Countdown to Varsity vs Exeter (A):

Tour

In September 2017 UBCC visited Prague for a tremendous tour. Way back in 2014 UBCC visited Barbados and in 2013 we visited Amsterdam. For some reason, cricket was played on these two earlier tours. #UBCCTour2018 has now been announced and the team will visit Lisbon.

Prague Tour 2017: Paddy Sidwell Reports

In September 2017, nine members of UBCC and a bloke called Tom boarded a Ryanair flight to Prague to embark on a trip aiming to enrich us culturally, and broaden our minds to the wonders of a European city steeped in history. For example, did you know that the Czech Republic is the country that consumes the most beer per person in the entire world? The eleven members of UBCC were very keen to explore this matter in more detail, putting our lives at risk in the pursuit of education.

It all started on a grey Monday morning at Stansted airport. We boarded a Ryanair flight with an air of anticipation lingering tantalisingly around us. Despite the delay, spirits remained high as we arrived in Prague and made our way to the hostel, located wonderfully close to a McDonald’s. Our travels had made us thirsty, so we did not hesitate to quench said thirst and maintain good hydration levels, as any athlete should. A quick stop for the first of many games of mini-market fives left one Mr. Peter Newman with the honour of being the first man to delete a bottle of the finest Czech vino. We found a watering hole and made camp, where we were joined by Prague himself, Ben Bodha. We were up to eleven: cricket. As the afternoon wore away, Newman faltered in the Czech heat as eight out of eleven embarked into the night to discover Karlovy Lazne, a five-storey club overlooking the Vltava river in the heart of Prague. It was a magical wonderland with pints for about £1.50, and one of the greatest rooms to exist anywhere in the Czech Republic, and the western world as a whole: Oldies. The dancefloor managed to be both sticky and slippery, with a death trap of a metallic ridge leading up to the multi-coloured disco-lighted panels underfoot. For that night, the dancefloor was graced by 8, but the three nights that followed saw a full cohort attend. Over those nights, retro football shirts were donned, slide tackles were made, pints were chopped, shapes were thrown, chun was spilt, no-balls were called, social media was spammed, Bodha is Prague, sky is blue.

Mock Squad photo in Prague, 2017.

On day two, we explored the city. First, we discovered farcically cheap beer. 29 korunas for a pint (which works out to be just over £1). We enjoyed a day of sightseeing and soaking up some late summer rays, whilst club captain elect Freddie Bynn found himself stuck quite firmly in the bynn, accompanied there by honorary UBCC member Tom Waller. Newman lost fives again (sky is blue), Shai Hope hit a wonderful hundred, and rather soon the rest of us found ourselves in a similar state of inebriation. We descended upon Karlovy Lazne, and shenanigans included much resurfaced beer, and a genuine slide tackle leaving Fred on the deck in oldies. A successful day all round.

Day three saw eleven become ten, as Bodha departed. After some food, we left to rent pedalos. A simple sounding idea on paper, but one of the finest afternoons since the dawn of time followed. With a drive thru bar located on the river, we basked in the glory of our three vessels, held together by sheer man power and ingenious craftsmanship. We had only been there for a few days, but we felt very much at home in the tranquil surroundings. Foz was in his element, masterfully steering. Browny relished the opportunity to get his rig out. The serenity was interrupted by Waller’s inability to maintain bodily control of a bottle of red wine (he lost fives), and also by a wasp – C Green got drenched in beer – and then we merrily sang Aerosmith on our way back through the streets of Prague.

Day four was our last full day, and we did more tourist stuff. The Cathedral and sex machines museum could not prepare us for the happenings of the final venture to Karlovy Lazne that evening. Craig Hodges decided to chin the dancefloor and ended up in A&E with two stitches (shout out to Tom Coates for accompanying him) and Will Todd had his first beer to devastating effect. A late-night game of tug of war followed, and Whip enjoyed great offers at the hot dog stand. Eventually, Todd had fallen asleep in the little boys room, and due to the fear of any hypothetical danger he was in, the door was literally smashed down to save him. We got fined, but it’s a decision we are looking to appeal.

We managed to sleep our way through the next day, nursing hangovers that had been lingering for days. We reminisced on all that had occurred and managed to make it back to Stansted in one piece.

Cheers to all the boys for making it an awesome week, and tour sec Tubeman for sorting the whole thing out.

Plans are already underway for #UBCCTour2018, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Sky is blue

Prague Tour 2017.
Mock Squad photo in Barbados, 2014.
Barbados Tour 2014.
Amsterdam Tour 2013.
© University of Bristol Cricket Club 2016