You don’t think of Napa Valley as a very sporting place. Except if you include the Raiders annual preseason visit to Redwood Middle School. Lately I’ve heard funny accents around the valley talking about this new sport of Cricket. I decided to investigate. Turns out this sport was one of the precursors to baseball. Developed in the 16th century and played in most of the British colonies.
Now it’s finally arrived in Napa Valley. So who plays this game and why? Being the hub of wine in California, Napa has a wide diversity of winemakers. Many travel from as far off as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Wine is perfectly matched to the game of Cricket. Steeped in tradition that enjoys a break for afternoon tea at 3 o’clock, Napa will change it up with wine. About 2 years ago a group of ex-pats as they go by, decided there was enough interested parties in the valley to put together a team. Marin has had a long tradition of cricket going back thirty years. San Jose has a large influx of East Indian engineers who also enjoy the game of cricket and are highly competitive. Napa Valley is home to Treasury Wine Estates with many Australians working at various wineries all over Napa.
How is this game played I hear you say? That is a very complex answer. Consisting of eleven players per side, a wicket keeper, bowler, batsmen, Stumps and outfielders it sounds comparable to baseball. I assure you, there is a lot of strategy and rules. For a good overview look at this Cricket Rules site. I suggest coming to watch their opening match this Sunday the 28th of Apri. The Aussies defend their title against the ROW (Rest of the World). See a preview in this Calistogan article here.
The game starts at 10:30 and there will be a BBQ with wine and refreshments open to the public. The whole family will enjoy it with activities for the kids. Join the club on Facebook for this event and be sure and share with your friends.