|If you are interested in bringing a team to enjoy cricket in paradise, by all means contact any one of our club officers on the "Contacts" page to start planning your team's Hawaii Tour. If
you are just visiting Honolulu, check out our "Calendar" page for up-coming matches and come join us for an afternoon of good cricket and great company.
|HCC during the 1980's
|NSW Police (Australia) and HCC June 2008
|Hawaii cricket during the 1950's was dominated by two Big Island clubs, Hilo CC and Pepe'ekeo CC
|The 1960's saw the rebirth of the Honolulu CC, playing at Kahala Park and Punahou School
|In 1970 the Honolulu CC moved to its current home, Kapiolani Park in Waikiki
|The 1962 HCC
Cap and Tie
|Honolulu Magazine from November 2008
|Honolulu Magazine from May 2011
|Hana Hou Magazine from February/March 2008
|Maui News from June 2008
|Star Advertiser from October 2010
|HCC Member Jack Sullivan in 1962
|HCC Member Don Huff in late 1960's
|Putting a new spin on a tradition-rich sport
By Michael Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer
Photos by ANDREW SHIMABUKU | The Honolulu Advertiser
Raghu Srinivasan, left, and James Le Marchant Lawrence of the Spitting Cobras, pass each
other en route to scoring a run during a match.
HAWAI'I PREMIER LEAGUE
WHAT: A cricket league, featuring 20/20 cricket, a variation of the sport where matches last about
WHERE: Kapi'olani Park
WHO: There are three teams in the league —The Spitting Cobras, the Terminators and the Master
WHEN: Sunday, 10 a.m.: Spitting Cobras vs. Terminators; 1:30 p.m.: Terminators vs. Master Batters.
Nov. 16, 10 a.m.: Spitting Cobras vs. Master Batters; 1:30 p.m.: Terminators vs. Spitting Cobras. Nov.
23: noon: Championship match; 3 p.m.: Championship celebration
WHAT IS CRICKET?
A cricket match is contested by two teams, usually 11 players each, and is played on a grass field
with a flat strip of ground in the middle about 22 yards long called a pitch.
A wicket, usually made of wood, is placed at each end of the pitch and used as a target.
The bowler, a player from the fielding team, bowls a hard leather, fist-sized cricket ball from the
vicinity of one wicket toward the other, which is guarded by the batsman, an opposing player.
The batsman defends his wicket with a wooden cricket bat. Other members of the bowler's team stand
in various positions around the field in an effort to stop the batsman from scoring runs or to get him or
her out. The batsman runs between the wickets, exchanging ends with a second batsman, who has
been stationed at the other end of the pitch. Each completed exchange scores a run.
Humankind's eternal fascination with speed is, perhaps, as understandable as it is well-documented.
Regardless of milieu, each milestone of achievement — be it the 4-minute mile, the 3:45 flight from
Paris to New York, or the 5-minute search for parking at Costco — forces us to reconsider our
presumed limits in time and space.
Yet, despite the steady march of technological progress and human evolution, there are some
achievements, spontaneous in their appearance, that seem a quantum leap beyond reason.
Take for example the preternatural happenings at Kapi'olani Park this month.
Just last week, the fine men of the Hawai'i Premier League accomplished what many casual sports
fans had assumed impossible: two complete cricket matches in a single afternoon.
It was, to American eyes at least, an accomplishment on the scale of a cinderblock beating Michael
Phelps to the wall in a 100-meter freestyle sprint.
The inspired madness continues this Sunday as the league's inaugural 20/20 cricket tournament
resumes with another pair of games featuring top cricket players from O'ahu and Maui.
"It's a nice way to draw more interest from the community and to inject some excitement into the sport
in Hawai'i," said organizer Mark Berwick, a Punahou graduate who played cricket in San Francisco
Batsman James Le Marchant Lawrence positions a wooden bail atop the stumps to form the
wicket at Kapi'olani Park.
The draw, of course, is the state's first look at 20/20 cricket, an accelerated, high-intensity variation of
the traditional English sport that has rocked the established order with its broad appeal and money-
Whereas the highest form of the sport, test cricket, may take five days to complete, a full game of
20/20 cricket can be played in about three hours, roughly the duration as a game of baseball or
The basic difference is in the number of innings and "overs" (deliveries of six consecutive balls by a
single pitcher). Test cricket games are composed of two innings and there is no limit on the number of
overs. In 20/20 cricket, teams each have one innings (yes, with an "s") with a maximum of 20 overs.
Shortened versions of traditional cricket, called limited overs, have been around since the 1970s, but
even these take between five and eight hours to complete.
The first official 20/20 game was played on June 13, 2003 as part of the Twenty20 Cup in England.
Despite objections from purists who felt the traditions and rich strategic complexity of the sport were
being compromised — "It was seen as butchering the game," Berwick said — 20/20 has proved highly
attractive to players, marketers and promoters.
"It's a faster, more aggressive game," said Berwick, who scored 57 runs in the Spitting Cobras' 152-
123 win over the Master Batters last week. "There is no time to Mickey Mouse around.
"Because the game is shorter, there is more opportunity to take the game global, particularly in
Canada and the United States," he said. "It's equivalent to a baseball game, but with a lot more
For local cricketeer Owen O'Callaghan, the tighter format of 20/20 has advantages on and off the
"It's more aggressive and more exciting," O'Callaghan said. "In normal cricket, you have more time to
pick and choose your pitches. You can avoid a stronger pitcher. With 20/20, you really have to get up
and go for it because you're under pressure to score runs. It livens the game up."
O'Callaghan said the shorter games are also easier to accommodate for players with busy schedules.
"For married guys, it can be difficult to get a whole Sunday to play," he said.
O'Callaghan was born in Ireland and raised in Canada. He picked up the sport during a stint in
Jamaica in the 1970s and '80s. He said 20/20 has a good chance of attracting new fans outside
traditional cricket-playing nations.
"North Americans like exciting, fast-paced sports rather than sports that involve more strategizing," he
said. "In that sense, 20/20 is more appealing."
While cricket has enjoyed steady if not overwhelming success in the United States, 20/20 has opened
new doors for high-level players — most from the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, India, the West Indies
and Jamaica — who travel from state to state for increasingly prosperous opportunities to compete.
The buzz within international cricket circles this month is the $20 million, winners-take-all tournament
between England and a team of Caribbean all-stars sponsored by Sir Allen Stanford.
"The sport has a big, big future," said Berwick, who works as a trade officer for the Australian
Consulate in Honolulu.
In particular, Berwick said, 20/20 has the potential to grow into a solid contributor to the local
economy. The Hawai'i Premier League plans to offer 20/20 tournaments twice a year and organizers
hope to stage a 16-team tournament in 2010 with participants from South East Asia, Australia, New
Zealand and India.
The league has been in contact with the Hawai'i Tourism Authority to plan the tournament for May
"May is a dead month for tourism and HTA wanted something like a commonwealth sporting event to
promote inbound traffic from nontraditional areas like India, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, and New
Zealand," Berwick said.
In Hawai'i, most cricket activity has traditionally centered on the 115-year-old Honolulu Cricket Club,
which lays claim to being the oldest sporting club in the Pacific. The club's current membership
reflects the international reach of the sport, with recreational athletes hailing from India, England, the
West Indies, Australia, New Zealand and Tonga, as well as few from Hawai'i.
"We've seen a lot of ups and downs over the years," said Bishnu Ramsarran, the longest standing
member of the organization. "20/20 is exciting and new and it's attractive enough to get people
excited about the sport. It changes the pace, and it changes the mentality you have in hitting and
fielding. We've seen a lot of enthusiasm, especially from new players. Locally, it's attracting a lot of
new players and older players are excited to be able to do something a little different."
Reach Michael Tsai at email@example.com.
|Bowlers, batsmen find their game in Hawai'i
By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer
Batter Bishnu Ramsarran and wicketkeeper Owen O'Callaghan keep their eyes on the ball during play at
It's the not-quite-like baseball game where everyone wears white and the pitcher throws the ball without bending
Wildly popular overseas, cricket has had a presence in Hawai'i with the Honolulu Cricket Club since the late
The league starts up next month, and meets most Sunday afternoons at Kapi'olani Park.
"I just love the sport; it definitely teaches you about patience and endurance," said member Ambrish Shahi, 26,
a native of India living in Honolulu.
Club members, numbering about 40, represent the countries where cricket is popular, including Australia,
Bangladesh, Barbados, Canada, England, Fiji, Ghana, India, Jamaica, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri
Lanka, and the United Arab Emirates.
The club also travels to play other clubs, as it did this past weekend in a trip to San Francisco.
Australian import Rick Pike, who first moved to Hawai'i in 1995, was riding his motorcycle past Kapi'olani Park
when he saw a group of men dressed in white — traditional garb for cricket.
"I did a double take," he said. "I was really excited. I nearly fell off my bike. I saw these guys in white. It took a
second to register. I couldn't get over there fast enough."
Established in 1893, the club is one of the oldest sporting organizations in the Pacific. Its home has been at
Kapi'olani Park since the mid-'60s.
Pike, 40, a cameraman for KGMB9, grew up playing cricket, similarly to the way "kids in America play baseball
and it just becomes a part of the culture," he said.
You didn't need to grow up loving it to embrace it.
Hawai'i native Mark Berwick traveled to England for a vacation when he was 10, where he saw a cricket game on
TV. It piqued his curiosity, but when he returned to the States, he didn't see it again until he was in San
Francisco in his early 20s.
"I was like, 'That's that sport I've always wanted to try,' " he said of watching a group of cricket players.
Berwick, 38, grew up playing baseball, but said it is as similar to cricket as checkers is to chess.
"(Baseball) is a more simplistic game; there's a lot more strategy in cricket," said Berwick, the club's president.
"There's a lot more strategy, period. It's a mentally challenging sport. Not to mention, you're standing out there
for six hours. That can be mentally draining."
The bat-and-ball game is most similar to baseball, but the rules are vastly different, according to MSN Encarta
"It's really something you have to put in a video tape or show on a diagram to explain," Pike said. "The best
thing is to come down (to Kapi'olani Park) and have a look."
A very basic terms, one player, the bowler (similar to a baseball pitcher), throws to the batter.
All similarities to baseball end there. There is no foul territory, no balls or strikes, and the batter doesn't have to
run after hitting the ball.
Instead of throwing the ball only in the air, the bowler can bounce the ball off the ground, using different angles
and speeds to throw off the batter.
"It's a lot of hand-eye coordination," Pike said.
Several key terms in cricket include the pitch, a manicured strip of grass where most of the action is. At the end
of each pitch are three wooded poles called stumps, collectively known as a wicket. In grooves on the stumps
are two small pieces of wood called bails. Four feet in front of and parallel to the wicket is a line called a popping
The batter has a partner standing at the opposite wicket with a bat. If the batter hits the ball and decides to run,
then both batter and partner run to the opposite popping crease, scoring a point each time they cross it. They
can score numerous points by switching sides.
The fielding team can get the batter out one of four ways: the bowler can throw the ball past the batter, hit the
wicket and knock off at least one bail (bowled); the batter blocks the ball from hitting the wicket with his body,
called leg before wicket (LBW); the batter hit the ball and any fielder catches it on the fly (caught); and a fielder
can get the ball while the batters are running, throw it, hit the wicket, and knock off at least one bail before the
batter crosses the popping crease (run out).
The only player on the pitch with a glove is the wicket-keeper, or catcher, in cricket. Line drives, pop-ups, and
ground balls must all be handled bare-handed, and the ball "is a little harder than a baseball," Berwick said.
Instead of set positions defensively, the players fielding the ball can shift according to the batter's offensive
"Cricketers don't get pigeonholed into a certain position, like center field," Berwick said. "You're always being
moved around. There are positions shifts all the time. They can put two people on one side of the field, and
eight on the other."
Expanding upon the differences in cricket and baseball, Berkwick said even batting options are different.
"In baseball, you swing for contact or swing for power, and you occasionally bunt or hit the other way. In cricket,
there are 12 different shots."
Berwick thinks cricket isn't picking up in America because it is a tough spectator sport, and hard to play on a
"Cricket is a little handicapped; the batting wicket needs to be really flat and true. You can't just go to a football
field or soccer ground. Cricket requires a specific facility."
Plus, it is a long game, sometimes taking up to eight hours.
"You have to be athletic," Shahi said. "It doesn't seem like a sport you have to run too much. But imagine
standing there for five hours. You are constantly moving. Before the pitcher pitches, he has a run-up, and the
fielders are moving as well."
Before the game the team captains decide how many pitches will be bowled. The Honolulu Cricket Club usually
chooses 240 per team; professional leagues usually bowl about 300 pitches.
The object is to score as many runs as you can in your allotment of pitches. One team bats until its pitches are
used or 10 batsmen are out.
For more information, go to http://home.hawaii.rr.com/cricket/hcc.htm or e-mail hawaii firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach Leila Wai at email@example.com.
• • •
|Honolulu Cricket Club Promotional Video
|Video courtesy of Henry Mochida - Camera / Editor and Misa Tupou - Concept Director
|Tee-shirt designed to commerate the visit to Hawaii by a strong
Australian cricket teaming representing Queensland.