Local Cricket: Beduin youngsters join in cricket festival

Almost 100 children from around the country aged six and over descended on Hadar Yosef Sports Stadium in Tel Aviv on Tuesday as the Israel Cricket Association launched its revamped development program. The children included 30 Beduin youngsters from the town of Hura in the Negev who had begun playing the game of cricket and were making their first trip to Tel Aviv. The program is spearheaded by Herschel Gutman, who recently arrived in Israel to take up his position as national coach and development officer. "The idea behind the day was to get as many youngsters who may have an interest in cricket involved, and now getting chugim and clubs started up in their areas so within a couple of months we have cricket established in as many cities and towns as possible," said Gutman. Introduced to cricket by the ICA in partnership with UK charity Cricket4Change last month and smartly kitted out in their royal blue Hura Cricket Club shirts, the young Beduins, were unfamiliar with the finer points of the game, but nevertheless showed terrific enthusiasm and really enjoyed their day out. Plans are underway to include some of the most promising Beduin children in weekly practice sessions for the best U-13 players in the country.