At the back end of July this year, Darren Maddy’s focus will be very much upon Warwickshire and their attempts to thrive in the Twenty20.
It is high time the Bears reached the finals day again, having not done so since 2003. And all-rounder Maddy will be at the heart of their push to shed the inconsistency that has troubled them in the format in recent years.
But between July 21 and 28 one or two of Maddy’s thoughts will also stray south to Jersey and in particular to the Argentinian national team’s attempts to thrive in the World Cricket League Division Six which will unfold there.
The Warwickshire player has just spent two weeks in the South American country on tour with the MCC. And he returned with the warmest affection for the country and its people.
Argentina is hardly a cricketing hotbed. It is, of course, football-mad. But the Argentine Cricket Association is deep-rooted (it celebrates its centenary this year) and the sport has been played formally in the country since 1806, when it was introduced to the nation by British soldiers.
Two hundred years on, it is a marginal presence on the sporting scene there – but, as Maddy has just dicovered, those who do play the game have a real passion for it.
So when the Argentines take on the likes of Bahrain and Kuwait in Jersey in July, when how they fare will dictate future levels of crucial funding for them from the International Cricket Council, Maddy will be wishing them well.
“I loved my time out there,” said the former Bears captain. “I have been fortunate enough to play cricket in some fantastic places around the world and Argentina is right up among the most memorable. The people were very friendly and hospitable and it was great to see such a level of interest in cricket.
“We did a coaching session and there were 60 youngsters there. There was a lot of enthusiasm and they were very athletic and skilful.
“Steve Kirby, Stephen Snell and myself were the three full-time prodessional cricketers in the touring party and we were very impressed. So much so that we offered our services if there is anything we can do in the future.”
Beyond the world of cricket, there is a bit of history between Argentina and Great Britain, of course and the issue of the Falkland Islands continues to fester.
As recently as this week a 97 per cent vote by the islanders to remain under British control was dismissed as irrelevant by Argentina’s foreign minister. Hector Timerman.
No doubt the MCC tourists were kept remote from anyone likely to be too nationalistically-inclined but, even within those parameters, the visit illustrated how cricket – and sport – can build bridges.
MCC squads will also be touring the Cayman Islands, France, Cyprus, and Uganda & Rwanda in 2013.
Actually, perhaps they should have sent Maddy into one or two hot-spots in Argentina.
Five minutes with someone of his courtesy, diplomacy and just plain decency and Senor Timerman would probably have dropped his country’s claim to the islands forthwith.
But Maddy’s input was confined to cricket with those coaching duties and also five 50-over games at three venues – the St George’s, Hurlingham and Belgrano Athletic clubs – in Buenos Aires.
“We won all five games,” he said. “But the opposing teams had some good players. They played well in the first game but then lost a little bit of heart in the later ones and got a little bit demoralised.
“It is a huge footballing country, of course, and there is also a lot of interest in rugby union. In cricket they just need a bit of support and direction. But there is definitely some serious talent there – and a lot of history.
“It is the association’s 100th anniversary this year and they have got this big tournament coming up in the summer.
“If they get relegated from their zone they would lose a lot of funding so hopefully they can do well in Jersey.”