Young Serbians embrace English village cricket

Thursday 12th July 2018 9:33 am
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Coach Bogdan Dugic with his young Serbian charges at The Oval. (photo courtesy of Peter Cheeseman)

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FIVE young Serbian cricketers enjoyed a cricketing weekend with Elstead Cricket Club and the visit proved a resounding success.

Vukasin Zimonjic, aged 13, Nemanja Zimonjic, 15, Matija Sarenac, 14, Mihailo Vucetic, 15, and Jovan Reb, 16, were accompanied by their coach, Bogdan Dugic.

The tourists were an instant hit with both their hosts and the cricketers they met when they took part in an I’Anson match at Fernhurst on Saturday.

Thanks to the hospitality of Fernhurst CC, they were also able to experience the fabled English cricket tea.

Elstead CC member Peter Cheeseman, who became involved in Serbian cricket while working in the country, organised the visit. He said: “The Serbians were enthusiastic, engaged, warm and friendly, very fine representatives of the Serbian Cricket Federation. Bogdan must have shaken a thousand hands.”

The Serbians were straight out onto the cricket field after arriving at Elstead, playing an impromptu game with the club’s juniors.

On Friday, they had a walking tour of London, enjoying the sights and sounds of the city, before visiting The Oval where they saw Surrey snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the Vitality Blast T20 match against Kent.

On Saturday, there was coaching at Elstead with Marc Bird, followed by the game at Fernhurst – village cricket at its best.

Fernhurst opener Mark Charman even arranged studded boots for Bogdan who, given the chance to open the bowling, couldn’t get a grip with his trainers.

Back at Elstead, the club laid on a barbecue, after which another informal game was played until dark, involving local youngsters and the enthusiastic Serbians.

On Sunday, there was an inter-club T20 at Elstead, with ages ranging from eight to 50-plus. The Serbians left for home in the afternoon. It had been a weekend to remember.

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