Home » Japan Cricket Blast at the 2020 Akishima Mayors Cup

Japan Cricket Blast at the 2020 Akishima Mayors Cup

In 2020, I had my first chance to photograph a cricket tournament in Tokyo, the Akishima Mayor’s Cup.  It was a great event that got youngsters at a multi-cultural sporting event.  My camera caught a lot of bat against ball action. 

crossbat shot at Japan Cricket Blast in Akishima

The competition was a part of the Cricket Blast series.  That is an entry-level program run by the Japan Cricket Association for children.  The JCA hopes to grab their interest while they are young to increase the game’s popularity.  

Japanese boy bowls cricket ball

Many people complain that cricket is slow and the rules complicated.  I’m a cricket fan, so I have never understood that sentiment, but the JCA does.  They have relaxed things to make the game easier and faster.  It’s a good idea, especially for countries where the game isn’t in the public conscious. 

Japan Cricket Blast series rules

  • In the case of wides, batters get a free hit.
  • There are no leg before wicket (LBW) dismissals.
  • Balls are of soft plastic.
  • There are six players per team.
kid batter takes cricket guard

There were four teams for the day.  Players were from Bangladesh, England, India, and Japan.  The kids were from seven to twelve.  They were very competitive.

girl plays cricket cut shot_

Some of the teams came long distances to play.  One was from Edogawa Ward.  That is on the extreme east side of Tokyo!  That was about fifty kilometers away.  These kids were keen to play.

Japan Cricket Blast 2020 in Akishima city

As the teams were very young, they lacked some skills, which was understandable.  But, their enthusiasm for the game was boundless.  Everyone put in a massive effort.  Dropped catches were never a problem!  They took them in their stride.

girl gets bowled at Japan Cricket Blast

The eventual winner was the Akishima Junior Club.  They played very consistently.  Their trophy was well-deserved at the end of the day.

backfoot drive at Japan Cricket Blast

It was an enjoyable afternoon.  Cricket fans were delighted to see the game played locally in Japan.  We can only hope it continues to grow. 

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After the games had finished, I again wondered how successful cricket might be in Japan.  It has an uphill battle.  Games like baseball and soccer are way more entrenched.  If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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  1. Pingback: Japanese Cricket at Suginami Festa in Tokyo - Tokyo in Pics

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