Cricketers duck worst of Dubai deluge

Coming second overall in the inaugural Dubai Girls R66T Cup 2024 tournament were (from left) Ruby...
Coming second overall in the inaugural Dubai Girls R66T Cup 2024 tournament were (from left) Ruby Laming, Izzy Power, Sophie Kelly, Hannah Kidd, and Camryn Linton. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Five South Canterbury girls ducked a downpour after coming second in an international cricket tournament in Dubai.

The 15-year-olds played for the South Island under-15 team at the Dubai Girls R66 Cup 2024 tournament only days before an unprecedented storm struck the area.

Camryn Linton, Ruby Laming, Izzy Power, Hannah Kidd and Sophie Kelly played at the inaugural tournament. In the past, similar tournaments had been for boys only.

Camryn said she was proud to receive the Spirit of the Tournament Award at the medal presentation.

"It was quite rewarding."

Team-mate Sophie said the award had recognised Camryn’s captaincy and her talent.

"She was very encouraging," Sophie said.

Camryn said although the weather turned later on in their trip, the pitch had been nice and dry when they played.

"It was exquisite," Hannah said.

She felt the facilities were better than at any ground she had played at in New Zealand.

Ruby said the sunny weather had left the players with exaggerated tan lines.

Sophie’s mother Belinda Kelly said throughout the tournament the girls experienced the culture of the United Arab Emirates including a desert safari — which included a camel ride — and a trip to the markets complete with some bartering experience.

They also visited Water World and Ferrari World before they witnessed a massive storm.

Hannah said some of the cars they were driving past on the way to the airport had water going over the top of them.

Their cricket bags, which had been stashed under the bus, had got wet after water leaked into them.

The storm — which was the largest ever monitored in a 24-hour period since records began in 1949 — resulted in the girls sleeping on the airport floor.

Flooded runways delayed their return to New Zealand by two days.

Belinda Kelly said the trip — and the delays — had been a huge lesson in patience and resilience for the girls.