Thursday, 29 March 2012


Madrid at night
Fantasy Bob and Mrs FB are off to Madrid for a week and a bit, supporting son and heir in his efforts with the Scotland Under 18 Rugby team.  Tapas for tea.

FB will therefore miss the end of the Galle Test and the second test in the series - although FB doesn't really think that 2 Tests should count as a series - 2 is a pair.  He is sorry that his worldwide readership will be without his inexpert guidance through these matches.

But will there be an opportunity to catch up with any local cricket in Madrid?  Cricket was played for the first time in Spain in 1809 - the Duke of Wellington's touring team played a few matches when not doing that thin red line thing against Napoleon's troops.  But then there was a bit of a lull.  The first Madrid CC was formed in 1975 and seems to have struggled but it was reformed in 2002.  Barcelona CC was formed in 1982.

Spain became an affiliate member of the ICC in 1992 and made their international debut in the ECC trophy in 2001.  In 2011 they finished 5th in the Europe Division 2 tournament played in Belgium.

There are active national and local leagues and clubs from the UK fix up tours to various venues notably Mallorca and the Costa del Sol.  The La Manga resort has cricket facilities and England bowler James Anderson took up the role of ambassador for them last year.

There is a splendidly named club - Intellectuals CC based in Alicante.  FB thought he might offer his services as overseas player.  But its website says that its name does not reflect anything about the players or the quality of their after match banter, but derives from the fact that the club was formed, in 1997, by employees of the European Agency handling Intellectual Property Rights which is based in the City.  But it's still a great name.

While FB is away he has loaded some balls into the bowling machine - many reflecting the spring theme.  Hasta la vista.

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