A great moment for international ‘cricket you can believe in’ was held at the Village Green, Woodley, Los Angeles over the weekend where Credo Cricketer’s, The Rev and the traveling Custard, joined the Compton ‘Homies and Popz’ Cricket Team in a match against Beverly Hills/Hollywood Cricket Club.
Compton is a neighborhood in South Central LA with a reputation for gangs, violence and disadvantage. The Cricket Team was started when the teams patriarch and icon, Ted Hayes, an African American, Republican voting, Jewish, homelessness activist was introduced to cricket by British film producer Katy Haber. Ted resonated with the ‘Spirit of Cricket ‘which he saw as being significantly different to the showy, ‘Me first’ culture of American sport and its mean streets.
With the Hollywood connection it was the Beverly Hills team, made up of ex-pat Englishmen that first taught Ted and the boys how to play. Today however, it was time for the apprentices to become the masters. Compton bowled and fielded well, amongst the trees and undulations of the aptly named ‘Village Green’ to restrict Beverly Hills to 9/134 off 25 overs with America’s version of the Warne/Magill leg spin combination, Ted Hayes (3 for) and The Rev (2 for) proving a handfull.
In response, Compton born and bred, Ricardo starred with the bat with a 50 made up of orthodox forward defense and blistering baseball style swats which peppered the legside boundary. The Rev made 18 and Custard brought the team home with 28 not out. 4/135 with 5 overs to spare.
At the conclusion of the game Marcus Curnow, spoke about the story of Urban Seed’s Credo Cricket with disadvantaged people in Melbourne and the recent Laneway Cricket matches held in response to street violence against Indian students. He handed out Australian team training shirts, and, whilst being heckled by the defeated Beverly Hills Englishmen, recommended the ‘Homies’ wear the shirts for the remainder of the day as the Ashes would be lost by morning! Luckily Ted Hayes received a Victorian Bushrangers 20/20 shirt for whom the Compton ‘Homies and Popz’ will be ‘rootin’in the upcoming Champions league in recognition of Cricket Victoria’s ongoing support for ‘very believable cricket’.
Compton Cricket Club are keen to get ‘Down Under’!
Ted opened the bowling with a stars and stripes headband and scarf hanging out the back of his trousers, gangsta style. He starts his ‘run up’ crouched in a baseball pitchers stance and shouts out ‘What time is it”?
“Wicket Time!” the fielders respond, to which he cries, “Make it Happen!” and proceeds to deliver fast Anil Kumble like leggies off 3 steps.
He claps the batsmen in, and out and even when they hit boundaries off his bowling!