A slaughterhouse is perhaps an unlikely place to play cricket, but on Thursday the 20th of December, Madrid Cricket Club were invited to join the annual municipal Xmas celebrations at the Madrid Matadero.
Originally built in 1911 as a huge complex of 42 buildings dedicated to the sale and slaughter of animals, it covers an area the size of 22 football pitches and at one point even had it’s own railway! Since 2006, the space, with it’s stunning architecture, has housed an arts centre covering cinema, music, performing arts, design, architecture and urban planning.
This year the Municipality of Madrid celebrated its IV edition of the International Xmas Fair of Cultures that included stalls from over 70 countries, including music, dance, games, sports and food. On a Thursday from 5 to 7pm, Madrid CC were invited to run a cricket session called “Criquet Bengali” in the Matadero central plaza, An oval boundary was marked out, and with load music blaring out, T20 style, 4 members of the cricket club set-up some stumps and invited passers by to join in. Playing with plastic bats and balls, a game soon got going, mostly with kids though a few brave adults also had a go. Each player was shown how to hold a bat, given a 10 second explanation of how to play, and off they went, smacking the ball around the plaza. At one point, to meet demand, the area was split in two to allow for two simultaneous matches.
(The Iconic Matadero in Madrid)
Only one or two of the 30 to 40 people that took part had ever played cricket before, and is often the case with cricket in Spain, the kids loved it and had a great time, only stopping when their parents dragged them away.
A big thanks to Alberto Nanclares for inviting the club to participate at this fantastic event and to David, Sumon and Safullah for helping to run the session. A you tube video capturing the flavour of the event can be viewed by clicking on the link …. https://youtu.be/zeXvcJAUZyw
Madrid Cricket Club