The Club was formed in 2002 by cricket-loving members of the Tokyo Goannas Aussie Rules Football Club. On the eve of the Japan Gold Cup/Kanto Cricket Association season, the footy team chanced upon Sheikh Nassir’s Edogawa Falcons’ training session, and were invited to have a game, or so they thought. Unknowingly, they had in fact been invited to enter a team in the league. Driven by Jarrad Shearer and ably assisted by Chuck Jones and Smokin’ Peter Hosking, the Aussies scoured the watering holes and run-down gaijin houses, hacked the Goannas email list, and scraped together 11 Wombats. A club was born. The first ever XI to take to the pitch for the Wombats is as follows:
Jarrad Shearer, Courtney Jones, Peter Hosking, Ian Gason, Alex Koolhof, Luke Ray, Shane Sibraa, Jim Cole, Jeremy Bolt, David Hayes, Jim Hill
The Wombats tasted victory in their first game, knocking over the Falcons cheaply. The Wombats next victory took some time, but “the rain game” victory over highly fancied Sri Lankan Lions became a defining moment for the club. A wet outfield, soggy ball, muddy run-ups and persistent rain didn’t stop The Wombats from posting 120. As the conditions worsened, we looked to be lost, when 30 runs were needed, with 5 wickets and many overs to spare. However, a non-striker was run out backing up, and a collapse began. Wombats removed the last five Lions for 15 runs, and earned a semi-final berth.
The semi-final saw a determined Indian Engineers chase down a respectable 195 with just one wicket to spare. The Indian Engineers eventually lifted the Japan Gold Cup.
In 2003, the Wombats entered both the JGC and the JCA/ICC-affiliated Kanto Cricket League. Three straight JGC losses were followed by three straight wins, and we earned our 2nd semi birth in two years. Rain spoiled our KCL season, losing 4 of 5 games to the gods. An ungodly act by a square leg umpire marred our sole game, as we valiantly tried to defend 130 on a small ground, but lost by one wicket. At Koiwa for the JGC semi, we dismissed the league’s best batting side (Sri Lankan Lions) for 120, only to find they were the league’s best bowling side! 5-19 did recover to all out 97. The Lions then defeated the Indians in the final, 180 all out, vs 75, having been 7-12!
The Wombats are a tough and close unit. Whilst we love our cricket, and we love to win, we also believe we are privileged to have a chance to play the great game here in Japan. Sportsmanship and fair play are part of our beliefs, and we place a great importance on having a good time, and making mates along the way. We believe there is more to playing cricket than just playing cricket.
The Tokyo Wombats’ social life is second to none. “Road-trip” games are worth the early start, as 11 cricket-loving blokes pile into a rental car and hit the highway, bound for glory. Win, lose or draw, the true fun begins on the drive back. Surprisingly, an on-board eski is re-stocked to over-flowing, and old cricketing war stories, nocturnal conquests, and the day’s highlights are all re-lived in greatly exaggerated tones. Our Golden Thong Award was born on such an occasion.
A car load of lady Wombats sometimes accompanies the players. Local games (Yokohama) are also well attended by our better halves and their friends. They enjoy the chance to chat and drink, usually oblivious to our on-field endeavours.
At stumps, we usually invade a nearby izakaya, where many a service industry career has ended prematurely! The evening’s highlight is “The Highlights”, as all players and spectators in turn share their highlight of the day. Forgotten moments are re-lived. Unforgettable moments are toasted. “The Highlights” is an entrenched part of Wombats’ culture, and responsible for the close bonds we enjoy.
Wombat events–hanami, trips to the races, sweepstakes–occur throughout the year. Our biggest night on the social calendar is the mid-season quiz night with cash prizes, prizes from sponsors, and many other goodies on offer. It’s a fun night out and all are welcome. On the same night we draw our annual raffle with dozens of sponsor prizes to be won. Don’t miss out!
The year finishes with the annual Presentation Night. After a long year in the field we unwind and take a light-hearted look at the year’s highlights and low-lights. Some of our awards include the Herschelle Gibbs (worst dropped catch), Dummy Spit, Best Catch, Great Moment in Sport, and the Golden Thong. The evening culminates in the Golden Wombat countdown, when the club’s Best and Fairest award is presented, as voted by the players after each match.
Rising Sun. Mount Fuji. A Wombat on one knee, flashing a square drive past the covers. It could only be the Tokyo Wombats Cricket Club.
Created by Barry Francis, this eye-catching logo is without doubt the best wombat logo you will see. The design process began in 2003 when the club asked Barry if he could do us a few sketches. Happy to oblige the club he planned to join in 2004, the young Englishman had just one question: “What’s a wombat look like?”
Well, when the pictures from the internet began arriving, Barry began regretting his generosity. Short, stubby legs, no neck, round and docile…..how do you turn that into a cricketer? Several forests were felled in the process, and Barry says “I never want to draw another wombat again!”, but finally we arrived at the logo you see today. We had wombat chewing stumps, wombat biting bat, wombat climbing on a very big cricket ball, plus countless number of wombats that went straight in the bin.
A self-confessed perfectionist, Barry was reluctant to show the boys any design he wasn’t happy with himself. A set of designs presented to the AGM failed to satisfy the picky Wombats, but we reached a consensus on what we wanted: Rising Sun, Mt. Fuji, and a Wombat not eating anything.
A few weeks later we were presented with our new logo. The Wombats’ logo sits opposite our main sponsor’s logo on the players’ chests as we strive to bring home the cups year in year out.
A big thanks to Barry for the design.
2015 – Japan Cricket League Division I runner-up
2014 – Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes “Bowl” winners
2012 – Japan Cricket League Division I runner-up
2010 – Japan Cricket League Division I runner-up, Pacific Cup winners
2009 – Japan Cricket League Division I winners, Pacific Cup winners
2008 – Japan Cricket League Division I winners
2007 – Japan Cricket League Division I winners, Pacific Cup winners
2006 – Japan Cricket League Division I winners, Pacific Cup winners
2005 – Kanto Cricket League Division I runner-up
2004 – Kanto Cricket League Division II winners, Pacific Cup winners