RYLAND Wallace and the Wales over-60s team are making waves in India at the age-group Cricket World Cup – on and off the field.  

The Abergavenny CC player – dad of former Glamorgan star Mark – and the rest of the team performed some Welsh classics at a special event in Chennai to mark King Charles III’s birthday hosted by the British Deputy High Commission in Chennai.

They sang Yma O Hyd, Calon Lân and Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau at the party, which saw the Welsh contingent of the crowd joining in with the players.

Huw Owen, the team’s media manager, from Cardiff, said: “We cannot believe it, we keep pinching ourselves – it is hard to think at this age that we would have such amazing opportunities.

“It makes myself – and the team – proud to be able to sing Dafydd Iwan’s Yma O Hyd, it’s such a great opportunity.”

Ryland Wallace and the Wales team wowed their Indian guests
Ryland Wallace and the Wales team wowed their Indian guests (Wales Cricket)

The Welsh Government has announced that 2024 is the year of Wales in India, with year-long celebrations bringing the two countries together through events, stories and activities.

And on the field, Wales won three of their five pool games to put the nation firmly on the cricketing map. 

It proved a tough start against Australia as the latter’s Bill Blair cracked 128 not out off 73 balls in a daunting 45-over target of 299-5. In reply, Wales were all out for 131, losing out by 168 runs.

But they bounced back against hosts India to pull off a famous 10-run victory, Mike Hayden hitting 49 and captain Richard Harris 48 in a total of 185 all out, Ryland as 11th man contributing four. 

Ryland Wallace - dad of Glamorgan director of cricket Mark - is heading for the veteran World Cup in India
Ryland Wallace - dad of Glamorgan director of cricket Mark - is playing at the veteran World Cup in India (Abergavenny CC)

And the Abergavenny CC wicket-keeper then played a key role in stopping the Indian juggernaut, smartly stumping their top scorer Emmanuel Benjamin for 64 and then catching their ninth man for 10 as Wales took the last five wickets for 30 runs, Dave Pigott securing figures of 5/34. 

Wales then beat Rest of the World by 32 runs after piling up 257-7, John Jones making 82, before restricting their opponents to 225-9.

Sri Lanka in game four chased down Wales’ 233-7 with three overs to spare for a five-wicket win, Nalin Jayasuriya hitting an incredible 50 from a mere 15 balls to secure victory.   

But Wales signed off their pool games with a nail-biting 10-run win over West Indies on Monday, Stuart Carpenter cracking 101, before bowling out their rivals for 254 with four balls left, a result which saw them finish third in the group behind Australia and Sri Lanka.