The Napa Valley Cricket Club will host its eighth annual “World Series of Cricket” intrasquad match Saturday, July 20, at Napa Valley Expo starting at 10 a.m.

The match marks the halfway point in the club’s 2019 season and will be played on the Midway Green, on the western side of the Expo, 575 Third St.

The game is expected to be hotly contested as the Rest of the World team of NVCC members look to wrestle back the trophy won convincingly in 2018 by a strong Australia & America team.

The club uses the World Series match to showcase the game and encourage locals and visitors to watch and learn about the game. Cricket is played in more than 100 countries and has a strong and passionate following in the Bay Area.

“It’s our big day out each season,” said NVCC president Rob Bolch, an Australian, “and we’re expecting a well-contested match with almost all of our playing members available. A number of new members will get their first taste of our World Series day when the community comes out to enjoy a day of cricket in downtown Napa.

“On a personal level, I’m excited for the World Series this year as we’ll be debuting the collab brew that my business, John Fearless, worked on with our friends at Stone Brewing. The Wicketkeeper, as it’s called, will be perfect summer sipper to enjoy while watching a great day’s cricket.”

New Zealand-born Bernie Peacock will captain the RoW team and said he has strong pool of players from which to choose.

“We have a great team for the 2019 World Series,” he said, “and we come in with a number of players having played well in recent club matches. That being said, we know that the Australia & America team will up their game for what’s always a fiercely contested match.

“Off the field I’m really excited to be playing the match at the Expo, as a number of family and friends will be coming along for the day to enjoy the spectacle and have their kids enjoy the supervised kid’s activities like the bounce-house and water slide.”

Australian spin bowler Brendan Helme will captain the AA team and said he’s looking forward to the challenge of retaining the trophy.

“The World Series day is a big one for the club each season, but my focus will be on making sure that our boys are on their game on the big day,” he said. “We put a lot of time and effort into making the day lots of fun for all of those who come to watch, and we’re looking forward to giving locals something to cheer about.”

Steve Gonzalez will perform the toss at 10:15 a.m. to decide who bats or bowls first. Gonzalez, the Master Brewer at Stone Brewing, recently collaborated with NVCC sponsor John Fearless on a special beer for the club, The Wicketkeeper, that will debut on World Series day.

American-born NVCC member Jared Thatcher, in the company of Australian Scott Curwood and Englishman Alan Montague, will provide commentary on the game. During the innings lunch break and during drinks breaks, explanations of the game and its rules will take place at the “pitch” area in the middle of the ground.

Admission is free, with food from club sponsor NapaSport Steakhouse and refreshments from 19 Crimes Wine and Stone Brewing on sale. An instant cellar drawing with wine worth in excess of $2,000 will take place both at the lunch break and at the end of proceedings to raise money for the club. Tickets will be on sale on the day for $5 each or $20 for five.

The Napa Valley Cricket Club thanks sponsors 19 Crimes Wine, Bill Wagner Realtor, Balanced Business Group, Caliber Home Loans, Crown Hill Stone Supply, John Fearless, NapaSport Steakhouse, St. Helena Optometry, Seguin Moreau, Stone Brewing Napa, ZAM Apps, AZMERA Consulting, Blue Jean Black Design, Napa Gourmet Foods, 3 rock marketing.

Formed in 2012 and now in its sixth season, the Napa Valley Cricket Club welcomes adult players of all skill levels. Visit napacricket.com for more information.

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