On the 30th of August – in an away match – the Netherlands based eccentric and intrepid Fellowship of Fairly Odd Places CC (FFOP) beat a Madeira island team.
FFOP scored 296 in a 40-over match, while the specially-arranged Madeira XI (self-styled the Duke of Clarence XI) scored 276 all out, with local Madeira wine maker Chris Blandy scoring a solid 118.
The match was played in the national stadium, home of Club Sportivo Maritimo, under the watchful eyes of a decent number of both Commonwealth as well as Dutch ex-pat spectators, and under in (to be expected) perfect weather conditions the glorious match ensued.
The early 19th century saw some cricket in the island, as British naval personnel – based in the capital Fuchal – regularly sought exercise while occupying the island for the Realm. Rumour has it that 1926 was in fact the last time a match was ever played.
So now cricket has officially returned to the island.
Initiated by FFOP, the Holy Trinity Church in Funchal and Madeira Team co-ordinators David and Pip Atkinson turned out to be instrumental in organising the grand event, which also supported the local food bank and was sponsored by the local Blandy's Madeira winery.
FFOP has previously played the Vatican, Iceland and Andorra, and will keep on doing their cricket missionary work in years to come.
The Duke of Clarence XI has stated they will most certainly stay active as a team and are open to offers from any touring team willing to pop over.
For more information on FFOP please email [email protected]
© Cricket World 2013