Living away from home is difficult for someone who loves and plays sport as much as me. Especially in a place where English is not the first spoken language. But when I first arrived here in Ho Chi Minh, I was overjoyed to find out that they have a few sporting teams, in particular, sports that I love playing.
I played my first game of cricket 26 years ago and it runs through my veins. I never would have thought I would be fielding in the outfield playing T20 cricket in Vietnam.
The league here started in 2006 with two teams and are now up to 7 teams from Australia, England, India x2, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and a United countries team. Much to my original surprise, the standard of the league is actually impressive. The competition has slowly evolved from a hit and giggle to a quite serious league, with some teams training 4 times a week to earn the points every weekend during the dry season.
I play for Australia, obviously, and last year we took out the competition winning 7 games in a row to make the final and win. This year we are currently sitting second, dropping a couple of very winnable matches. Yesterday, we produced a very solid game by knocking off last years other finalists, UCC in another hotly contested battle. There has been a fair bit of history between the two teams so it was good to knock them over.
Ben “The Oracle” Daly and I put on 90 odd for the 5th wicket, both retiring our innings and taking the game out of the hands. I was lucky enough to get Man of the Match in a return to form, as I had been playing terrible until then. Then it was back to the sponsor bar, PHATTIES as our club president Horse put on the bar tab for the boys. Big night needless to say.
I’m very happy to be part of the SACC and have been very privileged to play here with them.
It took me until I won a Man of the Match award to write about cricket here, I was beginning to wonder if the article would ever get written.
Big shout out to all the supporters that regularly come to support grassroots cricket in Vietnam.