October the 1st 2006 at the Yokohama Country & Athletics Club witnessed an event of utmost importance both for Children Leukemia Research and Cricket.
It was the crowning moment for the exceptionally hard work achieved by the Tyler Foundation originally initiated by the Ferrises with a little help from all their friends and sympathizers.
It was also a first, and hopefully the start of a long series, as cricket celebrities from all over the world joined in. Just look at the scoresheet to find out!
Volunteers, Japanese and expats alike, from all over Japan eagerly contributed and many fans also arrived from far shores to watch the proceedings including Glenn Carter who had traveled all the way from Australia to find himself drafted as doorman to the exclusive area! Cricket enthusiasts, like Kunwar “Samir” Mahender who came all the way from Kobe with his infant son so as not to be left out, crowded the place.
Thanks to the event planners, Donna Burke, Mark Ferris, Kimberley Forsythe, Anton McCloy, Mark McTamney, Robb McKenna and Robert Quinlivan’s hard work the event had become the opportunity for all those people who devote their past time to the noble game to meet and even mend fences in some cases.
Just as a proof of the spirit reigning that day, Captains Kapil Dev and Michael Gatting had agreed to include 12 players and 11 fielders for each team to provide an extra interest.
Mike Gatting won the toss and elected to bat first.
To the music provided by Kris “Hank” Kent and truculent comments from "Sambo" representing the big sponsors, Kapil Dev and Devon Malcolm opened the bowling. Openers Robb McKenna (67) and Hirokazu “Junior” Takahashi (79), unfazed by the solemnity of the occasion, wasted no time in hitting the ball all over the place, quickly threatening to amass a big score. It needed a part-time cricketer (an understatement for a full-time pro rugbyman) in the person of Jaco Van der Westhuizen to break the dangerous partnership only one run short of the century mark. Once Joel Stransky had taken care of Junior at 159, the runs became harder to get, apart of Mike Gatting (31), especially with the low number of extras accorded by Neil Harrison and Chris Thurgate in spite of the MC’s barracking. Mark Ferris and Russel Forsyth in particular made sure the total did not reach unattainable proportions. 288 was a total testy total nonetheless, considering the worsening climatic conditions with the first drops of rain hitting us.
The long lunch break was put to some good use thanks again to the planners who animated games for all to participate in.
And then it was payback time. Kapil Dev XI found themselves in seemingly dire straits when Clive Rice was fourth batsman out at 69 before Kapil Dev, who had borrowed Ian "Curly" Gason's shoes as he had forgotten his back at home, started chasing in earnest in company of the very solid Tim O’Gorman. At 222/7, the goal still looked out of reach, especially when Mark Ferris was clean bowled first ball. But as the audience unanimously, and vociferously at that, shouted “No-Ball!”, Neil Harrison righteously felt it had indeed been a no-ball and recalled Mark who did not need a second chance to put things right. Even so, after he and Man of the Match Tim O’Gorman with a splendid century had departed, it was left to the last pair, Jaco Van der Westhuizen and Russel Forsyth to secure the last 20 runs under appallingly wet conditions. This they achieved with a few balls to spare providing late drama or all to enjoy.
A fitting end to an exceptional day. The Japanese lady scorers somehow managed to produce a scoresheet in spite of the overwhelming atmosphere (at one time they even disappeared with the scorebook in search of quiet) for the records and at long last everyone could retire to a drier place and start some serious rejoicing.
Biju Paul writes:
>><< International Sports Stars Grace Japan >><<
The Tyler Foundation Sports Extravaganza weekend turned out to be a huge success in spite of a rain on the cricket day. The events, organised the Tyler Foundation to raise funds to help the children who suffer from cancer and their families, started with a dinner on Friday 29th September at Grand Hyatt followed by an 18-hole golf day on Saturday, which was won by Kapil Dev and culminated on Sunday with a cricket match at the YCAC.
The sports personalities that graced
the weekend included some big names like Kapil Dev, Mike Gatting, Dion
Nash, Pat Symcox, Devon Malcolm, Ray Bright, Clive Rice and South African
rugby World Cup winner, Joel Stransky. The cricket match between Kapil
Dev's XI and Mike Gatting's XI were captained by Mark Ferris and Mark McTamney,
respectively. The Gatting XI, batting first, scored 288 off 40 overs, the
foundation of which was laid by Robb McKenna(67) and Junior Takahashi(79)
with an opening stand of 99 runs. Mike Gatting, coming at no. 4, showed
that he is not out of the game yet with a quick fire 31 of 21 balls with
the help of 1 four and 3 sixes. Chasing 289 for victory, Kapil Dev XI recovered
from 4/69 to post the victory in the 39th over. T O'Gorman of the MCC scored
a century to help Kapil Dev XI in its cause. Dev, too, briefly entertained
the crowd with a his typical cameo of 26
During the innings, the celebrities took time off to visit the marquee of the sponsors for a chat and photo-op. It was a pretty sight to watch Mike Gatting explaining to the Indian Engineers the infamous Shakoor Rana incident when he visited their marquee. For many spectators, it was once in a life time chance - just as for the local players, who played the match along with the celebrities - to see their favorite cricket stars at such a close proximity and they wasted none of it to get their favorite star's signatures on the bat, T-shirts etc. Skipper McTamney apparently sensed the mood of the crowd and moved Kapil Dev near the area where a large Indian contingent was watching the game. Dev obliged the non-stop request of the crowd for signatures between the overs, even between the deliveriessometimes.
Kurara Chibana, Miss Japan and first runner-up of the Miss Universe 2006 contest, visited the cricket ground and chatted with the players before drawing the drinks interval raffle tickets. During the long lunch break, the crowd was treated by the Yokohama International School Band and various games were organised for couples. The wild candy fest turned out to be the most popular thing for the kids, who collected the candies,that were thrown on the ground, in dozens.
Kapil Dev forgot to bring his cricket shoes and a local cricketer, Tokyo Wombat's Ian Gason, loaned his. Dev promptly returned the wet shoes and soggy (stinking too, Ian?) sox in the evening saying, "keep the sox". Gason thinks that it is an Indian way of saying thank you. He is planning to use it for oiling his bat (don't be surprised if we report a century from Ian before the end of the season!).