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Complicated sports appeal to lawyers

29 November 2019 - By Craig Stephen

Cricket World Cup makes debut in New Zealand

In-house lawyer Matt Pemberton loves cricket for a number of reasons, one of which is that the rules are “quite complicated” and therefore the sport appeals to lawyers.

Pemberton will be part of the New Zealand team preparing for the forthcoming Lawyers Cricket World Cup in Hamilton over the summer. This will feature 16 teams from Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, England, Australia, the West Indies and Bangladesh. Organisers expect it will attract about 300 participants.

Matt Pemberton playing cricket in the mountains
Matt Pemberton cuts to the mountain boundary

Pemberton discovered cricket at the 1992 Cricket World Cup and has been playing on-off since.

“I love the game, the stats, and the banter with fellow enthusiasts. For me one of the things I really enjoy about being a lawyer is connecting with like-minded interesting people; and what better way of doing that than through a shared love of cricket. I think cricket and law go quite well together in terms of being a game where integrity is a core value,” he says.

Pemberton, who specialises in environmental law at the Ministry for the Environment, made his debut for the New Zealand lawyers’ side in January this year against a team of Australian practitioners in Hamilton. Those two limited over games were for the Holroyd Cup, which was won by the visitors.

New Zealand captain, Scott Donaldson, a Senior Associate at AWS Legal in Queenstown, says hosting the tournament in New Zealand has its logistical challenges for some teams but enthusiasm and determination has overcome those.

“Obviously it is a massive commitment for players from countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to come to New Zealand. It reflects their passion for cricket and the level of enthusiasm for this tournament,” he says.

“The theme of the tournament is friendship. The main purpose is to share the love of cricket and the law. The tournament will include multiple dinners and events as well as a sports law conference. Building relationships is a major focus.”

The seventh edition of the Cup is being held at multiple grounds in Hamilton from 29 December to 9 January.

The 16 teams will be split into two pools with each team playing seven round robin matches ahead of the semi-finals and finals.

The Lawyer’s Cricket World Cup was instituted by legal practitioners to promote the rule of law throughout the Commonwealth, by using cricket as an opportunity to meet regularly at different locations and to interact with legal practitioner friends from elsewhere.

It debuted in Hyderabad, Pakistan in 2008 and has since been held in Cambridge in England, Barbados, Delhi, Brisbane and Colombo in Sri Lanka.

Last updated on the 29th November 2019