I had this wonderful opportunity to meet the members of “Occidental Cricketers” on their tour to India. The dictionary meaning of the Occidental is “relating to the countries of the west.” Occidental Cricketers is a group of active cricket enthusiasts who decided to tour India in mainly four cities comprising Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Goa. It was way back in 2014 that Jim Morrison, a New Zealander initiated the idea of “Great India Cricket Tour 2015.” Jim contacted his friends and colleagues who he thought would be interested in becoming a part of this tour. Soon he received some positive response and that fuelled his idea. Jim along with Jason, another New Zealander started working on this idea.
The idea was to invite people from across the world, build a team and tour India for a month Cricket Experience. This concept was equally backed by some of Jim’s friends and this added to his confidence. To overcome the above challenge, Jim thought of creating a facebook page named “Great India Cricket Tour 2015.” To his expectations, Jim started receiving positive responses from people across the World. The other challenge was to book the grounds in India, arrange for opponent teams, schedule dates, arrange for tickets to travel between the cities, arrange for accommodation facilities and more importantly co-ordinate with all the interested people coming from 4 corners of the World. It was difficult, but not impossible.
Jim started contacting his friends in India, asking them about the clubs and grounds. He even goggled to find the best clubs to play with in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Goa. Once that was finalized, he went on to look for hotels to stay. Once the accommodation was decided, Jim started looking for tickets to travel within the cities. And he did everything, sitting at his hometown in New Zealand. Meanwhile, people started responding and now it was the challenge to communicate and co-operate with them. Jim was all excited for this tour and that made everything simple and sweet.
On 21st Jan, 2015, I met Team Occidental Cricketers at Islam Gymkhana, Mumbai. I was equally excited to meet Jim Morrison, a New Zealander who organized and arranged for this tour. His team was playing against MC Lions. The opponent’s team was led by Mr.Mohit. It was occidental’s third match that they were playing in Mumbai at Islam Gymkhana. Luckily Jim was on rest for a day and that allowed us to talk for an hour. I got to know more about Jim’s Occidental Cricketers. The most interesting thing to know was that he managed to involve people from USA, Canada, Trinidad, Australia and New Zealand. It was a complete Global Cricket Community. People from all the 4 corners of the world were gathered to play Cricket. Fascinating news was that the average age of Occidental’s team was 40. That made me pretty sure about their love and interest for the game and that age was not any barrier for them. I got to know more about their team and Jim’s efforts in uniting them together for this tour. Jim told me about his love for India and that he had visited several other cities before namely Delhi and Bangalore. It was exciting to know that many of the players didn’t knew each other before and they got to know each other few hours before stepping onto the field.
Jim explained me about his tour in detail and that they were scheduled to play 6 matches in Mumbai at top 6 different locations. Their first match was played at Oval and second was played at Brabourne Stadium. Jim enjoyed playing at Brabourne Stadium the most. He told me about his team mates, his interest in bollywood and that he likes Shahrukh Khan, Amitabh Bacchan, Preity Zinta and Aishwarya Rai. Saurabh Verma, an Indian Origin player who currently stays in USA scored a century that day. Jim did mention about his other team players. Although his team scored a massive 233 runs in 35 over’s, still they could not manage to defend this total. Mohit and his team chased down this target with 6 over still remaining. But still Jim and his team mates were excited because they gave a fight to their opponents. This made me clear that Occidental’s is a bunch of true cricket lover’s and that they are here to enjoy Cricket. The game was ended with a beautiful presentation ceremony where both the teams exchanged some kind words followed by mementoes given to each other. I had a wonderful time knowing Occidental Cricketer’s in detail and especially their love and passion for the game.
Global Cricket Community wishes Jim and all the players of Occidental Cricketer’s with best luck for their upcoming matches at Pune, Bangalore and Goa. We wish you all the best, enjoy every game of yours. You all together define a true “Global Cricket Community.” Keep playing Cricket, wherever you are. Keep spreading the love of this game. I wish to meet you all again. And I am more than happy to be a part of your wonderful team.