Beijing Cricket Club
Cricket has been played on-and-off in Beijing for many years with regular games in the 1980s and 1990s when the club was known as the Peking Cricket Club. These were mainly inter-Embassy matches. There was also an International Cricket Sixes tournament held annually but this sadly ended after 1996, due to the lack of a suitable ground and the small size of the cricket-playing community meant that it was difficult to sustain interest.
During the 2000s irregular cricket was sustained by a passionate and dedicated group of mostly expatriates who took it upon themselves to revive the interest in the sport in Beijing. Organised by a few cricket-mad individuals, mainly the tireless Ray Brooks and Bernie Garrett, numbers grew and eventually it was decided to formally establish a club.
The Birth of the Club
A club charter was drawn up and the establishment of Beijing Cricket Club was ratified at the first committee meeting on 3rd September 2006. Peter Clarke was elected as the first chairman and the club set about developing a solid foundation for cricket in Beijing. Weekly matches were played on the artificial grass at WAB during the summer and in the gymnasium during the winter.
The club’s aims include venturing out to play in matches throughout China and the Asian region as well as welcoming all touring teams interested in sampling cricket with Chinese characteristics. We were honoured to be able to host a match with the world-famous Marylebone Cricket Club in October 2006 during their China/Hong Kong tour and this was an auspicious inaugural match for our young club.
Making our Mark
With the club keen to develop new fixtures and become involved in cricket throughout the region, we have tried to maintain a regular presence at Asian International Cricket Sixes tournaments. Beijing CC’s first appearance was at the Shanghai Sixes in September 2006 and after being unlucky to lose in a bowl-off to the home team we finally bowed out as semi-finalists in the Plate competition. However the club soon earned its first silverware at the Hong Kong Sixes in November 2006. Despite some losses in the early rounds and difficulties bowling in a straight line after a few lunchtime beers, the team found its form on the final day winning the final of the Bowl competition.
Further success followed in the Shanghai Sixes of September 2007. Two teams from Beijing were entered on this occasion, the Lions and the Ducks. Both teams finished second in their group although the Ducks had actually tied with their group winners and were only placed second after a bowl-off. The draw pitted the two Beijing teams against each other in the Plate semi-final, a game which the Ducks won. The Ducks’ opponents in the Plate final included the guest star player Phil Simmons who struck some impressive shots during his innings. Unfortunately the game was curtailed by bad light but this time the Ducks managed to prevail in the bowl-off and claimed the title of Plate winners.
Tours to Guangzhou and Saigon are now on our list of tournaments visited by the BCC.
Although playing in international tournaments is exciting, the main focus of the club is to develop regular cricket in Beijing for all those interested and willing to join in. In order to stimulate friendly competition the club formed three teams during 2007: Warriors, First XI and Phoenix. With the generous support and sponsorship of Santa Fe Relocation Services we launched the Santa Fe Cricket League which was contested during the Autumn of 2007. The champions of the first league season were First XI after a thrilling run chase in the league final.
With an increase in player numbers we were able to add a fourth team in 2008, called the Kremlin XI. The four teams played weekly fixtures from April to October and First XI emerged as deserving winners of the Santa Fe league trophy for the second season in a row. The league has now expanded to 5 teams , a new one being established for the 2013 season. As well as the 35 over league aTwenty20 league evolved in 2011 and has been embraced by all player and 2 additional clubs, the Bombers & Beijing Devils.
BCC International Cricket Sixes
This annual event is now into its 6th year and is known as the Chander Oberoi Cup in honour of one of Beijing’ s true characters and avid cricket supporter.16 teams do battle for the right to be Cup champions, Phoenix CC from Beijing winning the last 4 years. As well as sides from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou & Wuxi being involved, the sixes has proved very popular with overseas interest and the event has seen teams from Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia & Philippines participate on a regular basis. Yamei Trimble have been the proud title sponsors for the past 3 years and their association with the BCC has been most wonderful.
In 2012 we had the pleasure of welcoming our first full Chinese cricket side, The SHELL Sunbird’s from Shenyang and once again look forward to their presence in 2014. Special thanks to SHELL for the past 2 years who have supported their visit here, without them it would not be possible- the players and management of the Sunbird’s are always deeply appreciative and proudly ware their kit carrying the SHELL name.
Our Local Derby – The China Cup
The first match was held in Shanghai in May 2007 with the return match in Beijing played in Oct 2007 and both teams won once each. In 2008 there was only one game which was won by Shanghai. Since 2009 the China Cup has been played on an annual basis, each club hosting the other alternate years, Beijing won in 2010, 2011, 2012 and then loosing in 2013 here in Beijing. The 2014 fixture is in Shanghai
The club always welcomes player from any nation and hopes this community support grows from year to year. It is very much the wish of the club to have more integration from Chinese players, schools and their coaches and develop the sport as best and energetically as we can. With SHELL on board we believe we are on the right track.