickets to reach Cali’s 113 in 20 overs and win by four wickets.

Saturday’s games saw Bogota — which has seen its player base grow to more than 40 with the advent of the Bogota Cricket League — beat Cali and then Medellín.

The rolos are still the main beneficiaries of Colombia’s new found popularity with Brits, Australians, Indians and South Africans alike, and quick runs from Aussie Rob McHugh against Cali and then Saffa Chris Laas versus Medellin ensured that Bogota remained unbeaten on Saturday.

By Sunday afternoon, there were some tired bodies and minds preferring to watch Colombia’s footballing defeat, when a mixed Cali and Medellin team overcame another Bogota side to end the weekend. The infamous legspin of Cali tour manager Dave Procter was the talk of the day, as he took 4 for 20 runs to lead “Calellín” to a five run victory.

It was very promising stuff ahead of the South American Cricket Championships in Chile in October, in which Colombia will compete for the first time.

“The national selection committee has some difficult decisions now to be made and hopefully Colombia can put out a very competitive team for their debut appearance,” added Wright.

After the South American Championships trip in October, Medellin will for the first time join Bogota for the annual Cali cricket festival in November.


By Olly West

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