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Italian town hits cricket for a six – This is why

The mayor of an Italian town has restricted Pakistani and Afghan migrants playing cricket to tennis and basketball courts after a young boy is hit.

cricket Updated: Sep 13, 2017 18:18 IST
Devarchit Varma
Devarchit Varma
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Italy,Pakistan,Cricket
The mayor of Bolzano in Northern Italy has banned cricket in the city’s parks after a ball struck a two-year-old boy in the head. (Image for representational purpose only) (Getty Images)

The mayor of an Italian town has banished cricketers from the migrant Pakistani and Afghani communities to tennis and basketball courts after a two-year-old boy standing was struck by a ball while standing on the balcony of his home.

Mayor Renzo Caramaschi of Bolzano in northern Italy has banned cricket in public parks following a complaint from the boy’s parents. The move has certainly not gone down well with the migrant communities.

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The BBC has reported that the mayor took the action after the boy suffered concussion after being hit on the head, in what looks like an attempt at hitting a six gone awry. The boy, who was about 100 metres away from action, has since recovered.

The mayor said he enforced the ban after the parents of the boy emailed him a complaint. There is a small community of Afghanistan and Pakistan origin in Italy.

“We will soon make an assessment with representatives of the Pakistani community,” Caramaschi said.

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Italian daily Corriere della Sera had reported that another northern city, Brescia, had also banned cricket from public spaces, in 2009.

Bolzano is in a German-speaking area of Alto Adige, called South Tyrol by German speakers. It shares the border with Austria.

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According to an October 2015 estimate in an Alto Adige website, about 900 Pakistanis lived in Bolzano town and another 3,000 in the region. Afghans were 100 and 300 respectively.

CRICKET - VIERI’S FIRST LOVE

Cricket may be alien to most in this nation of fanatical football fans, but there is still one famous sporting name who had toyed with the idea of picking up the bat over becoming a striker.

Former Italy forward Christian Vieri, Bologna-born but who grew up in Australia, played both cricket and football and has expressed his love for the game popular in Commonwealth countries.

“I would have loved to have been a cricketer,” he was quoted as telling Champions magazine, a UEFA Champions League publication. “I was telling a friend last week, I would stop playing now to play cricket if I could get the same contract. I was a bit of an all-rounder at school.”

First Published: Sep 13, 2017 17:51 IST