Ambassador's Blog - Village Green Cricket in Kyiv

Kyiv
22.06.10




"So," my Ukrainian friend asks me.  "What are the rules of cricket?"

"Well," I say.  "It's a lot simpler than football." 

One of the joys of being an ambassador is that people expect you to know everything.  All the more so when you are attending an event as its patron and will be saying a few words to an invited group of guests.  So before attending the inaugural event of the Kyiv Post Cricket League I swot up a bit on the laws of cricket, and also of football.   I'm intrigued to find that while the 42 laws of cricket, as agreed by the Marylebone Cricket Club, run to a couple of sides of A4, the laws of the game of football, as agreed by FIFA, run to an impressive 140 pages, including nine pages of text and diagrams on the offside rule alone.

In other words, anyone can learn cricket.  It's the world's second most popular game, after football.  It requires skill, strategy, intellect and athleticism, and embodies qualities such as fair play and sportsmanship.  So it's great to see the Kyiv Post and the British-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce working together to launch the "Kyiv Post Cricket League" at the Obolon Arena Stadium, accompanied by lunchtime Pimms and an English tea after the match.  On a bright, blustery day the Kiev Cricket Club and the British-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce Cricket Club contest the first game of the season.  There's a terrific atmosphere and a big crowd of sponsors and fans.  

I'm delighted to learn that the KCC was founded ten years ago with the help of one of my predecessors, Roland Smith, and has been going strong ever since.  I'm also pleased to meet at the game Sergei Bubka, legendary athlete, President of the Ukrainian Olympic Committee and Member of the IOC Board, and discuss with him prospects for cricket in Ukraine.  The match itself is of high quality, with plenty of on-field action together with a helpful commentary to help novice fans.  I come away impressed by the level of organisation of the event and the skill and commitment of both teams.  I wish the best of luck to the new league and to cricket in Ukraine, and look forward to attending future games.

 
Leigh Turner
British Ambassador to Ukraine


NOTE:  You can read all of Ambassador Turner's blogs by visiting: http://blogs.fco.gov/roller/turner


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