Cultural boundaries

The Good Men of Manila Cricket Club was founded in 1992 by a group of single expatriate men in the Philippines. It has since turned into a global affair, hosted its own version of the World Cup and even made an appearance in cricketing journal, Wisden. Jo Wadham reports in the National:

There is something quintessentially English about the scene at the Bank of England Sports Club in London on this July day: 22 men dressed in their whites, an immaculate green grass pitch, under a blue sky dotted with white clouds, accompanied by the sound of leather on willow. But this is far from a traditional English cricket team. The team have not played together for 12 months; the members have travelled from places as disparate as Almaty, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Delhi, Singapore and the UAE, just to play here today. These are the Good Men of Manila.

It may sound like the title of a Graham Greene novel, but the story of the Good Men of Manila is one of cricket, friendship and the ties that bind, particularly among expatriates. It is about cricket as a leveller, crossing class and cultural boundaries.

Watching the players are their ever-supportive and tolerant families, the varied nationalities of the wives reflecting the nomadic lifestyles the men have led and some continue to lead. Children run about as their mothers, from the Philippines, Russia, the UK, France, Australia and India, catch up on family news. Players waiting to bat watch anxiously wearing the team’s green and white striped jackets and caps. More:

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