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May 08

Heligoland Pilgrims are visiting Grantchester…

… on May 20th for a game of cricket against GCC’s finest at Spring Lane.

I must confess I had to look up where Heligoland is and am confused as to how one might actually get there (as is Google apparently). I was also some what alarmed to read about the island’s fortunately-not-so-recent history. However we are delighted to be welcoming the Heligoland Pilgrims in their rather splendid blazers (and caps) on their first international ..errr.. pilgrimage and they were kind enough to send us the following description of their team…

Are Heligoland Pilgrims Germany’s most exclusive cricket club? They are domiciled on a remote island in the north sea where playing cricket seems hardly possible. They have a unique sponsorship deal with the Bavarian ERDINGER brewery. And they have a reputation for cricket madness.

On their first tour to the motherland of cricket the Pilgrims will send players of mixed strength, sex and nationality, ranging from several ageing German beginners vying for the no. 11 slot, via a couple of university and village club cricketers from England and South Africa, to individual league players from England, Australia and Pakistan – only their Indian international will sadly miss the journey. The team will be led by a naturalised German physicist who was born and educated in Wisbech but had to leave the country prior to Brexit.

Most players are capable of blocking out, depending on the type of bowling, but when it comes to scoring they excel more with the pencil. Some also heave and have scored 50’s at village level so are capable of staying around for a while. Almost none of them have ever played on proper turf wickets and may thus be completely bamboozled by real seam bowling.

As regards the bowling, there are swingers, seamers, donkey droppers and several buffet bowlers on the team – the latter offering a bit of everything with a wide as their stock ball. What unites the peculiar bunch, however, is their unmitigated love of the game and their conviction that you should never run dry, regardless of the innings, the opponent or your position in the field.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Max Minor, HPCC cricket correspondent

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