On The Rock: Shelter Island hosts cricket tourney

Photo by Giles Clarke |  David Shillingford, center, presents a random cookie tray as a trophy to Marcus Rickard of the UK team for winning Saturday's cricket fundraiser for the ambulance corps. David's son Digby provides support.

Photo by Giles Clarke | David Shillingford, center, presents a random cookie tray as a trophy to Marcus Rickard of the UK team for winning Saturday’s cricket fundraiser for the ambulance corps. David’s son Digby provides support.

The great English game is coming to Shelter Island

And no, it isn’t in honor of the birth of the royal baby.

This Saturday, July 27, the Shelter Island Cricket Club (SICC) will play its second annual cricket match to raise money for the Shelter Island Ambulance Corps.

The event will take place on the large field in front of the Island Boatyard on South Menantic Road and will commence at 11 a.m., pitting the Brits against “the rest of the world.”  A second game will be played at 2 p.m. with a traditional English féte and children’s games running throughout. There will also be a junior cricket game and “Kids Olympics” in the afternoon.

Last year’s inaugural match drew more than 200 people, raising more than $12,000 for the Ambulance Corps.

The charity match comes at a good time for the Ambulance Corps. In January 2012, the ambulance was transferred from the Red Cross to the town. At the time, it was the only ambulance corps in the country operated under the auspices of the National Red Cross. Founded in 1931 by local residents under a charter issued by Herbert Hoover, who was the honorary president of the Red Cross at the time, it is staffed entirely by volunteers and costs around $100,000 a year to run the service. The thirty or so unpaid volunteers tend to the needs of the 2,400 permanent residents and 10,000 residents during the summer.

David Shillingford, who moved to the U.S. in 1998 and has spent summers on Shelter Island since 2002, organized last year’s match and is looking forward to this year’s event.

“After much conversation over the years amongst the ex-pat community about a game of cricket on the Island and a successful inaugural event last year, we are committed to making this an annual event,” he explained.

Co-organizer Gareth Jones added, “It’s great fun to do this but the best part is to have an event that allows full-time and part-time residents and visitors come together to support this unique community.”

Saturday’s tournament will feature picnic food from SALT, beer for Port Jeff Brewery, wine from Macari Vineyard and of course, Pimms Cup cocktails. So come by boat or by car. There is no admission fee, but donations are encouraged and T-shirts, caps and other souvenirs will be sold. Bring a lawn chair and come enjoy this quintessentially English game on Shelter Island.