Chile season off to a flier
Michael Meade reports on a busy start to the season in Chile
The Homework Club School Cricket League
The first game of The Homework Club School Cricket League took place toward the end of October, with Lincoln International Academy and The International Country School playing at the Craighouse School ground. In total, 18 games will be played until November, with nine schools competing.
It is the first time that schools have competed in a formal hardball league, but all the signs point towards this being a successful initiative and providing an enviable base of junior cricketers, several of whom will go on to represent their country against Brazil and Argentina in 2008.
U-19 National Team
Following some excellent performances by Chilean junior players in this season’s opening fixtures, NDO David Mauro has decided to formalize a Chilean U19 national team. The squad of 20 players are currently training once a week, though this is expected to increase to three times a week as Chile look to take on neighbours Argentina in early 2008. It is hoped that this will be the first step towards Chile being included in future Americas U-19 tournaments.
Senior National Team
The Chilean senior national team are training twice a week in preparation for the Division Three Americas tournament to be held in February 2008. National Coach David Mauro has been putting the squad through their paces with fitness and fielding practice on Saturday mornings, whilst small groups of three to four players have been formed to concentrate on batting and bowling skills during the week.
The Metropolitan Cup, Chile’s premier domestic cricket competition, got underway this month and featured six teams for the first time. New sides Vina del Mar and Estacion Central played off against each other and ended up tying on 133 runs each – a great start to what promises to be the most exciting edition of the Metro Cup to date.
Chile’s participant on the 2007 Americas Coaching Seminar, held in Lima, Peru, was Miguel Angel Hernandez, Coach of the Echaurren school team. He is expected to run courses for local PE teachers and schools over the next few months and is sure to be a great addition to the Chilean coaching staff.
Second Division Competition
Chile’s second division competition has been revamped for the 2007-08 season, with each of the four original Metropolitan Cup sides (Las Condes, La Dehese, La Reina and Santiago) fielding a 2nd XI. The four teams are made up mostly of Chilean born players, juniors and women cricketers and will be competing against one another over the next three months.
It is another huge step for the Chilean Cricket Association and provides a link between school and club cricket, with each club ‘adopting’ two to three schools from which to source players. Competition for places is strong, with the most talented juniors looking to impress their club captains and progress into the Metropolitan Cup sides.
Cricket Strong in the Regions
Cricket continues to thrive in the fifth and eighth regions of Chile, thanks to RDO Patricio Caamano’s tireless efforts. Three senior clubs will be participating in the inaugural Fifth Region Cup, with fixtures being played from now until December. The winners of this competition will play off against the winners of Santiago’s Second Division Competition. Three schools are also in training in the fifth Region, with a few young players involved in Vina del Mar’s senior teams. In the eighth Region, the rain has finally ceased and play can resume, with Escuela Los Heroes and Clegio San Vicente both hoping to make an appearance at The Grange Cricket Festival in November.
Courtesy ICC Americas
Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa