A team of refugees brings cricket to life in Saint-Omer

The scene, strange in the eyes of laymen, repeats itself over and over again.At the back of this gymnasium in Saint-Omer (Pas-de-Calais), the thrower leans on the red brick wall, constrained by the too modest dimensions of the room., more accustomed to receiving basketball players than cricketers, he thus adapts his swing stroke.With a violent movement to dislocate his shoulder, he sends the ball in the direction of the batsman, when the latter reaches the kick back, the other players then come out of their reserve to try to catch him with the jump.Some dive, others shout and cheer, mostly in Pashto.

In this puppet theater where the drummer and the pitcher occupy the main roles, the rhythm is slow and quiet until these sudden accelerations.In Saint-Omer, as everywhere in France, cricket remains an obscure sport which resembles the base- But the thirty or so young men present, aged 16 to 30, mostly Afghans, know the rules perfectly.On Saturday, November 26, they took part in the first official training of the SOCCS, or Saint-Omer Cricket Club Stars.

For the moment only made up of refugees, the club was created in two months thanks to the initiative of a local entrepreneur.The statutes of the association were filed in November.The story began at the end Christophe Silvie, 37, jogging in the city park when his attention is drawn to cricketers, stops, observes and chats with them before continuing on his way.

A hard core of players

"Once in my car, I turned around.Cricket is a magnificent sport that I did not know and which is beautiful to watch playing.I told myself that there was something to do and that could be a means of integration, "says the president of the SOCCS before attacking:" Here, we meet all the refugees.They walk along the roads, we do not know their past or who they are, but they are part of the of our daily lives What are we doing specifically for them? My feeling is that sometimes you treat your dog better… ”

Posted Date: 2020-11-18

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