Though the Circular Head Cricket Association fixture is still waiting on clarification before going ahead, Circular Head’s Pakistani contingent have taken it upon themselves to get back into it early, holding impromptu tapeball tournaments on the bottom ground at the Smithton Recreation Ground.
Tapeball is exactly what it sounds like - cricket, with a tennis ball, wrapped up in duct tape, and though Australian’s all over partake of the sport in the backyard during the summer, its a much more serious enterprise home in Pakistan according to Salman Khan.
“It’s a big thing over there, we have big tournaments in Pakistan,” he said.
“We have tournaments quite often for tapeball, probably more than there is for hard ball.”
With this in mind Salman sent a message to the group chat.
“We have a WhatsApp group made up of about 80 to 100 Pakis in Circular Head,” Salman explained.
“So I just sent a message… cricket Saturday?”
Before long he had messages flying in from all directions and when Saturday rolled around 20 to 25 people had rocked up for a game.
“We had enough to easily make two teams,” Salman said.
After dividing all the players up competition began, three 10 over matches in a best of three format.
Salman explained that though many of his Circular Head based Pakistani friends have a keen interest in cricket it can be hard to find the time, with most working through the weekend when the CHCA runs.
“It’s too hard, if you’re working on the farm you don’t get every weekend off and that becomes a problem,” Salman said.
That being said, evening matches, such as the Twenty20 competition in recent years are a much more attractive and accessible option, hence the formation of the Van Dairy Devils.
The players all share a keen interest in cricket but having played tapeball for most of their lives, there is plenty of adjustment that has to be made.
Salman says that news of his aggressive demeanour with bat in hand has escaped Circular Head and reached Hobart, where he has been receiving calls from team coordinators in the Multicultural Sports League.
Made up of 12 different teams, the MSL smashes out six 10 over a games a day all out of Hobart.
“I had a few people calling me because they know how I play,” Salman said.
“The tournament just started and they’re calling me every weekend, ‘Come to Hobart, play for our team!’
“I said, it’s too far to go there! But I will go,” he laughed.
He has been roped in to playing for the Pak Greens and will travel up every weekend.
“They’ve already printed a shirt for me,” he laughed.
“It’s good fun, it’s a quick match, you get results quite quickly and its sixes, fours, its action packed.”
Your local tapeball enthusiasts: Faran Hasan, Farrukh Ali, Kamran Zia, Salman Khan, Asad Ullah and Dalgeet Mann have been meeting on Saturdays to play makeshift tapeball tournaments.