We had the honour of meeting the Maasai Cricket Warriors from Kenya this August. The visit was part of the Warriors’ 2018 tour – a major cultural exchange been the Maasai community and the UK.
The Warriors were hosted by the Mojatu Foundation and Nottingham Trent University, and had a jam-packed schedule of cricket matches and community events. The group is campaigning against social injustices in their community, including hate crime, modern slavery, child marriage and FGM.
The prospect of a cricket match with the Warriors was pretty darn exciting. We quickly set to work and rallied some Castle Rockians who were prepared to take them on. Sports underachievers were more than happy to spectate over a drink in the Vat and Fiddle’s beer garden! Spectators could also purchase handmade jewellery and knick-knacks from a couple of stalls in the garden.
The Maasai’s visit kicked off with a brewery tour led by Robin Hood (aka Tim Pollard). Tim’s playful presence also led to some role playing…cue Robin Hood “shot dead” in the middle of the brewery yard.
The game was compact and quickfire, with an idiosyncratic rule-book that encouraged low, controlled shots. Like Kwik Cricket but for adults!
Each team had six fielders, and each bowler had six overs before it was time to switch around. Scoring relied on hitting the ball into various zones, as opposed to the conventional system of two batsmen running.
One run was awarded for hitting the ball outside the ‘batting square’ (or in brewery terms, the ‘loading bay’). Two runs were awarded for hitting the boundary of the brewery yard. Four runs and out was given if the ball hit the boundary without first hitting the floor.
The Maasai were batting first. Team Castle Rock kept a fair amount of pressure on them, with some nicely delivered bowls and even one or two wickets taken. However, the Warriors delivered the bat well and had 46 runs by the end of their innings.
Castle Rock made a valiant effort, with some superb low strikes topping our run count nicely. Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be. A string of almost consecutive catches took the wind out of our sails and we finished just a little shy of the Maasai, at 39.
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