Enthusiasm rides high in Hungary

Tue, Jun 24, 2008 4:16 PM

10 Hungarian based cricketer's, and 2 from the Czech Republic, spent two intensive days on an "ICC Introduction to Cricket" course at the University in Budapest. ICC Europe coach Tim Dellor travelled to Hungary to lead the course.

The moment the BA stewardess came dancing down the aisle of the plane waving a bent spoon in the air, there was a feeling magic was in the air. Infamous "spoon-bender" Uri Geller was travelling on the same London to Budapest flight.

The weekend's training got underway bright and early on Saturday, at the University, where the group had access to an old fashioned gymnasium, an outdoor hard-court, and state of the art classroom. The cricketers were an interesting mix, with hugely contrasting backgrounds. Several Hungarians had rarely seen cricket played, while some of the English ex-pats in the group had extensive experience.

For two days they were exposed to numerous, batting, bowling and fielding drills, as well as a guide to scoring and umpiring the game. They showed a great enthusiasm for the finer technical details. Andras Hudeth, who works at the University and had organised the facility, provided the comedy moment of the weekend with his ferociously struck pull shot sending the ball flying through a window. Otherwise no long term damage was done.

The ICC Europe coach, Tim Dellor, was worked tirelessly, to the point he had no time to play tourist. In a bid to see the best of Budapest he jogged around the city during a lunch break, soon finding himself caught up amongst thousands of other joggers with numbers pinned to their shirts. Usually big city half-marathons are better signposted!

Hungarian cricket is only in its infancy, with two hundred registered players competing on football grounds in a mini league. Sweltering heat makes sport of any kind difficult in the height of summer, but if the enthusiasm of this group is anything to go by the sport most certainly has a future in this part of Eastern Europe.

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