Fellowship was the great winner at the Durban 2010 World Festival from Sunday March 7 to Friday March 12. Over 300 attendees either enjoyed the week’s activities to renew friendships with colleagues not seen for two years or more or, for first time attenders, took the opportunity to sample the rewards to be had in our International Fellowship of Cricketing Rotarians,
Fourteen teams participated – seven from India, two from Australia, one each from Great Britain and Ireland, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Pakistan with one composite team which went under the name of the International Wonderers.
The expansion of IFCR in India recently saw Mumbai represented for the first time with two teams, the Mumbai Masters and the Mumbai Blasters, and Kolkata represented by one team which called itself the Eastern Eagles.
Having all festival players and accompanying persons at the comfortable Blue Waters Hotel simplified arrangements and made for excellent camaraderie.
Four days of cricket for the fourteen teams were supplemented by an optional game on the other day.
Thirty over games took place on three of the main days while Wednesday saw an innovative 3 way game played. This game consisted of Team A batting for 24 overs against Team B, Team B batting for 24 overs against Team C and Team C batting for 24 overs against Team A.
Ten grounds were used during the week. In all cases, good standard wickets were provided with excellent luncheon, water and after-match facilities.
Away from the field evening arrangements were appreciated by all. The Grand Opening Dinner at the Elegani Hotel featured our regular flag ceremony, some light-hearted live entertainmemt and an interesting address by Errol Stewart, former RSA international cricketer and former ICC employee. A wine tasting at the headquarters hotel was a first time event for an IFCR festival .
Home hospitality was the time for the visitors to spend an evening one-on-one with a local host family. It was appreciated greatly by all participants. The final dinner at the delightful Hellenic Community Centre was highlighted by an address by Pat Symcox (20 Test matches).
The Annual General Meeting of IFCR was held on Thursday. March 11. Michael Jackson and Phil Stevenson did not seek re-election as Chairman and Secretary respectively. David Horsley (Australia) and Graeme Amoore (Australia) were elected to these two offices.
The two Rotarians who made it all happen – Gerald Sieberhagen and Gordon Dowsett.
Following Gerald Anderson’s decision to stand down as treasurer it was agreed to discontinue that office as IFCR now has no separate funds. The next IFCR World Festival will be held at Vapi in Gujarat state of India in February, 2012. The Rotary Club of Vapi is the home club of the incoming RI president 2011-12 Kalyan Banerjee.
The festival would not have happened had it not been for the sterling work done by the chief organiser, Gerald Sieberhagen. Other members who deserve credit for assisting in the organisation were Hilary Augustus (especially in the House of Friendship), Gordon Dowsett, Garnet Carr and Clive Hull.
There are more photos from the Durban festival here.