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‘A very British sport’

The sport of cricket has been introduced to the south Famagusta region with the newly-formed Eastern Cyprus Cricket Club, which was set-up on June 1.

The new club will be joining the Cyprus Cricket Association (CAA) when the season starts in September, and is currently focusing on building up the team – and sponsorship – in the run-up to the season’s start.

The idea is the brainchild of Steve Rush, a local electrician and resident of Paralimni. Rush moved to Cyprus two years ago from Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire, UK, and says he missed playing the sport.

Upon researching cricket on the island, Rush came across the CAA, but found that there were no teams across the Eastern coast (south Famagusta and Larnaca), other than the British military teams.

Rush set about creating a club and soon found that there was a desire for the sport amongst expatriates in the region.

“Following a few Facebook messages and phone calls, I quickly realised that people were looking for something different in this part of Cyprus, and I’d managed to find that ‘something’,” he says.

Rush says that the call for support in setting up the club very quickly showed positive results, with at least 10 different sponsors and over 20 members in just three weeks after the club’s inception; a response he says is beyond his expectations.

“The response I’ve had is incredible, and I’d like to thank everybody so far for helping us set-up the club. We have had a lot of local companies coming forward to sponsor us, and a great response to representing the Eastern coast of the island.”

With the club in place, the first Annual General Meeting (AGM) took place on June 4 to vote for the board of the non-profit cricket club. Following the vote, Rush was nominated Secretary and Treasurer, with Phil Turner (Paralimni) as Chairman.

Andy Connor – an ex Kent County player has also joined the team as Vice Captain, and Rush says his experience will be extremely welcome.

“The fact that Phil and Connor have come onboard gives us a real fighting chance, coupled with the great support the CCA have shown us. I’m hoping we can continue building this community club, and that it will be around for years to come!”

The team is still looking for members and sponsorship to ensure it gets off to the best possible start.

Training takes place opposite the Poseidonio Restaurant in Protaras on Thursday at 5pm and Sunday at 9am, with the team meeting firstly at the restaurant.

Cricket was introduced to the island by the British military stationed in Cyprus after WWII, and was firstly confined to the bases: RAF Akrotiri, Episkopi Garrison, Dhekelia Garrison and RAF Ayios Nicholas.

During the 1980s, the first expatriate team – The Moufflons’ – was set up in Limassol. The CCA became an International Cricket Council affiliate member in 1999.

In August 2006, the CAA made its international debut, finishing as runners up in Division Four of the European Championship.

If you would like to join the team, become a non-playing member, or can offer sponsorship, please contact Rush on: 99005944 / email: [email protected]

The club also has a Facebook page: Eastern Cyprus Cricket Club.

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