Seems like an unrealistic request, but if Landon Veregin gets his way the game of cricket may join the likes of soccer, tennis and slopitch as summer activities enjoyed in Nelson.
“Nelson is an active city . . .. The people here love the outdoors and finding unique ways to enjoy our amazing nature,” said Veregin, who is spearheading the drive to include the sport in the makeup of summer activities played in Nelson.
“Cricket is another chance to do that. It's also a game that can be played by five-year olds and 85-year-olds alike.”
Veregin, born and raised in Nelson and attended Mount Sentinel High School, has lived the past 15 years overseas before returning in January 2020.
For the past dozen years, he helped found and acted as president for the Nanjing Cricket Club in Nanjing, China.
“At its peak, there were over 100 active members from all over the globe,” Veregin said.
“We had three divisions including a touring team that toured all around China and even to Italy.”
“We hosted 10 consecutive "Sixes" tournaments with participating teams travelling from Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen, Wuxi, Suzhou and Sanya,” he added.
This could be the design of the new uniforms for the Nelson Cricket Club if the sport is able to find enough people wanting to play. — Submitted
Veregin, looking at the baseball and slopitch diamonds as possible locations to play, believes Nelson is a fantastic city with an excellent sports infrastructure that can include another sport, like Cricket — which, according to Touchstones Museum, was played in the Heritage City in the early 1900s.
“My goal is to get people as members of the club that will be interested in the social aspect of cricket as well organising social events, merchandise (and) youth clinics,” explained Veregin, adding there’s already approximately 60 people showing interest.
“Ideally we start the season somewhere around 100 members."
Veregin said it is essential to make cricket accessible to everyone, which means keeping club fees low or subsidised, and having options on when and where we can play.
“There will be a need for some spending early on for things such as a portable pitch, batting pads, gloves and helmets, bats, balls, wickets and a scorekeeper’s tent,” he said.
“After this initial spending, the costs of running the club should be relatively low. We will be able to determine our club fees and spending once the AGM is complete and the committee is formed."
Veregin said Nelson is growing, and becoming more diverse, which bodes well for sustaining a successful club.
“Cricket is one of the most popular games on the planet,” Veregin said.
“It just makes sense to have a club here again."
For more information on Cricket Club reach out to Veregin at the Nelson Cricket Club Facebook page.