NZIFCR at Nottingham
New Zealand IFCR was represented at Nottingham by by a small but enthusiastic band of Rotary cricketers and partners. Apart from leader John Dean and wife Rachael Barton the members were the following.
Mike and Lyn Lucas
Alan and Karyl Lawton
Keith and Heather Mitchell
John and Chloe Steer
Rex and Jan Houton
For some of the group the tour started with a bracket of 3 (?practice) matches played in delightful surroundings at the venues of Isham, Rockingham Castle and Great Oakley.
When we arrived at Nottingham University, the main centre for the festival, we were allocated our lodgings at either the new De Vere hotel or Rutland College.
The registration afternoon was spent in renewing friendships with other IFCR members from past festivals or making new friends from amongst the many first-timers. The actual Opening Function was well organised and featured an address by former Indian and Lancashire player, Farokh Engineer, and music by the Blidworth Brass Band. Having a brass band play the national anthem of each competing country as its flag appeared was a novel idea.
Cricket games were played on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. There were 14 teams competing of which 7 were from India, 3 from Australia with single teams from Sri Lanka, GB&I, Pakistan and composite NZ/South Africa. Six grounds were used – each day 5 of these hosted one 35 over game while the sixth hosted two twenty over games.
Tours for partners to Bakewell and Chatsworth House (Tuesday) and Rutland Water and Stamford (Wednesday) were popular. A walking tour of Nottingham town centre, a visit to the Gunn and Moore bat-making factory and a tour of the Trent Bridge cricket ground were all well supported.
An exhilarating Closing Function on Friday evening with the ebullient MC Rupert Cox rounded out a very successful week.
Chief organiser, Norman Brown and all his team, are to be congratulated on presenting an excellent festival.