The game of Cricket permeates the globe. From New Zealand to Norway, Sierra Leone to the Seychelles, the game is played officially in over 120 countries around the world on almost every continent. Here in Vietnam, however, Cricket has never gained a foothold on the local sporting landscape. There are historic images of the troops at the 2Comp Ord/2AOD Depot in Vung Tau (now the Lord Mayors Oval) playing on a cement pitch laid by the local Vietnamese women during the American War and, of course, the Hanoi Cricket Club was formed in the northern capital in 1993. But despite the enthusiasm of these pioneers, participation and playing conditions have mostly been confined to the ranks of Cricket-starved expatriates with a taped up ball on a rolled out, sea grass mat.
That was all to change in late 2005, thanks primarily to a pair of passionate individuals determined to bring the Spirit of Cricket to the parklands of Vietnam - Mr. Michael Mann and the late Dr. Laurie Hayward. Together, they procured an astroturf pitch, the first of its kind in the nation, on the grounds of the newly established RMIT University Saigon South Campus.
Sadly, Dr. Laurie was only to enjoy this tremendous legacy for a short time before his passing. And it was around that time the League Trophy, first commissioned by the Mann family, was dedicated as the Dr. Laurie Hayward Memorial Trophy which, to this day, is awarded to the League Champions.
A friendly scratch match to christen the pitch prompted the emergence of a healthy contingent of excited expats from the Australian, English, Indian and Sri Lankan communities all keen to get out there and play. In early 2006, Vietnam's first Cricket League was contested between Australia, Sri Lanka, India A, India B and RMIT. An enthralling first Grand Final between the newly-formed Saigon Australian Cricket Club (SACC) and Sri Lankan Sports Club (SSC) saw the SACC held to 102 runs and SSC cruising in the chase at 1 for 51. Enter Richard 'Chef' Turner with a devastating spell of 6 for 25, leading his team to victory and the first Cricket Championship in Vietnam history!
The English joined the fray during that off-season with a 3-match series against the SACC, in what was hastily dubbed 'The Saigon Ashes'. The tradition continues between the old foes and the teams now contest the Jon Fleming Trophy each time they meet. The English Cricket Club of Saigon (ECCS) officially joined the League for the start of the 2006-07 season and the Saigon Cricket Association (SCA) was born in earnest.
The continued success of the Association is the direct result of invaluable contributions by a group of passionate, committed people during that formative era. Names like Carrington, Gupta, Sogani, Treasure, Fawcitt, Deshpande, Perara, Pillay, Cashion, Malcolm, Kutcher, Preston, Pisipaty, Murugesu, Uduwatte and Deepu all come to mind but there are many, many more.
Munish has been living in Vietnam since 2006 and is involved in the Pharmaceutical industry. He was a founding committee member of the SCA in 2006 (later to be renamed the VCA). He was also a founder member of the Indian Sports Club of Saigon (ISCS) in 2008 and held the positions of Treasurer, Vice Captain and Captain. He was the VCA President for 2012-13 and Treasurer for 2009-10, 2011-12 and has resumed the role for the 2014-15 season. He is also currently the Head of Umpires.
Dr Laurie Hayward Memorial Trophy
History of the VCA
An international nomad who stumbled in Vietnam by chance in 2014. A decent mid order bowler, who dropped himself out from the playing 11 on the very first day of training camp, by just looking at the level of players of ICCS. Since playing was not an option, he did what he does best. He took up the role of Manager for ICCS 2015/16 season. VCA recognized his ever enthusiastic spirit about cricket and elected him as the secretary for the 16/17 season. Personally he believes in the spirit of cricket and wants to grow the game in Vietnam.
Entrepreneur and businessman living in Vietnam since 1991, he has seen Vietnam's transformation over the past 2 decades. He was a founding committee member of the SCA in 2006 (later to be renamed the VCA) and was President of the Sri Lanka Sports Club (SSC) from 2006 - 2011. He was also a member of Chilaw Marians CC since 1998, a Premier division club in Sri Lanka that won several championships in recent years, of which he is it's current President.
Executive Committee 2016-17