The Japan Cricket Association (JCA) is organising a Men and Women's National Team Tour to the UK for the 150th Anniversary of the first Cricket Match played in Japan
The tour is scheduled to take place from the 27th of April to the 4th of May. The Japan Men and Women's National Teams will visit London from the 27th to the 29th of April, Glasgow on the 1st of May, Stirling on the 2nd of May, and Edinburgh on the 3rd and 4th of May.
The Men's National Team will play the Authors Cricket Club, the M.C.C., HIP Cricket, Western District CU (Scotland), Cricket Scotland President's XI, and East of Scotland CA, while the Women's National Team will play Middlesex Women, M.C.C. Women, Scotland Wildcats XI, Cricket Scotland President's XI, and the Watsonians (Scotland).
The match on the 28th of April will be one of the highlights of the London trip with Japan making its FIRST appearance at the home of Cricket, Lord's. The M.C.C. vs Japan match will be played on the Nursery Ground and is expecting a large turnout from the Japanese communities in London. As such, admission is by ticket only, another FIRST for Japan Cricket. (Tickets are free but will need to be booked in advance through the M.C.C. Ticket Office.) The Women's National Team will also play at Lord's the following day.
The Women's National Team will play Middlesex Women on the 27th of April at Sheen Park CC. This will be the FIRST time Japan will play a County/State team from an ICC Full Member Country.
The Scotland trip will be a FIRST in itself. Matches will be played in Glasgow, Stirling, and Edinburgh concluding with a visit to the Scottish Parliament which is due to debate a motion to welcome the Japanese Teams on the 23rd of April.
In Glasgow, the birth place of J. P. Mollison who established the FIRST Cricket club (Yokohama Cricket Club) in Japan, the Men's Team will play Western District CU at the West of Scotland CC while the Women's Team will play the Scotland Wildcats XI at the Glasgow Accies CC.
On the 2nd of May, both teams will play Cricket Scotland President's XI at Stirling County CC.
The Men's Team will then play East of Scotland CA while the Women's Team visits George Watson College on the 3rd of May. Members of the Girls Cricket Team at George Watson College have gathered equipment and raised funds to donate to CRICKET FOR SMILES AID, the JCA run charity for the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011. The Women's Team will also play the Watsonians in the evening.
1863, A Cricket match to save Yokohama from attack by Samurai
The FIRST Cricket match played in Japan was Yokohama vs Royal Navy in June 1863, five years earlier before the Meiji Restoration. The match was played under extraordinary circumstances. Under pressure from the Emperor, the ruling Shogun ordered to expel foreigners as of the 25th of June, 1863. The British merchants were advised to leave the country but refused to do so as no guarantees were offered against any losses they might incur. Instead, they challenged the Royal Navy to a Cricket match. The Royal Navy accepted the challenge and came to shore with a small force armed with rifles. The players also went on the field carrying revolvers. Photos of this match are kept at the M.C.C. Library.