The magnificent Lilac Hill ground was the scene for the October 2010 Australian IFCR festival.  Three excellent turf grounds, all adjacent to each other, plus one synthetic wicket were used during the week. Historically, Lilac Hill was the regular venue for a festival-style opening game for the touring Test team for many years until the practice was discontinued quite recently.

Visitors from Chennai (Ravi Raman/Shobana), UK (Norman Brown/Liz and Stan Broomfield/Ruth) together with many of our regulars from NZ (many with wives) provided the international dimension to our festival.

Robert Armstrong, Norman Brown and Shobana at the opening function.

Teams styled Western Redbacks, Victorian Bushrangers, North Queensland Crocs, Bundaberg Bears, New Zealand and Extras competed against each other.  Monday, Tuesday and Friday saw 2 games of 35 overs each way while the Extras team played one of the others in a 36 over double wicket game.   Unfortunately the other scheduled playing day, Thursday, was affected by showers which were sufficient to prevent turf wicket games resulting in two T20 games being played on the synthetic wicket.

Fellowship was a very important ingredient in the success of the week.  Features were regular match report sessions on each playing day together with the more formal opening and closing functions, together with attendance at a meeting of the Rotary Club of Midland.

Robert Edgar, Ian Petherick and Stephen Bennett in their casual Bundy Bears garb.

Tony Mann (4 Tests for Australia taking 4 wickets but famous for his effort in making 105 not out as a nightwatchman against India in the 1977-78 series), a member of a leading Swan Valley wine-making family, shared some anecdotes of his cricket career with us during one of the after match sessions.  At the final dinner cricket aficionados enjoyed the talk by Keith Slater (1 Test and 2 wickets at Sydney in 1959) with his reflections on his playing time.

The final dinner was also the occasion on which Ravi spoke to the assembled guests about the upcoming Vapi 2012 World Festival.  He impressed on his audience that all  visitors to the festival would be very safe and would have a most enjoyable time.  

Curious incidents occur sometimes.  One of these took place during the synthetic wicket game on Thursday.  Your correspondent spied a car in the parking area from which two gentlemen emerged, one with a television camera.  Further enquiry elicited the fact that they were representatives of Sky Sports UK at Lilac Hill to do a piece about 'grassroots cricket' in Australia and the opinion of local Australians on the chances of the England team in the forthcoming Ashes battle.  Your reporter was interviewed on camera for about 3 minutes on these topics.

Exchange students from Belgium and France featured in the festival - two girls and one boy.   Geoff, the boy from Belgium, had his first experience of cricket in a double wicket game on Monday. Observers had some considerable doubts about his bowling action but sympathetic umpires ensured that none of his 'deliveries' were assessed as no balls.

The Exchange students relaxing at the cricket.

Tours for wives/partners and other non players are always a feature of IFCR festivals.  Perth was no exception.  Guests had the option of visiting the Perth Mint, the WACA ground and the Swan Valley.

No festival can succeed without an organiser.  This festival ran like clockwork, mainly due to the efforts of Jan Horsley.  She earned the plaudits of all for her efforts.