Howzat? Tokyo cricketers suit up for quake relief

Howzat? Tokyo cricketers suit up for quake relief

West Tokyo to see Japan women take on the mighty Aussies

Japan CricketJapan has a thriving cricket culture, with both men and women playing internationally, including a few CNNGo readers.We’ll admit we’re biased, but just because you might be North American and reading this doesn't count as a valid excuse for not knowing that the world’s second-biggest sport is the Gentlemen versus Players spectacle that is the noble game of cricket.

What’s more, the Japan Cricket Association -- yes, it’s real -- is doing its bit this weekend for the March 11 relief effort and holding a charity match to raise funds right here in Tokyo.

The game, set for 11 a.m. on June 4 in Akishima City, western Tokyo, will see the Japan women’s team take on an XI from the Australian Embassy in Tokyo over the short Twenty20 format.

That’s the fast-and-furious version of the game created in England and loved to death in India, if you’re curious. It should be all over by around 1 p.m. -- just in time for a cucumber sandwich and a glass of Pimm’s.

Serious business

Given that the ladies’ side recently notched a third-place finish to take home a bronze medal at the 2011 Asian Games in China, we know where our money’s going. Yes -- Tohoku, like the rest of the cash changing hands on the day.

Entrance is free, so donations are up to the individual -- there’s a neat line in commemorative shirts on sale too -- and a fun day out is all-but guaranteed if the weather stays fair. Rain on a cricket field typically halts play, by the way, so keep an eye on the forecast before setting out.

Even if you don't know the rules of this ancient game, volunteers will be on hand at the Akishima Municipal Athletic Stadium to explain and there’ll be a chance for kids to have a bash too -- what’s not to like?