Three Audlem cricketers have helped a south Cheshire team win a European 'cricket on ice' competition in Estonia. Their victory included beating the Estonian national team as they powered their way to victory in the prestigious competition.
Audlem's Simon Banks, Steve Swallow and James Siddorns, along with others from Crewe and Middlewich, formed a team called the Village Idiots and flew out to Estonia to take part. They were clearly no cricketing idiots as they became champions of the fifth Bulmers Original Born For Ice Cricket Tournament.
Captain of the team, Simon said: "I had a great time, it was fantastic. I would certainly recommend the weekend to anyone. It certainly brought new meaning to fielding in the slips."
The competition was played on the frozen Lake Harku, a few minutes from the medieval city of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. The Village Idiots beat teams including Woods CC from Surrey and the Estonian national team on the way to the final before overcoming Ossett CC from Yorkshire in the decider.
The competition came about because many of the cricketers in Estonia were unable to find indoor facilities to practice during the harsh winter months in the Baltic state which is across the water from Finland. Jason Berry, the inventor of the ice format, said: "It has become popular with all standards of cricketers simply due to the fact that no matter how good you are, the ice is always the winner."
Rumours that the new European champions are on stand-by for flights to the Caribbean to represent England in the World Cup cricket are being played down by both Audlem and the England selectors.
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