The Light of Faith: Vatican Cricket Tour 2016

Two years ago, in September 2014, the newly founded team of Rome-based Catholic priests and seminarians from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and England travelled to the UK to play against a Church of England side, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s XI. The game, played at the Kent County Cricket ground in Canterbury, ended with a narrow victory for the Anglicans. A return match, played in Rome in the autumn of 2015, saw the Vatican team taking back the St Augustine cup.

This year, the two teams met again at the Kent ground to further their sporting friendships and to pray together again in Canterbury Cathedral. The tour also involved a three-team tournament featuring the Catholic and Anglican teams and Mount Cricket Club, made up of Muslim players from West Yorkshire at Edgbaston.

St Peter’s Cricket Club travelled north to Yorkshire, wherethe players visited a mosque and concluded the second ‘Light of Faith’ tour with a T20 match against Mount Cricket Club at the famous Headingley ground.

Set up in 2013 under the auspices of the Pontifical Council for Culture, St Peter’s Cricket Club was the brainchild of the former Australian ambassador to the Holy See, John McCarthy. The goals of its team members are to share their faith with others, to build bridges across religious and cultural divides and to further what Pope Francis calls ‘the culture of encounter’. 

I. When did you first start playing cricket?
SP. Dear Isabella, wishes and greetings from St. Peter’s Cricket Club, Vatican. The club was formed in the year 2014.

I. Who has been your favourite team to play against and who would you like to play in the next tour?
SP. All of the opposition teams were our friends and we would like to meet them all again.

I. What was the highest score in this tour?
SP. The Highest score of this tour was 68 by Aamir Bhatty.

I. Where do you play cricket in the Vatican?
SP. While we are in Rome we play cricket at Capanelle Cricket Ground.

I. Which grounds have you played at on your tour?
SP. We were blessed to play at the St Lawrence ground in Canterbury again, we also played in Headingley, Edgbaston and Woodford Wells Cricket Club near London against a multifaith team. 

I. What is your most memorable moment of the 2016 tour?
SP. We really enjoyed meeting and praying with players from different faiths. I thank you for your interest in following our club. I hope you would be able to publish a good article on our team.

These answers came via the Facebook page of St Peter’s CC - feel free to ‘like’ their page!