Pictured above, Napa Vino LMS Players with international cricketer Nick Compton.
The 2017 Last Man Stands San Francisco North Bay League season gets underway this weekend at the Napa Valley Expo in downtown Napa. The host club, the Napa Valley Cricket Club, known as the Napa Vino’s in this format, will be taking on Marin and the Sonoma Gullies on opening day.
The multi-week tournament format will see six teams from around San Francisco and the North Bay competes at the Napa Valley Expo for a chance to be crowned as the regional champions. In addition the MVP of the North Bay tournament will be invited to join the LMS Team USA that will be competing at the LMS World Series, which is planned for Chester, England in August 2018. The tournament will also feature teams from Marin and San Francisco.
Matches in 2017 will be played atop a portable pitch from Notts Sport, based in the UK, that uses the very latest in technologies to replicate a turf pitch. The mobility of the Notts Powerplay Instance Cricket System allows for cricket to played almost anywhere that a flat playing surface exists, including artificial turf and hard flat natural turf. Notts donated the pitch to the North Bay LMS League and Napa Valley Cricket Club to promote the growth of cricket in the USA, where traditional cricket fields with permanent pitches are uncommon.
“Last Man Stands, or LMS, is a relatively new format of cricket that originated in the UK about 12 years ago and arrived in the US in 2014.” explained San Francisco North Bay Regional Manager of LMS, Napa local Phil Bourke. “It tweaks some of the traditional rules of cricket to make the game much faster with a match lasting only 2 hours and 10 minutes. It has even adopted some baseball terms, such as Double Play, Steal, and Home Run, and applied them in ways that make sense to cricket.”
Another innovation LMS has introduced is to have the central umpire recording the score and action ball-by-ball on a mobile device. For those unable to make it to the Napa Expo in person, or who want to follow along on the sidelines, the score from the current match, as well as any other match in progress anywhere in the world, can be viewed at www.lastmanstands.com/livescores. With LMS now played in around 14 countries, local scores can often be seen next to those from as far away as Australia, South Africa and Bangladesh.
“With at least one local spot up for grabs in Team USA for next year, we are expecting the best players from the area to step out and give it their best shot. This should result in some very fast, exciting and high quality cricket”, Bourke suggested.
LMS Match Schedule
Tournament matches start this coming Sunday, September 24 at the Midway Green at Napa Valley Expo in downtown Napa and run until late October (check website for details – https://www.lastmanstands.com/league-fixtures&leagueid=1376&seasonid=83&divisionid=0 )