Warriors : Can cricket really bring change to the Maasai region?

Warriors is a documentary following a group of young Maasai who, in a remote region of Kenya, have remarkably formed a cricket team. They relate the sport to their traditional hunting techniques – the ball is the spear, the bat is the shield – and their flowing red robes in full flight are an awesome sight. The film whose executive producer is Englands leading wicket taker Jimmy Anderson, follows the team as they pursue their dream of reaching England, the home of cricket, and test themselves in the amateur Last Man Stands World Championship.

But there is a darker heart to the story. The Maasai are male dominated, women have few rights – even to their own bodies – and girls as young as six have suffered Female Genital Mutilation and early marriages. Traditional practices such as these have also contributed to the spread of HIV/Aids, and now many believe the future of the Maasai is under serious threat. The Warriors cricket team are using their new-found unity on the field as an inspiration to those off it, attempting to educate and give young people a sense of belonging, support, and hope. However, they face resistance from the elders of their community – well-respected and wise men who hold all Maasai traditional practices dear and carry great influence. They fear losing any of their traditions will herald the end of the Maasai. Can cricket really bring change to the region?

The Maasai Warriors are more than cricketers; they are the hope of future generations © Warrior Films website

The Maasai Warriors are more than cricketers; they are the hope of future generations © Warrior Films website

“They play cricket, sleep cricket, dream cricket, and drink and eat cricket every day”

In contemporary cricket, the rise of Maasai Warriors can be compared to only Afghanistan’s. They took giant strides in the world of cricket despite having no infrastructure, kit, or exposure to quality cricket. These stories and others really demonstrate the power of cricket and its ability to change the world, for the better. Flicx was developed off the back of the apartheid era in South Africa as a vehicle to bring people together through sport (Read More)… our roll out, portable pitch enabled new facilities to be created and the game to grow. We were pleased to hear recently that a Flicx Pitch was donated to the Maasai Warriors cricket team by the British Army and you can see footage in the Warriors movie trailer …. we have heard other remarkable stories from around the world with cricket being used to bring peace to regions such as Israel and how cricket has changed so many lives for the better. (Read More)

This is the true value of sport and we look forward to watching the Warriors film – you can find your local screening by visiting the website  www.warriorsfilm.co.uk

A Flicx Pitch Case Study by the ICC Academy in Dubai

The ICC Academy in Dubai’s mission is to become and remain the world’s leading cricket development, performance and education institution. It’s facilities are unrivalled and attract many international teams with the venue containing 2 full-size cricket ovals with floodlights, 7 synthetic and 3 hybrid pitches, an air-conditioned pavilion with state of the art gymnasiums, performance analysis technology etc and an indoor cricket centre including 6 indoor practice pitches and 4 Flicx Pitches which arrived in 2014.

One of 4 Flicx Pitches at the ICC Academy

One of 4 Flicx Pitches at the ICC Academy

The Flicx Pitches are a vital part of the ICC Academy’s schools program in Dubai with the key benefits being the ability to host multiple games on one oval and to also take the pressure off the main oval at the facility. Large tournaments are now possible and as a result the program is being expanded this year to give every school in Dubai access to these world class facilities. Speaking about the Flicx Pitches Samuel Charnley, Warriors Program Lead said

“The Flicx Pitch is an extremely powerful piece of equipment for the coaches and the ICC Academy, for numerous reasons. The pitch allows us to transform our ovals into an additional 2 grounds allowing us to play more games in shorter spaces of times. The pitches also create the ability for us to run junior tournaments with far greater ease.”

ICC Academy 2

The schools programme at the academy aims to attract every school in Dubai to the centre

The pitches are easily rolled up and rolled out onto the outfield and in the future program sponsors will also be able to add their branding onto the surfaces. In the hot, desert climate in the UAE, the Flicx Pitch is a great solution to enable cricket to develop for example in schools where it might be very expensive to grow and maintain a grass surface or their might be a lack of expertise from the staff, the Flicx pitch can be rolled out to create an authentic cricket experience by laying it over an astro or rubbercrumb pitch which most schools have on site. With many international schools in Dubai with large expat communities from the likes of the UK, India, South Africa etc, the sport has the potential to grow with facility solutions like the versatile pitch from Flicx UK.

Speaking about her visit to the ICC Academy, Flicx marketing manager Kate Costin said ” Flicx are very honoured to have 4 pitches at the ICC Academy … the facilities are first class and it’s great to hear how successful the schools program has been and Sam’s exciting plans for its development. We certainly believe that the Flicx Pitch is exceptionally well suited to conditions in Dubai and are keen to speak with schools in the UAE who want to create their own cricket facilities with the addition of a Flicx Pitch which going forward would be our new and improved 2G surface.

For more information on the Flicx Pitch or to get a quote, please visit our website www.flicx.co.uk 

Be the first to WATCH our new 2G Flicx Pitch video telling the story behind the world’s most versatile cricket pitch

As the new cricket season starts this weekend, Flicx UK are delighted to release their new video which provides a quick overview about the 2G Flicx Pitch and explains its various applications and performance benefits.

When founder Richard Beghin realised there weren’t enough facilities for the increasingly-popular sport of cricket in South Africa, he founded Flicx and the first one was rolled out at Telkom Country Club in Pretoria. Fast forward to today and Flicx UK  have now developed their 2G range with improved ball bounce and better seam/spin performance as well as offering much more grip when wet. The animated video goes through other benefits of the 2G product including its great versatility of being able to be used both indoor or out, for adult or junior cricket and for hard or soft ball games.

The new 2G product has been phenomenally popular since its launch last year with clubs seeing its value in increasing junior capacity, or converting other fields or artificial surfaces into a cricketing venue …we even hosted the world’s highest cricket match on Mt Kilimanjaro last September … all part of the unique appeal of the product which can take cricket to places it has never been played before.

Choose your pitches colours and design plus add your logo!

Choose your pitches colours and design plus add your logo!

This year especially we are noticing more school and clubs take advantage of branding opportunities and the ability to pick your pitches colour/ design … all this and more can be seen in our video’s concise overview of the Flicx Pitch. To get a quote for your club, simple complete our short on-line form or contact Gary Luke, who will be able to answer any questions which you may have on the pitches performance / suitability for your club, on +44(0)1295 816765

We hope you love the video as much as we do and our big thanks to Phil and all the team at Katapult for their help in bringing the Flicx story to life.

How Flicx helped bring cricket to the land of miracles … Israel case study by Herschel Gutman

Israel is known as a land of miracles, and the survival of cricket in the Holy Land must surely rate as one of those miracles. The odds have always been heavily stacked against the game, yet cricket has endured and even flourished despite lacking adequate playing surfaces, equipment and financial backing.

After the British left in 1948, their local successors somehow managed to keep the game going in the fledgling State, though little is documented. On July 23rd, 1974, Israel was accepted as an Associate Member of the International Cricket Conference, now known as the International Cricket Council, with Pakistan the only cricket nation voting against our membership.

Cricket has grown in Israel since the launch of the Junior Development Program. The program received a major boost when two Flicx cricket pitches were delivered to Israel – this ensured that the game had two new playing areas in the middle of the country. This was and still is vital to the future of the game in these parts of the world.

The Flicx products are perfect for the conditions here. After each game, it takes us about 5 minutes to roll the pitch up and move it to our storage room adjacent to the field. We share the field with the Israel Athletic Association and Maccabi Tel Aviv football, so we can not put anything permanent down.

Shesadeh Salamin - part of the Cricket 4 Peace project

Shesadeh Salamin on the right with his new friend from Israel

About 6 years ago, the Israel Cricket Association launched the cricket4peace project and cross border cricket. These projects help to bring the Palestinian youngsters and Israeli youngsters together once a month to learn about each others culture, language and of course cricket. The projects could not have taken place without the help of the UK based Flicx cricket office. Playing in conditions that often resembles a dry sandy desert – we needed a surface that would have a good bounce and be easy to move around. Flicx assisted us with these projects and played a major part in the Israel Cricket Association being awarded the Global ICC spirit of Cricket award and also the European Cricket Spirit of Cricket Award.

In the summer of last year, we purchased two more Flicx surfaces and have spread them around the country – this is the only way that we can play proper cricket without having to spend thousands of dollars.  The pitches are used in all our major adult leagues and is the main reason why we can host the Maccabiah Games every 4 years – without it, we would have no facilities.

“You can not put a price on what the Flicx pitch has done for cricket in Israel – it is without a doubt the best investment that we have made.”

Thank you Flicx! You have been brilliant for us over the last decade. Here is hoping we are able to get more of your pitches down to these parts of the world this next year!

With very many thanks to Herschel Gutman for writing this blog – Herschel used to work for the ICA and picked up ICC Europe coach of the year in 2013. He has now set up his own private coaching business and he has developed a team of coaches to deliver cricket in schools in Israel and their junior program is thriving.

The night league he started is also doing very well with 17 teams. There are more players in this league than the day league so its the perfect format. You can view the site here: http://www.israelnightcricket.com/ 

Time is running out on our 2G Flicx Pitch early bird offer … get your 10% discount now!

UK cricket clubs only have just over a week left to take advantage of our early bird offer, saving you 10% off the whole 2G Flicx Pitch range. We are just moving into our busiest buying period so if your club is interested, we would recommend getting in touch for a quote as soon as you can. The 10% early bird deal will end on Tuesday 31st March 2015.

Our early bird deal ends on the 31st March 2015

Our early bird deal ends on the 31st March 2015

On our core product, the 2G Flicx Match pitch, a 10% saving would relate to a saving of £300 so certainly well worth having! The 10% discount is also available on our skills and eagle eyed pitches as well as small sized products such as our batting ends. All products are now made from our 2G tiles which are much softer so provide more grip and improved bounce plus better seam and spin performance versus its predecessor. More on the benefits of 2G

The biggest benefit according to feedback to date, is the products great versatility which gives great value for money to the investment … it can be used successfully both indoors during the winter, then taken outdoors in the summer season rolled out on grass or 3G / astroturf pitches. Many clubs use the product to reduce pressure on their main square by holding junior practice on their 2G Flicx pitch to increase their capacity and grow the game locally. A full review of possible applications and case studies for each are available to view on our new website see http://www.flicx.co.uk/2g-case-studies/

We are also getting an increasing numbers of orders from schools, academies and universities with coaching designs available to support the development of various bowling and batting techniques in younger players. With the pitches now being UK made, our lead times have been much reduced which means you could be playing on your new pitch in no time at all. Get in touch with Gary Luke on 01295 816765 for more information or email gary@flicx.co.uk for a quote.

Anyone who also came along to the Cricket Club Expo series of shows at Lords, Newcastle and Cardiff – will also benefit from a free set of 2G branded “Pimp my Stumps” as well as the 10% discount, again if ordered before the 31st March.

How the Flicx Pitch is helping to grow the game on Lanzarote

Cricket in Lanzarote is on the up and up … with a wonderful year round climate they get to enjoy a lengthy domestic season as well as hosting their own invitational tournaments and welcoming an ever increasing number of touring teams. It is the 10th Anniversary of cricket on the island this year and that has coincided with the official recognition of cricket as a sport in Spain by the Spanish Government.

The pitch in Puerto Del Carmen

The pitch in Puerto Del Carmen

Initially all playing surfaces were covered in volcanic gravel therefore a length of coconut matting would be laid down to play on however in 2009 the Lanzarote Cricket Association (LCA) brought a new pitch from Flicx UK which is rolled out on an Astroturf. The standard of cricket on the island was transformed instantly. Peter Starmer, from the LCA said they are all indebted to the Flicx Pitch that they have been using for over 5 years now. “It enables us to play cricket in the same environment all year round, and given the understandable lack of grass on the Island, it makes for a fantastic playing surface with the only variable being the weather -will it either be hot or very hot!!”

The Lanzarote season lasts almost 10 months and every game is now played on our Flicx Pitch. This year, the LCA are proudly hosting their 3rd annual international T20 tournament which is held over three days in March, with teams from the UK competing with Lanzarote whilst the prequel to this event is a local franchise based T20 tournament in February followed by a number of games between a first and second representative XI. (Following the success and demand from the March tournament, the island will now be hosting a second T20 International in October). After Easter the 35 over league season starts which runs until August then in September a local club based T20 competition once more in readiness for the arrival of the touring teams takes place with Lanzarote very proud of their near perfect home record, having being beaten only once (in the final of last year’s March T20).

Amongst other LCA activities, they are currently talking to the England and Holland over 40’s about a possible triangular tournament towards the end of the year, have sent their league winners to represent Lanzarote in the Spanish Champions finals in La Manga as well as organising a beach cricket competition on the Playa Grande, Puerto del Carmen, in the Summer – this event is also played on their Flicx Pitch which is a great testament the products versatility. A youth cricket festival and a street cricket competition in July also forms part of their calendar which serves to promote the sport and they fundraise during the annual Lanzarote Summer Music Festival.

In summary, the Flicx Pitch has been a major force behind the development of cricket on Lanzarote. It enables them to play several games a day and on several consecutive days of the week when the demand arises all without any deterioration in the pitch conditions. The nature of the Flicx product enables the LCA to replicate a much truer bounce than would have otherwise have been possible to achieve on an artificial surface. It is safe to say that they truly appreciate how much the Flicx Pitch has contributed to the development of cricket in Lanzarote and will continue to do so.

Top 10 FAQ’s … Everything you need to know about the 2G Flicx Pitch

The 2G Flicx Pitch is a versatile cricket surface solution with various applications possible and many thousands of pitches being used to help grow the game in the UK  and all around the world. To help any prospective buyers to find out more about the product and how it performs, we have put together this FAQ’s blog covering some of the questions we are often asked … If you have any others, just post them in the comments box below and we will come straight back to you or for customer reviews, try our testimonials page.

1) On what surfaces can the 2G surface be used on? We blog on various applications and produce case studies from customers showing which surfaces the 2G Flicx Pitch can be used on … (Read More). More generally speaking the following surfaces are suitable

  • Grass… sub surface preparation recommended (see installation guide)
  • Astro
  • Wooden sprung floor (bounce level dependent on floor construction)
  • 3G rubbercrumb pitches (NB- Testing is ongoing on new generation rubbercrumb pitches designed for Rugby which contain a rubberised shock-pad, please contact us if this is your intended use)
  • Concrete
  • Sand – must be very compact not a beautiful white soft sandy Caribbean beach!!

2) Why is the 2G surface better than the original surface? The new surface itself produces a better ball bounce whilst seam and spin performance is improved. It provides the bowler with more traction and thus the ball does not “skid” through as it did with the original design…

The  new 2G surface  can be rolled out on many difference surfaces and still provides a suitable bounce, whereas the original surface was only really suitable for outdoor purposes. It is therefore far more universal and can be used both indoors and outdoors. In addition it’s easier and softer to roll out and is available in brighter colours and new designs with the option to brand up your pitch with a sponsor logo. The 2G product is now UK made and therefore we have been able to reduce lead times considerably whilst both surfaces were independently tested by the leading UK sports surfaces laboratory ( Labosport UK) where the new 2G surface came out far superior in terms of  its performance with reduced slip and improved ball bounce.

Rolling out a 2G Flicx Match Pitch

Rolling out a 2G Flicx Match Pitch

3) What is the best way to prepare a sub surface?  We provide details installation instructions with our pitches to ensure the sub surface is prepared in the correct way which maximises the performance of the pitch. We will honestly advise you if the product is suitable for your needs and requirements or not and pride ourselves on great customer service.

Installation Advice http://www.flicx.co.uk/pitches/technical-information/

The pitch its self does not need much maintenance. However depending on the surface it is rolled onto, there will be a certain maintenance required.  This is especially applicable to a grass under surface. The grass itself will need constant mowing during the growing season.  Its important that the “feet” of the under surface of the 2G Flicx Pitch sit firmly on the ground (grass will lift the pitch up).  Thus by mowing or simply using a light roller ( less than a ton) or running up and down the pitch it will resettle the pitch.  At the beginning of the season it is important that weekly maintenance is upheld to ensure a good consistent bounce.

4) Do the corners of the 2G pitch actually get staked down after being rolled? You can certainly stake them down –  try using 4- 5 inch nails.  Its great if you can leave your 2G Flicx Pitch down for the season and let the grass grow through it… and then you simply mow on top. This provides excellent bounce and a turf like pitch without the major maintenance of rolling and preparation.

5) How does the 2G pitch react after being stored for six months at a time? If you roll up the pitch tightly after the season ( straps are provided) and then store it standing up right it normally will be able to roll out quickly and easily with little damage-  The damage only comes when its loosely rolled and allowed to lie horizontally …  The tiles then get bent and will take a while before they flatten out. The plastic has what we call a “memory”, thus if stored for a while in a rolled up position it will take an hour or two to flatten out.  This can be done by simply leaving it flat on the playing surface. In warmer weather it will flatten out quicker.

6) For use over multiple days at a tournament is it better to lay and roll the pitch on day one and leave it in place for the next 4 to 5 days? Oh yes … the longer you can leave it down the more settled it is and thus the bounce remains truer.

7) What is the best type of footwear for this pitch? Rubber cricket shoes or court shoes? and should the batsmen avoid running on the pitch?? Both types of footwear are fine however we would recommend  that you avoid wearing studs as they can damage the pitch as well as possibly having them caught in the pitch and thus possibly twisting an ankle. There is no problem at all if the players run on the pitch however , like any synthetic, it can get a little slippery when wet.

8) How does the hard leather ball hold up over 40 overs?  The new 2G surface is more forgiving but you will see a certain amount of wear. For best results use Kookaburra balls from Australia. Both hard and soft balls can be used on a 2G Flicx Pitch to support junior and senior cricket games.

9) What makes the 2G Flicx Pitch so universal? There are so many applications of the 2G Flicx Pitch and its this versatility which makes it so universal. A club could use it inside for winter nets over the closed season, then move it outside in the summer to increase junior capacity or put it in the nets to replace a worn artificial. We have had the pitch host cricket games in the weirdest and wackiest place but most of all it allows more people to have the opportunity to play cricket and this is why the product was developed in the first instance 17 years ago.

Creating opportunities for more people to play cricket

Creating opportunities for more people to play cricket

10) Who generally buys the 2G Flicx surface? The Flicx Pitch continues to be popular with clubs and schools in the UK as well as overseas where stand alone cricket facilities are not so prevalent. Here you can convert a grass field or an artificial football pitch into a cricket venue and various leagues have sprung up on Flicx Pitches where playing cricket was previously not possible (Case Study). We work closely with Cricket Boards and Associations (and the ICC) worldwide to develop more opportunities for people to play cricket.

Come and see the new 2G Flicx Pitch in Newcastle this weekend at Cricket Club Expo

Flicx UK will be exhibiting this Saturday at the next Cricket Club Expo event taking place at Newcastle Cricket Centre. Managing Director Richard Beghin will be on hand all day to answer questions on the new 2G surface which has proved very popular due to its improved performance and versatility.

10% Early Bird Saving plus a FREE set of stumps

As a special incentive to all CCE show visitors, Flicx are offering a 10% early bird deal on all pitches ordered before 31st March* PLUS for anyone who attends the show and goes on to place an order, we will also provide a free set up stumps from our partners Pimp my Stumps.

Littletown Case Study

Littletown CC won our competition last year with the Cricketer Magazine called Pitch for a Pitch – so became one of the first clubs in the UK with a new 2G surface. Chris Rushworth opened the pitch which they use as a junior surface and roll onto the outfield as a secondary wicket. Representatives from Littletown will be around in Newcastle on Saturday as a real life case study

Play indoors or outdoors

Play indoors or outdoors

Everyone is welcome to attend CCE, from players, committee members, coaches, volunteers or simply followers of the game, but all visitors must pre-register online click here.

* 10% discount available on UK direct sales only

The early bird … gets a 10% discount off 2G Flicx Pitches (until 31st March)

Good news for all cricket clubs and schools ahead of the new season has been announced today by the Flicx UK Managing Director Richard Beghin with the launch of an early bird deal on all 2G Flicx Pitches purchased before 31st March 2015.

Is your club looking to improve its facilities this season?

Is your club looking to improve its facilities this season?

“We delighted to  go into what is now our second season with the 2G Flicx Pitch-  The new pitch has shown it is so much more versatile than its predecessor. The biggest development of all is that it can be used safely and successfully indoors-  thus making it a truly adaptable cricket pitch that can be used in both summer and winter.”

The discount deal coincides with the first Cricket Club Expo event taking place at Lord’s this Saturday where the pitch will be available for demo by visiting clubs. Feedback on the 2G Flicx Pitch which launched at the same series of events last year has been hugely positive with the key benefit being the versatility of the product which can be used both indoors and outdoors. The pitch is now manufactured in the UK which has cut down the delivery time quite considerably and you can bespoke your pitch with the addition of a sponsors logo or your choice of colours & design.

The performance benefits are there for both batters and bowlers to experience with a consistent bounce that supports both seam and spin bowling whilst the batters can play their shots in confidence. Popular applications remain using your Flicx Pitch to increase your junior capacity, to protect your main crease from overuse, to transform a field, astro or 3G pitch into a cricket facility or just wild and wacky games such as the Guinness World Record Breaking match which took place at the top of Mt Kilimanjaro.

As well as seeing the pitch for yourself at the three cricket expo events coming up in the next few weeks (register for free entry at http://www.cricketclubexpo.com ) , you can also read a number of testimonials on our website (www.flicx.co.uk) and blog or by connecting with us on social media.

To take advantage of the 10% early bird discount which is available on all UK orders made direct with Flicx UK before 31st March 2015 simply contact us for a quote or possible demonstration. Call us on 01295 816765 or call Gary on 01295 816765

Off to the top of the world … 2G Flicx Pitch departs for Kili Madness

On Friday the Flicx Pitch which we be transported up Mount Kilimanjaro for Mt Kili Madness left Brackley in Northamptonshire, bound for the top of the world. Later this month, two teams of players will climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain to play the world’s highest ever game of competitive cricket to raise money for charity.

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The Pitch is collected from Flicx UK

 

The team who are raising funds for Cancer Research UK, Tusk and the Rwandan Cricket Stadium Foundation (RCSF) are already £45,000 towards their £200,000 target. The pitch will be carried up the mountain in 8 sections and put together once at the summit… Once rolled out, the game can take place!!

At 5,785m this will be over 600m higher than the current world record set in 2009, a game also played on a Flicx Pitch, this time at Everest base camp. The hike in itself is challenging with seven days climbing to the summit. It is estimated that over 30% of all climbs end in failure. However, for this record attempt, to get to the summit is where the challenge really begins. Once we reach the crater at the very summit of Mount Kilimanjaro we will lay down our track, put in the stumps and make our makeshift club house in order to play the cricket match of a lifetime. A full game of cricket at such altitude has never been attempted, because the air is so thin there is a real danger of altitude sickness, a complication that can be fatal.

This is truly an epic challenge, an unforgettable experience, and one which will put cricket at the top of the world. Flicx UK wish the team, the best of luck and have requested that the pitch be donated after the climb to a local school.

More information at http://www.mtkilimadness.com/