IFCR in Great Britain & Ireland
IFCR – the International Fellowship of Cricket Loving Rotarians, to use the official name, but also known as International Fellowship of Cricketing Rotarians – is one of the largest and most successful international Rotary Fellowships. The original name was deliberately chosen to ensure that the organisation is seen to welcome Rotarians with an interest in the game, even though they are not active players. Any sport needs supporters as well as players, and both can derive pleasure from, and contribute to, such an organisation.
The fellowship has expanded dramatically, and offers frequent opportunities to visit distant parts of the world to participate in or be a spectator at cricket matches and to enjoy the hospitality of and develop friendships with other members and their associates.
Through frequent tours to and by other countries strong friendships have developed. British Rotarians have opportunities to see Rotary in action in other parts of the world and to develop personal connections and co-operate with overseas Rotarians in implementing worthwhile projects.
As you might expect of Rotarians, most of the players are past their prime and to ensure that players of varying ages and ability are offered a decent opportunity to participate in many matches, normal rules are amended, eg. batsmen are required to retire on reaching an agreed maximum score. Nevertheless, competitive instincts remain strong. Australians still relish beating the Poms – but regardless of events elsewhere, the Rotary Ashes will remain in Britain until 2009!
IFCR GB&I’s objective is to act as a focal point for GB & I Rotarians who play and/or love cricket.
• To organise squads to international Rotary cricket festivals (every 2 years or so) wherever they are in the world.
• To organise tours abroad in non-festival years.
• To arrange matches in UK, both among GB & I members and against touring teams, to foster cricket and fellowship
• To organise groups to visit Rotary cricket festivals.
• To arrange visits to first class cricket matches each year at which cricket-loving Rotarians can meet and socialise.
World Festivals & Tours
A GB & I team has been to each of the World Festivals, which have taken place in Fordingbridge, England (1997), Chennai, India (1999), Christchurch, New Zealand (2002), Hunter Valley, Australia (November 2004), Colombo, Sri Lanka (August 2007), Durban (February 2010), Vapi, India (February 2012) and the much acclaimed 8th World Festival hosted by GB&I members in Nottingham in July 2014 where over 240 Rotarians and partners in 14 teams to play fellowship cricket for 5 days.
In addition there have been GB & I tours to India, South Africa, West Indies, Australia and New Zealand. The latter even included a game in Los Angeles en route to Auckland. Members have also participated in Rotary matches in Pakistan and Fiji, and interest is developing in Bangladesh and Philadelphia, USA (which cricket historians know has a very old cricketing tradition).
We have hosted several tours from both Australia and New Zealand, with the Aussies’ most recent trip being in 2013. Tours can last up to about 3 weeks and include some ‘home hosting’, (a wonderful way to make lasting friendships), visits to local places of interest, some wine and beer tasting, oh and some cricket. We try to ensure a reasonable balance between cricket and other holiday activities.
New Members Wanted
New members, who are still playing cricket, are desperately wanted. As with the Rotary movement as a whole, the average age of the UK team has risen in recent years. However, if you are reasonably fit, and still want to play gentlemen’s cricket, you are very welcome.
At the Nottingham festival, the ages of the players from countries around the world ranged from 32 (India) to 82 (New Zealand). The majority of the playing members are over 50, and we are always looking for new players.
Usually playing members are from 2 sources: –
• They have been good club cricketers in their youth and are now turning out in lower XI’s or,
• They have always played village cricket and are continuing to do so.
• Life Membership £25
• Annual Membership by Bankers’ Order £5
Anyone with an interest in cricket, either as a player, umpire, scorer or supporter is very welcome to join. So why not find out more by contacting Chairman Rupert Cox on firstname.lastname@example.org
Access GBI membership form 2015