Thirty years after being sidelined by revolution, civil unrest and other unpleasantries, Nicaragua last weekend hosted its first international cricket tournament since the Managua Cricket Club disappeared in the 1970s.
Led by Nicaraguan team captain and event organizer Michael “Mick” Peart, the Nicaraguan cricket team – made up mostly of British expatriates – hosted a two-day tournament with participating teams from El Salvador and Costa Rica, which was sponsored by Bagelmen’s and went undefeated in both its matches to win the tournament. The Nicaraguan team, handicapped by several Gringo volunteers who had never played before, came in a distant – albeit enthusiastic – third place.
“The event was a great success from both a cricket point of view and socially,” said Peart. “The games were competitive and all three teams played in the “spirit of the game,” showing great sportsmanship and enthusiasm throughout.”
Also in the gentlemanly spirit of the sport, the camaraderie extended off the field into post-match drinks.
The matches were played on the polo pitch at Granada’s Colcibolca Jockey Club, which, like the sport of cricket itself in Nicaragua, is also trying to rebound to its pre-revolutionary glory day.
Cricket was first introduced to Nicaragua in the 1800s in the British controlled Caribbean coast. However, the first cricket teams in Bluefields were later converted to baseball teams after the Gringos arrived. The two sports, despite having similar ingredients, are not the same – as the Gringo cricketers on the Nicaraguan team can attest to.
Peart thanked all his players on the Nicaraguan team for “not letting me down” and also the teams from El Salvador and Costa Rica for helping to organize the event and for trekking a long distance by bus to attend Nicaragua’s first tournament in three decades. The team captain added that he hopes to make the tournament, which has already been dubbed “The Easter Cup,” an annual event.
Anyone interested in playing cricket in Nicaragua is encouraged to contact Peart at [email protected].