Blending Sports and Faith: Vatican Cricket Team to Play Muslim Club - NBC Bay Area
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Blending Sports and Faith: Vatican Cricket Team to Play Muslim Club

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    Members of the St. Peter's cricket team, from left, Deepak Anto from India, captain Anthony Currer, from England, and Ajeesh George, Davidson Jestus, and Pratheesh Thomas, also from India, pose at the end of a press conference in Vatican City, Monday, June 23, 2014.

    The Vatican is expanding the reach of its cricket club this season, hosting a Muslim team from Yorkshire and a club from the same Buenos Aires slum where Jorge Mario Bergoglio ministered before becoming Pope Francis.

    The Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture announced the lineup of matches Thursday. They include rematches of the teams the St. Peter's Cricket Club played last year during its inaugural tour of Britain: The Church of England XI and the Royal Household cricket club.

    But in a sign that the Vatican's initiative of blending sport with faith is spreading beyond just improved relations with the Anglican Church, the Vatican team on Oct. 17 is due to play Mount CC of Yorkshire, a Muslim team made up of mostly Pakistanis, at Rome's Campanelle Cricket Ground.