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Experiences of a Dutch Journalist




Cricket, May 2002

With no knowledge of cricket, I left for the northernmost Japanese Island of Hokkaido from May 10 -12 to report about a cricket game the Sakhalin Cricket Club had to play against its Japanese counterpart in Sapporo.


Simon Jackson of the Hokkaido International Business Association had arranged a reception for the Sakhalin visitors upon arrival with lots of important people and great Japanese food.


The ladies were also invited. They were approached by travel agencies who gave them bags full of material on the resorts on Hokkaido.


What did we come for again? Well, cricket it was... Both teams managed to show up, some with a hangover after an evening out in Sapporo. Down in the middle (red, white& blue coat) the mayor of the port city Ishikari (20km from Sapporo) who put the playing ground at the disposal of the teams (normally 1000$). He hoped to promote its port with Sakhalin expats with these actions.


The mayor tossed the coin to decide what team could choose to 'bat' of 'field' first. The Sakhalin team won the toss and chose for batting.


Batting went well for the Sakhalin team, but was it good enough? We wouldn't find out until the other team had fielded.


But first lunch. Extremely nice Indian food with is absolutely non-available on Sakhalin. Restaurant Taj Mahal that catered it has already five restaurants in Sapporo. The good thing is: they are thinking of opening one on Sakhalin! The first customers will be the Sakhalin Cricket Club (SCC).



PJ (left), who organized things on the Sakhalin side, is going to leave Sakhalin for Delhi. He had to promise captain Geoff (right) to try and arrange for the SCC to play a match in India and, more important: do some sightseeing.

Who won the match? Uhhhh, the Japanese team. The score? Sorry, I was paid a lot of money not to tell.



In Russia we would take a Russian banya after a day of cricket, in Japan you go to a hot spring. Dinner was served in the same bath house, where we consumed a nice alternative for vodka: sake.