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.

18 January 2015
19 January 2015 - 25 January 2015
28 January 2015 - 30 January 2015
1 February 2015 - 6 February 2015
9 February 2015 - 13 February 2015

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.

Pin It

About Arif Hussain

I had this wonderful opportunity of meet Mr.Arif Hussain. We invited him to our office so that we could know each other well. Arif and I are in the same field i.e Cricket and that gave some common topics discuss on.

Arif started from his childhood days narrating the experiences he had. We came to know about his love for cricket, what he had to go through in order to play Cricket. I remember him telling me the incident that introduced cricket to his life. It was when he first saw 1999 Cricket World Cup on TV. And that led to a spark in him and he started playing, believing and living cricket every day.

Amidst all these, there were some hurdles that he had to face in the initial days. Arif was born in Bhadohi, a small village in Uttar Pradesh. There was no proper ground there that is needed to play a professional cricket. Lack of transportation facilities limited people’s access to better facilities present in the cities. The major challenge was that Cricket was not accepted much in the society as it is now. Being a new game, people were not much aware of the possibilities Cricket could bring in. This did interest neither the players nor the family members. Arif had to convince a lot to his parents about this game. And sooner he realized that you got to take your own stand for your life. So, he decided to take up cricket as his career.

The other instant challenge was the Finance. Arif knew that Cricket involves heavy gears, equipments such as helmets, thigh pads, Cricket bat, Cricket ball, a good turf wicket, etc. In order to have all these facilities, one urgent and important thing needed was Finance. Arif knew that his family might not support him with the finance. So he had to opt for other better options.

He started collecting funds from people he knew were capable enough. He requested his relatives, friends to contribute as much as they can by which he could buy a cricket bat and a ball. He started selling news papers. Although the profit earned was not large enough to buy at least a cricket ball. So, he had to continue selling News paper for at least 3 months, in order to gather some money. The best he could do was asking money from the people he knew in his circle. And sooner he realized that people used to run away when they saw Arif coming to them. There were no turf wickets then. Arif and his friends used to spread a plastic on the pitch because that made the ball skid and prepare batsman better for the game. He used to involve everyone from his village to watch cricket and that slowly lead to promotion of this game in Bhadohi. Arif recalls the tough times he had faced while pursuing his love for cricket. But these tough times did make his strong both physically and mentally.

Pin It