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Fancy playing cricket on the roof of the world? This is the holiday for you

Howzat for a view?  A batsman sends a ball into the heavens

A SIGNIFICANT cricket tournament takes place in June, one where daring batsmanship will be amply rewarded and where visiting teams hope to steal the hosts’ glory. And we don’t mean the World Cup in England, either. Because while Eoin Morgan and his team are reverse-sweeping and switch-hitting there, an inter-village cricket tournament will be taking place in the meadows of the Indian Himalayas’ Saryu Valley — and visitors can participate for the first time.

Held each year close to the Nepalese border at an altitude of 6,500ft, with snow-capped Himalayan peaks glinting behind, the contest is arranged by eight villages to celebrate the spring harvest’s culmination.

This year, tourism firm Village Ways will be entering and is inviting people to join its team for five morning matches over ten nights. Experience isn’t required, although anyone capable of bowling a wrong’un is definitely, well, a right’un.

Expect some unusual rules. Field sizes and pitch limits are somewhat arbitrary, says Village Ways director Manisha Pande, while hitting the vegetation helps.

‘If any ball first hits a tree before being caught by the fielder, it’s not considered a dismissal,’ she says.

After each morning match, vegetable curries — using freshly harvested produce — and shady riverside picnics replace the usual afternoon teas, with plenty of time for post-match tactical debriefs.

Cultured: Explore the area post-match

Afternoons are a time to explore and immerse yourself in the life of these self-sustaining communities. Visitors are encouraged to check out the friendly villages, with their temples, schools and basket-weavers, honey producers and carpet-makers.

Also provided are five guided walks led by a local into the beautiful alpine countryside, following forested paths that connect mighty peaks with the fast-flowing Saryu river, through meadows where buffalo and goat herds graze, their bells tinkling. June sees the region covered by bright rhododendron blooms.

Visitors stay in guesthouses with whitewashed walls and rustic stone roofs. Another night is spent at an awe-inspiring tented camp on the ridge of a ‘bhugiyal’ meadow at nearly 10,000ft, a natural balcony to which shepherds take their goats and sheep for summer.

The tournament runs from June 2 to 15, and trips can be arranged for any ten-night period coinciding with that. Note that India’s monsoon rains usually start at the end of June.

Out of bounds

Batsmen get 12 runs if they can slog the ball all the way to distant glaciers — although global warming makes that feat harder every year. A recent report has warned that even if global warming stays at the current rate, a third of the glaciers in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya region will be lost.

From £893pp full board starting from Delhi, including all transfers, villageways.com

Late deal: Live it up in Antigua

You’ll need to be quick for this one. Get in before Monday for 35 per cent off a Wexas stay at Antigua’s high-end Blue Waters resort, set in 17 acres on a secluded Caribbean Sea cove. There are three restaurants, bars and beaches, a tennis court, a spa, pools and watersports. Candy-coloured villages await inland or you could ride a boat to neighbouring paradise isle Barbuda. Save £837pp on a seven-night stay, B&B, including return flights from London, transfers and UK airport-lounge access. Valid for selected dates until December 19, book by March 31. From £1,555pp, wexas.com

Family adventures in the Azores

While adult Azores activity trips abound, family adventures to the mid-Atlantic archipelago, an autonomous Portuguese region, are rarer. Praise be, then, for a new option based on main island Sao Miguel. Guests on Families Worldwide’s seven-night small-group tour will swim and snorkel in a crater lagoon, kayak on green lakes, take whale and dolphin cruises, abseil and cook lunch on underground vapours. Departs August 3. From £1,699 per adult and £1,649 per child (under 11), incl B&B, transfers, six lunches and activities but not international flights, familiesworldwide.co.uk

Good week

For… No1 Lounge and The House lounge

The Heathrow pay-to-use airport lounges were ranked the UK’s best along with Manchester T3’s 1903, according to Which? And Southend’s Skyline came last.

For… Entrepreneurial Texan children

The Lone Star state has legalised lemonade stands run by children, overturning a ban by the Texas Food Establishment, apparently prompted by health concerns.

Bad week

For… Amsterdam tour guides

The Dutch capital will ban guided tours of its red-light district from next year, partly because sex workers say gawping tourists are bad for business.

For… Chinese criminals

Scientists in China have cloned the ‘Sherlock Holmes of police dogs’. Spawned with DNA from an award-winning predecessor, three-month-old wolfdog puppy Kunxun has a crack sense of smell, according to project analyst Wan Jiusheng.