San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

International cricket tourney a success

The Costa Rica Cricket Federation played host to the official International Cricket Council (ICC) Americas Division 3 Cricket Championship March 14 to 18 at Los Reyes Polo Club in La Guácima de Alajuela, northwest of San José.

Teams from six nations competed in the tournament, with Costa Rica finishing fifth, rather as expected, beating only Falkland Islands, with whom it had split decisions in last year’s Division 4. The competing countries, in order of finish, were Belize, Peru, Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica and Falkland Islands.

Costa Rica lost its first match to Chile, which won with only two balls to spare in the 20-over match. On the plus side, Costa Rica’s Shane Catford had the highest individual score (87 not out) and best batting average of the tournament, and was third in total runs scored, despite being unable to play in the last two matches. Team captain Julian Olivier was seventh in runs scored, including a valuable 50 against Chile.

The other teams were generally better prepared and disciplined, arrived on time, warmed up, worked out, huddled and watched all the matches; this is easier for the visiting groups than the home team, which must be involved in all aspects of pitch preparation and tournament infrastructure. In this, Costa Rica was praised by the president of one of the visiting teams and by ICC Regional Development Manager Martin Vieira, who said he doubted that even regional ICC associate giants Canada or the U.S. could have done better.

-Richard Illingworth

President, Costa Rica Cricket Federation

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