Other sports just aren’t cricket

Marlborough Midweek - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - PAULA HULBURT

A cen­turies-old game needs new play­ers to help safe­guard its future in Marl­bor­ough.

Cricket was first recorded in 16th cen­tury Eng­land and was once the sport of choice for Bri­tish no­bles to bet on.

Played across the globe, the sport has been played in Marl­bor­ough since about 1863 when the ear­li­est records show a match be­tween Nel­son and Marl­bor­ough took place in Nel­son on March 6, 1863.

Cur­rent clubs would like to see an up­take of new play­ers ahead of the start of the new sea­son in Oc­to­ber.

Pick­ing up a cricket bat for the first time as a young child, Blen­heim player Pet­ros Kapra­los knew he had found a game for life.

The re­sound­ing thwack of the ball on bat, cheers from the side­lines and the strong friend­ships forged across the years all make the game a ‘‘per­fect fit’’ for him.

The Celtic Cricket Club mem­ber started play­ing with the team in 1997. He says the club has open­ings for both younger and older play­ers.

‘‘I made my come­back three years ago and got back into it straight away.

‘‘The so­cial ben­e­fit, the friendly ri­valry make the team so much more and of course it’s a great way to keep fit too,’’ he says.

There are six cricket clubs in Marl­bor­ough; Celtic, Ren­wick, Pic­ton, Wairau, Wairau Val­ley and United Coun­try.

Marl­bor­ough Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion gen­eral man­ager Ed Gil­hoo­ley says while player num­bers have in­creased over the past two sea­sons, more play­ers are al­ways needed.

There are about 500 club

‘‘Chil­dren are still out there play­ing sport but they have so many other op­tions.’’

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