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An international ice cricket tournament has been played on Lake St. Moritz since 1988 and now in Estonia every year since 2004. The invention of the Estonian version is credited to Barry Jason, a British ex-pat and former Estonian cricket president who was determined to increase the visibility of Estonian cricket throughout the year.
The summer game of cricket is applied to some of the harshest, most wintry conditions. The difference between Ice Cricket and other forms of cricket played in the winter is that Ice Cricket is played directly on the ice, no mat is laid down. The results are a little more unpredictable and provide more fun and variety.
The ball is the same as an indoor cricket ball, a composite plastic red ball which makes it relatively easy to find if it gets hit into a snowdrift.
The Ice Cricket World Championship is held annually in the Estonian city of Tallinn. With winter temperatures of minus 10 to minus 25, the tournaments are played on Harku boating lake, which freezes over rapidly in early January.
The rules for Ice Cricket are similar to six-a-side rules:
Wides count as two extra runs with no extra ball, with leniency given to the bowler as he finds it tough standing up most of the time.
Each team must bowl six overs which means everyone gets a go.
The competition itself depends on the number of teams taking part but the usual format is a Round Robin tournament with top teams progressing to semis and finals.
Teams can have a maximum of 10 players and a minimum of 6.
Also, the boundaries are either snow-banks or are patrolled by officials on ice skates, if you strike a skater an extra 6 runs is added to your score.
- 'Slogging The Slavs: A Paranormal Cricket Tour from the Baltic to the Bosphorus', by Angus Bell
- BBC News