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By John Howden
A new name will appear on Spanish cricket's winners trophy after Barcelona meets Valencia Green in the national league final today (Saturday). Click here for the Cricket Spain website.
Last year's winners Sporting Alfas CC were knocked out in the semi-final stages by league newcomers Valencia Green in a tight game earlier this month. The other game was a one-sided affair, which saw Northern league winners Barcelona Madrid side, missing several key players, by 226 runs.
Both Barcelona and Valencia Green had won the Northern and Southern league sections respectively during the group stages and the final on paper looks to be a close affair.
Barcelona CC will be looking to its captain Muharram Ali to deliver with the bat and he will be expected to open the innings for the Catalan side when batting. A lot is also be expected from Spain opening quick bowler Tanveer Iqbal.
From Valencia's perspective, the left-arm spin and guile of Spanish international Gulzar Ahmed will be an important factor if Green are to topple Spain's Twenty20 champions. They will also seek telling contributions from their talented allrounder and captain Asad Awan.
The final will take place at the prestigious La Manga club in Spain, which is the current home of the ECC's Centre of Excellence.
Staff writer Nishi studied journalism because she didn't want to study at all. As she spent most of the time at j-school stationed in front of the TV watching cricket her placement officer had no choice but to send out a desperate plea to the editor of ESPNcricinfo to hire her. Though some of the senior staff was suspicious at that a diploma in journalism was the worst thing that could happen to ESPNcricinfo and she did nothing to allay them, she continues to log in everyday and do her two bits for cricket.