to further integrate cricket into Finlands sport from love520's blog

MOENCHENGLADBACH, Germany -- Barcelona overcame the absence of Lionel Messi to come from behind and beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-1 in the Champions League on WednesdayGerard Piquet stabbed home the winner in the 74th minute after a corner from Neymar was met with a volleyed by Luis Suarez. NFL Jerseys Cheap Authentic . Moenchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer spilled the shot and the Barcelona defender hustled in to nod it home.We waited for a corner and it was a long time coming, but we got it and we scored, Barcelona coach Luis Enrique said of the set piece.Neymar created Barcelonas equalizer with a through ball for substitute Arda Turan, who drilled it into the roof of the net in the 65th, five minutes after coming on for Ivan Rakitic.Moenchengladbach could not hold on after taking the lead in the 34th. Mahmoud Dahoud and Raffael combined to put Sergio Busquets under pressure and win the ball. Raffael carried it forward and then fed Dahoud on the left. His perfectly timed pass allowed Thorgan Hazard to slot home from close range.Without Messi, Barcelonas attack lacked its usual bite until the middle of the second half. His replacement, Paco Alcacer, making his Champions League debut, made little impact. Messi, the second most prolific Champions League scorer after Real Madrids Cristian Ronaldo, is nursing a groin injury.Neymar was closely marked, often by two or three Moenchengladbach players. But the Brazilian got more space in the second half and used it well.Suarez lacked support, but provided the main threat, firing high in the first real chance in the 11th.Suarez might have done better later in the first half had he taken a shot, instead of squaring the ball to Alcacer. Julian Korb made a great sliding tackle to deny the Barcelona forward an effort on goal from close range.Following an opening 7-0 drubbing of Celtic, Barcelona now has six points in Group C. Moenchengladbach has no points after also losing the opener 4-0 to Manchester City. City and Celtic drew 3-3 in Wednesdays match in the group.We want to win the group, Enrique said. We deserved to win. I am very pleased with the performance because this team (Moenchengladbach) makes a lot of pressure all over the field. We didnt create as many chances in the second half but we had more possession.We proved that we can reach our goals by using all players -- the starters and the bench, Enrique said.Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen got a warm reception from his former home fans, having previously played for Moenchengladbach.It was Barcelonas second win in their last seven matches in Germany. Moenchengladbach had been unbeaten at home in 11 straight matches in all competitions.We did great to go 1-0 up, but Barcelona has so much quality, you have to stay concentrated for the whole 90 minutes. If you dont, they take full advantage, said Moenchengladbach winger Patrick Herrmann, a second-half substitute. It was close, but not the result we wanted.Moenchengladbach coach Andre Schubert, who extended his contract until 2019 on Tuesday, said his team had played with courage and determination.But when you see how much class they have, we cant be too shaken. We did very well and strangely enough we even had more lapses in the first half, Schubert said. We did just about as much as we could. We were even in long spells. Id do nothing differently tomorrow. China Jerseys . Duchene scored two goals and had an assist, helping the Colorado Avalanche beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2 on Friday night to match the best 10-game start in team history. Cheap China Jerseys . One game after a miserable showing in Oklahoma City, Gay tied a career high with 41 points and the Sacramento Kings cruised to a 114-97 victory at the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night. http://www.chinanfljerseyscheaponline.com/ . Inter president Erick Thohir says in a club statement on Wednesday that Vidic is "one of the worlds best defenders and his qualities, international pedigree, and charisma will be an asset. At first, the 18th-century fortress island of Suomenlinna, just off the coast of Helsinki, Finland, seems an unlikely location for a cricket match. Certainly, the tourists are baffled, as they look down upon us from the grass-covered battlements above. So too do the army cadets doing laps of our makeshift ground. However, it was the presence of fortifications such as Suomenlinna that first brought Finland to the attention of the British navy. And where the navy went, cricket came too.I moved to Finland in 2014, and found, to my surprise, that cricket was thriving. Most cricketers here come originally from India or Pakistan but there are players from every Test-playing nation, as well as from many others, including Switzerland, Germany, Afghanistan, Nepal, and, of course, Finland. Empire Cricket Club, who Ive been playing for regularly, contains an especially diverse mix. Members include students and software developers, researchers and scientists, a restaurateur, a theatre producer, and a former Navy commander with a passion for contemporary dance.Recently, Nicholas Hogg wrote beautifully about how cricket can provide a home for the homeless, a new family for refugees. That is certainly true in Finland. One player here - who asked not to be named - left his native Pakistan due to death threats following his campaigns for womens rights. After 20 days in Russia and three months in a refugee camp, he is once again relishing the chance to bowl fast and drill near yorkers over long-on. I was not aware there was such a great cricket community here, he told me. Ive been able to meet people from so many different cultures.The game does more than just the game, explains Jo Hadley, chairman of Empire CC. It was this that first drew Hadley, a retired UK policeman, to cricket. He had never been interested in any sport until moving to Finland in 2002 to complete a doctorate in sociology. He is now one of those selflessly dedicated figures at the heart of so many small cricket clubs. Somewhere in a Finnish suburb are these people dressed in white playing a quintessentially English game, he says. I was attracted to that poetry.Hadley contrasts cricket to the example of pes?pallo, a Finnish version of baseball invented by eugenics-championing fascist Lauri Pihkala, and promoted from above after the rights victory in Finlands 1918 civil war. Crickets growth, by contrast, has been an organic one fuelled by immigration - a journey from the periphery towards the centre. I see cricket as the sporting expression of multicultural Finland, says Hadley.But both pes?pallo and cricket have been encouraged by the military at various times. The Suomenlinna match, known as the Viapori Cup, is a legacy of a time when a few cricket-mad Finnish naval officers organised cricket games to build team spirit among cadets. Contested since the early 2000s, the Viapori Cup is now a very relaxed affair.Much of the cricket played here is far more competitive. Credit for its organisation should go to the Finnish Cricket Association (FCA), founded by Andrew Armitage in 1999 and approved by the ICC the following year. I wanted to see cricket here develop into something more than just the occasional match, says Armitage, a former banker who moved here with his Finnish wife in 1988. I wanted us to get better organised - it was something I was passionate about.The FCA has certainly succeeded. Today, there are 30 registered clubs, mostly in the south of the country, and around 600 licenced players. Cricket here is sponsored by Hardys Wine (just like the England cricket team) and the FCA has kit deals with MKK-Newbery. In the summer, there are leagues for both 40-over cricket and Twenty20. In Finlands long, dark winters, cricket moves indoors. Outside of the FCA structure, there are popular tape-ball leagues as well as one-off games like the Viapori Cup or Cinders - an annual two-innings contest between Empire and Stadin Krikettikerho (SKK).The FCAs major triumph has been the opening of a new purpose-built cricket ground in Kerava, 25 minutes north of Helsinki. The ground was officially opened in June 2014, in the presence of Mike Brearley, Lord Mervyn King, and various Finnish dignitaries. Given that most matches in Finland are played on gravel outfields (many of Finlands sports grounds are converted into ice rinks come winter), playing on the grass at Kerava feels like a serious luxury. This summer, the ground played host to the first Nordic-Baltic tournament between Finland, Sweden and Estonia.But how did cricket get here in the first place? In 2015, Wisdens short overview of cricket in Finland includes no mention of anything before 1952, when a visiting team from the Agincourt, a Royal Navy destroyer, decided that a spot of cricket at Helsinkis new stadium woulld be a perfect way to mark the Olympic Games.dddddddddddd But there is evidence that cricket was played in Finland almost 100 years earlier. Tony Lurcocks delightful No Particular Hurry: British travellers in Finland 1830-1917 - the second of a three-volume compendium - contains several accounts of cricket played here as far back as the 1850s.It was during this period that Britain and France united against Russia in the Crimean War. In the UK at least, the Crimean is now best known for the charge of Light Brigade, and the Baltic theatre has been largely forgotten. Not so here. Finland had been taken from Sweden by Russia in 1809 and remained a Grand Duchy when the British navy sailed into the Baltic Sea. But with the Russian navy sheltering in their base at Kronstadt, there wasnt much fighting to be done. So when the British sailors were not raiding Finnish coastal settlements (many seemed unable to grasp the fact that Finland was not the enemy but effectively an occupied nation), they contented themselves with playing cricket on the islands. Lurcock finds examples of cricket in the writings of William Gerard Don, a ships doctor, and Rev Robert Edgar Hughes, both of whom were in the Baltic in 1854-55. Picnic and cricket parties were frequent, writes Hughes, and the lonely rocks were made to ring with the sound of French and English laughter.There is one further cricket-related oddity. In August 1854, under public pressure to be seen to be doing something, the British fleet did destroy the fortress of Bomarsund on the ?land islands between Sweden and Finland. Lurcock notes that the bombardment gave its name, rather bizarrely, to a village in Northumberland. In 1974, Bomarsund won the UKs National Village Cricket Championship.After unsuccessfully bombarding Suomenlinna (Im tempted to draw a comparison with my own, ahem, explosive legbreaks) the British fleet returned home. Thereafter, incidences of cricket matches in Finland are sporadic. Lurcock tells of Edward Rae, a wealthy London stockbroker, who organised a cricket match against an all-Lapland XI in 1873. They were all out for 0 in their second innings. But Rae was just over the border in Russia at the time.It was not until the 1960s that cricket began to be played in Finland more frequently. Matches took place between the British Embassy and a team of Finnish admen calling themselves the Kingdom of Palmerston (it was Lord Palmerston, a cabinet member during the Crimean War, who advocated the return of Finland from Russia to Sweden). Most of the stories from this period focus more on boozy journeys to Stockholm than on the cricket itself.In 1972, a group of cricketers decided to break away from the British Embassy and form the Helsinki Cricket Club, Finlands first. Their belief was that the sport would be better served in the hands of permanent residents than transient diplomats. They were right. One of their number - a Jamaican fast bowler by the name of Ira Ebanks - has become a legendary figure in Finnish cricket. He is still a regular presence at the boundary edge, groaning at yet another Empire batting collapse. Empire itself was founded in 2003 following a period of rapid expansion for cricket in Finland. The Nokia boom years of the 1990s saw the influx of a new, tech-savvy workforce, many of whom came from India and Pakistan. They brought their love of cricket with them, and clubs formed in the cities of Turku, Tampere, and Vantaa. Although Nokia collapsed in 2013 and Finlands economy remains shaky, Helsinkis tech and start-up scenes continue to provide a major draw. So does the countrys excellent education system and free university tuition (although fees for overseas students will be introduced from 2017).So what does the future hold for cricket in Finland? While the earliest cricket matches here involved the English, today the sport feels untouched by colonial traces. It is not an expat game but, as Hadley has said, a reflection of a complex multicultural experience. The FCAs aim is to further integrate cricket into Finlands sporting structures. Finns tend to like quirky things, says Maija Scamans, formerly captain of Finlands first womens cricket team, now the FCAs Operations Director. Cricket is an individual game within a team context. I think that appeals to the Finnish psyche.The FCA has been holding cricket summer camps and coaching in schools since 2004. This year, for the first time, cricket is to be a part of the curriculum for the whole school year across ten different schools in Kerava. Our aim is to become an integral part of the Finnish sporting community, says Armitage, not just a strange, marginal activity. Cheap MLB Jerseys cheap jerseys Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping cheap nfl jerseys Cheap Jerseys USA China Jerseys Cheap NFL Authentic Jerseys Cheap Jerseys For Sale Cheap NFL Jerseys China Wholesale Jerseys Cheap NBA Jerseys ' ' '

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