World first for Backyard Cricket tournament

By Eru Paranihi

The world's first live streamed Backyard Cricket event got underway this weekend in Auckland, with organisers hoping to expand the Backyard Bash competition. Our sports reporter Eru Paranihi went along to check out the action.

Backyard Cricket is a favourite pastime of New Zealand, and today it entered unchartered waters.

“We've taken it a little bit further this time, and we've got Flametree Media involved. This is going to be the first event streamed live on Facebook with commentary,” says Backyard Bash Organiser Logan. 

The competition started off with four tournaments in four different regions including the Hawkes Bay and Palmerston North. In 2019, that number is set to grow to 12 regions.

“A few players have said to me, are there going to be any player agents here today?” says Stranger.

Hoobajoobz player Tamati Kemp (Ngāti Tūwharetoa) says, “I've grown up with it, so it's kind of the quintessential part of summer.”

There are different variations of Cricket like T20, One Day International, and Tests. However, this version has different rules which include getting out if the ball is hit over the fence on the full.

“One of the big ones is the old 'one hand one bounce' rule. If the ball bounces once, you can catch it with one hand. There's no running involved in this one, it's just scoring zones,” says Strange.

With games lasting around 20 minutes, it's no wonder why many of these players have taken a liking to Backyard Cricket.

Says Kemp, “Well look around! There are a few walks of life. It doesn't matter what, or when you play it, it's about getting out there and having a go.”

“I just think it's the casual nature. Everyone's here to have a good time. We're able to have a BBQ, and have a few beers, and play in jandals, we can play in bare feet,” says Strange. 

Organisers have more tournaments planned for Palmerston North, Napier and Auckland. 

***For more information, you can head to their Facebook page Backyardbashnz