The International Fellowship of Cricket Loving Rotarians (IFCR) in Greece has become a reality when a 16 member IFCR team from India led by Kittu, Richard and Jill from IFCR Australia and Mushtaq from IFCR Pakistan descended on Athens and then on to the lovely resort Island of Corfu (in the north of Greece) during the first week of September 2013.
The enthusiasm and excitement with which each one of the visiting IFCRians (starting from Kittu/Nandini on the evening of 1st Sept and yours truly at 0620 hours on 2nd Sept to Ravi the last one to arrive at 2300 hrs on 2nd Sept) were received at at Corfu Airport by the hosts spearheaded by the indefatigable Nicolas (for the Hellenic Cricket Federation ) warmed the hearts of everyone.
And thus the stage was set for a wonderful week of comradeship, fellowship, cricket games and Rotary functions which included the historic evening on 4th Sept 2013 when IFCR Greece was launched and also an Agreement of Twinning of Clubs was signed (between RC Corfu,Greece RI 2484 and RC Hyderabad Gachibowli,India RI 3150 ).
Vipul (IFCR India Chair) gave a presentation on Rotary India and Sarathy (IFCR India Vice -Chair) gave a presentation on IFCR World which was well received by the audience.
We even had a small fund raiser program ( a musical concert) organised by the local Rotary clubs on 6th Sept in which all the visiting IFCRians participated.
The events were closely monitored by DG Makris Vasilis of RI 2484,Greece by his personal presence.
The cricket events were organised by president of Hellinic Cricket Federation along with his ever enthusiastic officials and staff whereas Nicolas Fournarakis was the chief co-ordinator who was the live wire for every happening right from the time he invited registrations on behalf of RI 2484 for the Rotary event in Corfu couple of months back
Rtn. Ilias Sagiadinos – as President, Rtn. Sagouros Vasilis – as Secretary and Rtn.Giourga Mika – as Treasurer have been nominated in the IFCR 2484,Greece Charter Cricket Board.
On the cricket front we had two groups of three teams playing T20 format, the games scheduled daily in the afternoon between 1600 hrs and 1900 hrs on two different grounds.
One of the grounds was right at the side of a huge car park/coffee shops and the people frequenting this area had a box office view of the proceedings. The visiting IFCRians had a strange experiencing playing the game with a rubber ball (used at this ground to safeguard against people sitting around the coffee shops and in cars against being hit).
The other cricket field was picturesque Marina grounds closer to the sea shore played with near normal cricket equipment and surroundings.
The local organisers (Hellenic Cricket Federation) and our fellow Rotarians from Greece had a onerous task of going ahead with this T20 Cricket Tournament due to the last minute withdrawal of several members from different IFCR countries.
Hence they had to hastily assemble a few youthful local teams mostly containing non Rotarians to keep the tournament going. Even so it was tough competitive cricket for senior IFCRians from India and the games were played with keen interest and in good spirit.
The week long historic Rotary Cricket Fellowship event in Corfu, Greece ended with a gala dinner and prize distribution ceremony held on the evening of 7th Sept.
The IFCRians from India, Australia and Pakistan left the shores of Greece fully satisfied having sown the seeds of IFCR in one more Rotary country and having made many cricket loving Rotarian friends with a sincere hope that this event will fully motivate IFCR Greece (as envisaged by DG Makris) to build a strong group of IFCRians to take the movement forward in their region of the globe.