Ice Cricket 2018 tournament ended recently at Lake St. Moritz Switzerland. The tournament has decades long history, being played since 1899 in the country. However, the reason it made headlines this season is because of the star players in international cricket who participated for the maiden occasion in the tournament. The series comprised of T20 matches played over two days on February 8 and 9.
Two teams played the tournament with several high-profile ex-international cricketers. The teams were named as Team Royals and Badrutt’s Palace Diamonds. Royals comprised of players like Jacques Kallis, Graeme Smith, Daniel Vettori, Shahid Afridi, Shoaid Akhtar and others. While, Palace Diamonds had Virender Sehwag, Mohammed Kaif, Zaheer Khan, Lasith Malinga, Ajit Agarkar, Andrew Symonds, Tillakaratne Dilshan and so on. It was the first time these top cricketers played the game on ice in an official tournament.
The rules of the game are all similar to general cricket. The only difference is the venue and the icy outfield. In the game, the wicket was made of an artificial carpet. The venue was in fact, the frozen lake of St. Moritz with icy surface. As the tournament ended on a successful note, with adequate media attention, now the promoters of the game are eyeing to transform it as a yearly event.
Vijay Singh, a promoter of the game said the response was “phenomenal”. Singh, the NRI from Switzerland, make his intension clear saying their aim is to make it an annual event. Another promoter Akhilesh Bahuguna talked about the influence of star players of the tournament, which was the key factor for its success. Expressing his gratitude towards cricketer Virender Sehwag, he said the player agreed immediately to the proposal. The St. Moritz Ice Cricket tournament was promoted by Akhilesh Bahuguna and Vijay Singh.
Cricketers are also enthusiastic about the prospects of the tournament. Pakistan Cricketer Shahid Afridi spoke about the technicalities of the game saying the ball needs to be touched lightly compared to general cricket. The player was on headlines after the series for his good will gesture towards Indian flag while interacting with a fan. Graeme Smith, former South Africa captain said that it was the most beautiful setting he has ever played a cricket match so far. While Jacques Kallis, the South African player said bowling and batting are both difficult in the condition.