Until That Sound Comes, We Will Play.

I’ve been thinking of common denominators. A conversation that’s been continuous throughout our travels. Whether it’s claiming Starbucks as an initial meeting place. A jar of vegemite in the suitcase for a soothing piece of toast in an unfamiliar surrounding – or G discussing the cricket score with either a colleague or taxi driver on the way to an event. These are the things that I can rely on happening in a move.

G and I both love our cricket. I love it for the nostalgia it brings. It automatically transports me to my childhood living room, chanting the names of fast bowlers as they make their way to the crease. I love it for the comfort and the occasional wit of the familiar commentary that runs in the background while you’re washing the dishes or folding the laundry. But I really love it for its history, it’s a game that has evolved while keeping its traditions, and it’s a game that millions of people all over the world feel passionate about. Unlike my beloved Australian Rules Football, this is a game I can watch as part of a nation.

Friday is the common day of rest here. Friday mornings are desolate in Doha. The shops are closed and traffic is minimal on the road (Friday’s are a great day to learn to drive). When we first moved into the compound I noticed a group of guys who would meet each Friday afternoon in the vacant rubble that extended beyond our back gate. A cricket bat would make an appearance, a makeshift pitch would be marked out and a serious game of cricket would begin. They were all casually dressed, no sporting attire to be seen, long pants and shirts.

I was desperate to go and ask questions. I wanted to know where they lived and why they chose that particular bare patch of rubble. It was plain nosiness on my behalf. How do you choose the teams? Who scores? Do you guys work together? Do you have families? I could never quite get the courage to approach them. And sure enough, one day they moved on. 

For the longest time I’ve been willing myself to stop the car each time I’ve seen another group of cricketers and ask if I could blog about their story. So you can imagine how pleased I was when I discovered this short documentary today. Someone had done exactly what I didn’t have the guts to do and they’d done it really well.

The film was made as part of the Doha Film Institute (DFI) 48 hours documentary challenge. I asked Phillipa Young one of the “Camelionairs” group who entered the competition with Cricket Market, what the rules were.

DFI hosts the competition each year on a varying theme. This year it was a documentary. There are basically no other rules other than length (under 5 minutes) and that it has to be conceived, shot and edited in 48 hours.

Take a look. This is a competition so please, if you enjoyed it make sure you give them a “like” on youtube. 

One day I’m going to work up the courage to do something like this. One day.

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