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Venue adding a modern spin to the game of Cricket opens new south London site

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Sixes, replacing Tanner & Co restaurant in London Bridge, opened its doors with a grand (and loud!) party on Wednesday (March 20) with music, booze and paid entertainers.

Having followed Cricket all my life, I was thrilled with the concept of opening up the sport to non-players like me.

News Shopper: The venue offers a range of cocktails and food options along with plenty of space to socialiseThe venue offers a range of cocktails and food options along with plenty of space to socialise (Image: Sixes Social Cricket)After taking in the lively atmosphere, I dived straight for the nets and there were four of them with a row of people waiting to get their hands on a bat.

When it I was finally my turn, I was explained that there were different levels to the game depending on the player’s skill. As someone with bare-minimum hand-eye coordination (and was terrible at sports!), I naturally started with the basic one.

Once inside, I had a choice of bats on offer- from light weight to an actual cricket bat.

News Shopper: The venue in London Bridge is their 12th site across the UK and there are other Sixes Social Cricket clubs in Shepherd's Bush, Fulham and Fitzrovia in LondonThe venue in London Bridge is their 12th site across the UK and there are other Sixes Social Cricket clubs in Shepherd’s Bush, Fulham and Fitzrovia in London (Image: Sixes Social Cricket)

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I faced a screen that played a footage of a real baller running towards me to add to the adrenaline rush next. The ball- thrown at the speed that matches that of the player on screen- then popped out of a machine triggering a wave of anxiety and excitement as I made sense of how to tackle it.

And viola, the very first shot hit a boundary scoring me four runs in the opening. Pleased with my newfound talent, after my first stellar over I moved straight on to Club Level- which stumped me- literally, and I lost my wicket.

News Shopper: My boundary-worthy shot that scored four runsMy boundary-worthy shot that scored four runs (Image: Riddhi Kachhela)But this brief setback aside, the experience took me back to the streets of Mumbai where kids would play Cricket as amateurs in the neighbourhood looking up to legends like Sachin Tendulkar.  

Determined to give the Club Level another shot, I got myself a mocktail and some food to fuel up. The drink named ‘Girl on a Drive’, I was told, was one of their favourites with its mix of raspberry, pineapple, and vanilla syrup.

News Shopper: The Girl on a Drive mocktail came with a sweet messageThe Girl on a Drive mocktail came with a sweet message (Image: Riddhi Kachhela)It was deliciously refreshing and tangy and went well with the vegan burger bites and pizza slices being served. While at the bar, I ran into two players from Surrey Cricket Club who said they were there just to enjoy the game outside their professional realm.

I also met someone who said they organised Sixes outdoor matches in South Africa, and that gave me an insight into the brand’s wider ambitions towards popularising the sport.

News Shopper: The staff behind the bar and at the batting nets were friendly and helpful The staff behind the bar and at the batting nets were friendly and helpful (Image: Sixes Social Cricket)I had a second go at Club Level, and while I did not hit a Six, I was ecstatic to have managed to play the entire over and hit a boundary again.

Cricket, like every other sport, has lessons for life and the venue, in my view, packages it with a healthy dose of fun and delight.

The site in London Bridge is open between 12pm and 11pm from Wednesday-Friday, from 4pm to 11pm on Monday and Tuesday, 10am to 12am on Saturday and 10am to 10pm on Sundays. 

On Monday (April 1), it will stay open between 12pm to 10pm as an exception. 

Bookings for the batting nets, that cost £15.50 each for a 30-minute slot, and food can be made on the venue’s website.

While the prices appear heavy on the pocket, it is a great spot to unwind with a group of friends, or work mates on special occasions.

 

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