7 July 2013

Blitz Or Blunder - Germany In England At The Euro Div. 1

Germany are invading England! No fear my friends, they ain't gonna drop anything bar the odd catch ;)

Just one more night before the 2013 edition of the ICC European Division 1 T20 tournament gets under way in Sussex. The team and supporters have been counting down the days, and now it's just a few more hours until the Germans stride out onto holy English turf to destroy Belgium. Ahemm.

Some material for you, if you intend to follow the competition:

What's at stake? The two finalists of the competition will travel to the World T20 qualifiers in the UAE; the best non-World-Cricket-League-playing team will win promotion to WCL Div. 6, which means in order to get anywhere we need to finish better than Austria, Gibraltar, Belgium, France, Isle of Man, Norway and Sweden.

Big task, since we got drawn in Group B, the group of death, with Belgium, Denmark, France, Jersey and Isle of Man.

The teams in Group A are Guernsey, featuring the second highest runscorer in the history of the World Cricket League, Jeremy Frith, alongside Austria, Sweden, Norway, Gibraltar and Italy.

After the World Cricket League Division 7, the start of the domestic season, which unfortunately got delayed due to the long winter and subsequent floods, and the preparation camp in the Netherlands the players should be fit and in good nick. Apart from the usual suspects the team sheet also features a couple of new names, and I am especially happy to see young players Kashif Mahmood and Rohit Singh included. Kashif made a great knock against Denmark in the preparation games.

Picture of German cricket player Kashif Mahmood
Berlin batsman and wicketkeeper Kashif Mahmood, pic by Kashif
Asif Khan (capt.) - Düsseldorf
Rishi Pillai - Köln
Kashif Mahmood - Berlin
Nafees Butter - Frankfurt
Kashif Haider - Bochum
Imran Chaudhary - Berlin
Satya Srinivas - Köln
Rohit Singh - Berlin
Rana-Javed Iqbal - Berlin
Jafar Bilal - Hamburg
Wasantha de Silva - Stuttgart
Ajitabh Malviya - Berlin
Shakeel Hassan - Wiesbaden
Thomas Butt

Senior players such as Milan Fernando, Ehsan Latif, André Leslie and Farooq Ahmed are missing on the list due to various reasons. The vastly talented allrounder Rajeev Vohra and the promising batting youngster Shafraz Samsudeen had to pull out.

Pitifully also the bowlers Sohel Mia (the WCL spinning legend 'Oh Sohel Mia') and fast bowling destroyer Asad Khan, who I had been hoping to see in the troop, are staying at home.

Apart from that Germany are travelling with a lot of allrounders and four wicketkeeping options; five, if you include manager Ben Das. With attack leader Rana-Javed Iqbal and Bilal Jafar as our only genuine pace bowlers a sizeable share of the workload will be carried by the spinners and allrounders. Legspinning secret weapon Kashif Haider is back with the side and ready to fire.

Since the expectations after our below par WCL Div 7 campaign are modest, we can play freely and steamroller the enemy from behind (at least that's my theory).

Regarding the facilities and the coverage of the matches, here's a quote from the CricketEurope website:
The tournament will be played at four grounds in Sussex, with the first round matches being played at Horsham Cricket Club and Preston Nomads Cricket Club. The play-off matches will be played at Blackstone, home of the Sussex Cricket Academy, and the semi-finals and final will be played at the County Ground in Hove, with the final taking place under floodlights, a first for European associate & affiliate cricket.

That finals day will also be live streamed on the tournament website in association with Quipu TV, and there will be a daily highlights package available from the first round matches on this site.

I hope a lot of you will tune in, to show the ICC that the small cricketing nations have a broad fanbase, too!
Now all that's left for me to say is...

Go the Germs!