First Annual ACC Tape Ball Tournament


Usman Malik


What is Tape Ball Cricket?

Tape Ball cricket seldom rings a bell for cricket aficionados from other parts of the world, unless you originate from Pakistan. For Pakistaniıs tape ball cricket or tape ³tennis² cricket is almost always the first step in every young cricketers playing career. It is played in every street, playground, sidewalk or roof top of the biggest cities to the smallest village.

Although street cricket is decades old, the innovation of a taped ball is relatively new; introduced almost three decades ago. A tennis ball is too light for cricket but wrapping it in tape increases weight and enables it to act more like a traditional cricket ball with extra bounce and speed. Teenagers playing cricket with colorful tape-wrapped balls are a common sight throughout Pakistan. Commonly known as tape-ball cricket, the new-style game has proved so popular that even some professional cricketers can often be seen joining in. Current Pakistan wicket keeper Rashid Latif is one of those many Test players who have been playing tape-ball cricket. "It has always been fun for me. It's thrilling and I still enjoy playing with my old friends," Rashid Latif says, "Every youngster in Pakistan who plays cricket has to pass through this phase. Now it's impossible for a cricketer not to play tape-ball cricket." Saeed Anwar, Basit Ali, Moin Khan, Asif Mujtaba, Mansoor Akhtar and many others are regular players in tape-ball matches in Pakistan.

Keeping this short history in mind, it was not a fluke that the first annual ACC tape ball tournament became a resounding success. Approximately 22 teams participated in the event and put on a very entertaining, fast paced cricket exhibition. Matches started at 10 am and lasted until 7:pm (with the final being played on the next day). Even under extremely cold weather conditions, all the teams showed up and enthusiastically competed all day long. To an onlooker it was almost a comical site at times, watching men wearing several layers of clothing (sweaters, jackets, woolen hats) and playing cricket in such extreme cold. But, that is the craze of this sport, it makes grown men act like young boys and ready to take on any obstacle in order get in a day of tape ball cricket. The final match was between B4U and Peace Village teams, which was won by B4U. The winners took home a cash prize of $500 along with sponsorıs giveaways for Man of the Match and tournament.

Along with all the competitive teams, the organizers of the event (Ahmadiyya Cricket Club), had set up a Tent for a few sponsorıs stall, ranging from BBQ food to financial planing consultants. All in all, it was a successful and fun filled day of cricket. Already, teams are inquiring about the dates for next yearıs tournament. The enthusiasm and interest generated by this tournament have prompted the ACC to seriously consider arranging an indoor tournament of the same kind in a few monthsŠ

Stay tunedŠ.