In December 2012 a truly historic event took place at the Lima Cricket and Football Club (LCFC). The first ever Indian Ambassador´s Cup four nation cricket tournament. The then relatively new Indian Ambassador, H. E. Manpreet Vohra, on hearing that cricket is played in Peru, offered to sponsor an annual Indian Ambassador´s Cup. On the day, teams from South Africa, India, Australia and the UK competed in a ten-over tournament.
It was agreed that the respective Ambassadors would open both the batting and the bowling. In the first match South Africa batted first against fearsome Australian bowling. Their score was not high. After opening the Australian innings the Ambassador retired after the first two overs, paving the way for the team’s big-hitters to rack up a daunting score. Australia duly won and the next game was played between India and the UK with India winning by approximately 10 runs.
The semi-final saw SA and UK face off, won by UK. The big final saw Australia win the toss against India and elect to bat. Once again the Australian Ambassador opened the batting. He made a game swipe at the first ball (and connected but no run) and then, having taken an almighty swing, managed to fall on his own stumps. Australia then raced to 116, nearly killing several spectators in the process. One Indian player saved a six with his cheekbone and was taken to the emergency room but was pronounced OK.
India´s inning started magnificently with Ambassador Vohra scoring an historic six to the absolute delight of everyone. However, the run rate was near impossible and the wickets started to fall. In the end, amid the strains of Jai Ho, India presented the Cup to the Australian Ambassador with strict instructions to return it next year in mint condition.
The 2013 tournament was eagerly anticipated. As the competition got underway it became obvious that John Woods, the Australian Ambassador, had been practicing in his backyard all year, no doubt to quell any possible allegation that, the year before, he had sacrificed his wicket for the greater Antipodean good, thereby wresting the inaugural Cup from the hands of the hosts. He played a true Captain´s innings but Ambassador Vorha and his team managed to regain the Cup amid great camaraderie and excitement.
This year’s event promises to be – in the words of Cricket Peru President Harry Hildebrand – bigger that Ben Hur.
On Sunday November 23, the Indian Ambassador’s cup will take place at the Lima Cricket and Football Club. Once again this will see teams representing the Embassies of Australia, India, South Africa and the UK. There will be a total of four games – two in the morning and two in the afternoon, with a break for lunch. The first game starts at 10 a.m. and is between the UK and South Africa.
Everyone is welcome (including families) to come along to what should be a fun day. Entry is free and, as well as the cricket, there will be music, barbecue facilities and food and drink on sale.
*Juliet Solomon* is a cricket-playing, globetrotting Trinidadian who lives in Lima, Peru where she drinks pisco sour and comments acerbically on life, the universe and everything. She is the author of the highly acclaimed blog-turned-book: Yes…But It´s Different Here event is back for its third year.