News from cricket around the world - ICC associates, affiliates and others (June 13 1999)

June 13 1999

News from cricket around the world - ICC associates, affiliates and others

Tony Munro

Hi and welcome to the tenth edition of "Cricket Around The World", the unofficial column devoted to goings-on at the non-Test level. If you would like cricket news from your country included, or want to have your say about cricket at the non-Test level, please email me at: tonymunro@cricinfo.com. In this edition, cricket news from: ECC Clubs' Festival, Germany, Kuwait, Bahrain, Turkey, Hawaii, Solomon Islands, Panama and South Korea.

This month's ECC Club's Festival in Limavady, Ireland will remain a seven team event, following the failure of last-minute attempts to include German champion, DSSC Berlin.

Insufficient time remained for the inclusion of DSSC Berlin, who it was hoped would cover the withdrawal of Austrian title-holder, Lords C.C.

Officials are hoping to make the tournament for ECC club champions more inclusive in future years.

There is speculation that the qualification path for the 2003 World Cup for non-Test countries may be changed. And this isn't just for Bangladesh and Kenya, who hoping for exemption from the ICC Trophy by virtue of their one-day international status.

"Cricket Around The World" will bring you more next week.

Germany's preparation for September's ECC Trophy to be held in Corfu, Greece got off to a mixed start with a win and a loss in last weekend's matches against Denmark Under 23's in Berlin.

Peter Power, of the Danish Cricket Board, reports:

The first morning turned out with bright sunshine and clears skies. Unfortunately this did not last the day, both teams showing sportsmanship in playing in rainy conditions late in the afternoon. The Danish captain Rasmus Levinksy was given a Danish coin and promptly lost the toss, the Germans deciding on batting on the artificial turf. The ground itself must be on of the best in continental Europe with lush grass well kept after by the Scottish groundsman and the extraordinary condition of having three trees inside the playing area, where the batsmen will always be awarded a four even though the ball just touches the top leaf.

The Danes got off to a good start where David Christiansen bowled Dar on the fourth ball with a full toss. The Germans stabilised things by adding 50 runs before Mads Kopperholdt bowled the Germany excellent wicket-keeper Pascha. A. Bhatti continued though to flourish hitting eight glorious fours before he fell to a fine catch by Jacob Larsen on the long-leg boundary. The Germans continued adding runs thanks to a fine partnership between Husum's Mark Brodersen and Younis Khan. The Danish bowling had now got rather undisciplined and this was punished by the Germans. Brodersen and Khan finally fell to newcomer Saad Hafeez, who was a pleasure to watch in the field. Germany finally ended on scoring 220 in the final over.

The Danish batting also got off to a poor start when captain Levinsky cut his second ball straight to Chr. Petersen at gully. Chr Petersen took another catch when he was moved deeper as Saad Hafeez showed a liking to short deliveries outside the off stump. Soon enough he sent one straight to Petersen. Max Overgaard and Rasmus Lorentsen kept things going until 59, when Lorentzen pulled a bad ball outside leg stump straight to guess who - Chr Petersen. Max continued to play a sensible innings at the one end but with changing partners. When Max was finally bowled for 65 off 121 balls the Danes had mustered 176 for eight. Henrik Hansen tried to hit his way out of trouble, but he was well stumped down the leg side off Mohammads medium bowling. A late flurry by Larsens was not enough and the Danes fell 12 runs short on 208.

The match was played without any fielding restrictions, but was marred by two different interpretations of the wide rule.

Sunday began with gray skies and moisture in the air. It had rained during the night, so the pitch was damp and the grass heavy. Rasmus Lewinsky was this time provided with a German coin, but promptly loss the toss again and this time the Danes were put in to bat. The Germans knew their bowlers would get some assistance form the pitch. And surely enough the ball shot off the pitch giving extra pace. The Danes scored slowly as most of the runs were extras. Lewinsky was caught down the leg-side when the score was 22. Saad was bowled by a Younis inswinger that shot off the pitch. Christiansen was bowled playing across the line. Suddenly the Danes were 41 for 4, but Tommy Jeppesen would not be tied down and played the ball firmly. He was joined by Michael Andreasen and these two began to take control as the pitch got slower. Michael played some fine shots including two fine cover drives and a massive six over long-on. They put on 113 for the fifth wicket before Michael was caught behind off Petersen's off spinners for 68. Lorentsen came in and another 38 runs were added before Jeppesen was adjudged lbw down the legside for 46. The Danes ended on 211 for 9 off their 50 overs.

It was obvious in the field that the Danes wanted to show that Saturday's defeat was a mistake. Jacob Larsen soon caused trouble and in his spell he sent three Germans back to the pavilion including A.Bahtti for duck hooking a very short ball to the wicket-keeper. Mads Kopperholdt took over and caused problems for the Germans by moving the ball both ways off the seam. Mark Brodersen was bowled by Mads behind his legs. Younis Khan was the only German batsman to show any resistance hitting a quick 36. The last German pair raised the total from 88 to the final score of 110.

Both teams got invaluable practice from these two matches, but the Germans must get used to playing under the ICC rules. The young Danes learned that at this level bad bowling gets punished and missed chances can be expensive.

Cricket Around The World's" Middle East correspondent, Thomas Thurairatnam, has been honoured with his naming on the Kuwait Cricket Association's first ever national selection committee.

The seven-man committee, which will be chaired by Asad Baig, the spearhead of the KCA's development programme, will be responsible for selection of Kuwait's first ever national touring team, to Pakistan in July.

In a progressive move, the side will be selected according to ICC regulations.

The other members are Hissamudin Shah, Bader Muneer, Mahmoud Bastaki, Najam Raza and Elias Manjre.

The selectors have conducted trials on three days. There was a large turn out of cricketers who will be short listed before the final selection. According to the policy of selection for this tour, decisons will be made with an eye on the future. The officials are also looking to develop a database of eligible cricketers for further training and development.

Meanwhile, the domestic season has concluded with Kuwait's two most successful clubs, Hubara Cricketers and Evergreen Al Sayer sharing the two main titles.

Fittingly, Hubara and Al Sayer played off for both the League and Knockout Cup finals, with Hubara snaring the Gulf Bank Super League title by six wickets, and Al Sayer fending off Hubara to nab the Hubara Patron's Cup by 34 runs.

The scores are: Hubara Patron's Cup knock out tournament (formerly Mirza Cup) 40-over-a-side Final: Evergreen Al Sayer vs. Hubara Cricketers - Al Sayer won the toss and elected to bat. Al Sayer 274/9 (40 overs) (Mustanser 126; Ayub Shaik 5/28, Azmath 2/52) Hubara 240 (38.5 overs) (Ulfat 63, Javed Choudhury 71; Amin 2/49) Result: Evergreen Al Sayer defeated Hubara Cricketers by 34 runs.

Gulf Bank Super League Finals Hubara Cricketers vs. Evergreen Al Sayer - Evergreen Al Sayer won the toss and elected to bat. Al Sayer 243 all out (38.5 overs) (Hanees Babu 51, Ijaz 49, Mustanser 45; Azmath 2/52, Ayub Shaik 3/29); Hubara 249-4 (34.4 overs) (Javeed 64, Ayub Shaik 43, Azmath 45 no; Dawood 2/47). Hubara Cricketers won by six wickets.

The Bahrain cricket scene is a bustling one with the 50-odd teams who serve the expatriates' desire for our game spread amongst various leagues.

The most important of these is the Bahrain Cricket Association's Asgherali League, which concluded last month, with an almost monumental dethroning of perennial premier, Bahrain C.C. by Young Boys.

Young Boys snatched the title chiefly through two league wins over B.C.C. through the competition. Young Boys' strength had been its batting, based around Abdul Waheed, Rana Fayaz, Nasser Mahmood and Qamar Saeed.

The league table finished this way: Young Boys (Played 20, Won 18, Lost 1, No Result 1, Points 37); B.C.C. (20-15-4-1-31), Indian Club (20-13-6-1-27); Punjab C.C. (20-13-6-1-27); Sri Lanka C.C. (20-13-6-1-27); Pakistan (20-10-8-2-22); Awali C.C. (20-10-9-1-21); Godfathers C.C. (20-6-13-1-13); Crystral C.C. (20-4-15-1-9); Cosmopolitan C.C. (20-1-17-2-3); Falcon C.C. (20-1-17-2-3).

It is not only Young Boys whose batting is its main quality, as fast matting pitches and treacherous outfields make 200+ from 25 overs a reasonable proposition.

Fielding requires courage in this desert island where outfields are grassless. This reflects general conditions where batsmen play on cracked concrete strips and torn/worn matting.

As one would expect, the quality of the grounds is dubious - indeed one junior league team plays at low tide on a mud flat.

Having said this, some relatively good cricketers play in Bahrain, with first class players imported from the sub-continent by expatriate businessmen. This has on occasions caused eligibility disputes such as the one which caused this season's Cup final to be cancelled.

The top five or six teams reputedly boast quality players, almost all from the India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka - the main source of Bahrain's cricketers.

The ability of the island's cricketers can be gauged by its performance against the visiting 1994 MCC side, which was in some discomfort at 100-4 (22 overs) chasing 239 off 40 overs against the Bahrain Select XI.

The MCC side included former England players, Paul Parker, John Morris, Bill Athey, Nick Cook and also David Graveney.

Few Bahrainis taken up cricket - those that have, learnt the game while being educated in countries with a cricket heritage.

At this stage, there has been no attempt to introduce a formal junior coaching programme.

Cricket's revival in Turkey begins this weekend with the first round of the Fasisal Khalid Memorial Tournament in Ankara.

The tournament, which is mainly organised by university students from the sub-continent, will be contested by four teams - Middle Eastern Technical University (METU) C.C., Bilkent University (Ankara), the Pakistan Embassy and a Combined Eleven formed from staff at the Australian, Indian, Sri Lankan and British embassies).

All teams will play each other once, after which the top two teams will play off in a final.

It will be the first competition since a four-team tournament held in June, 1997.

You would think any team playing its home matches between two of the world's most famous landmarks, Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach, would never want to travel.

However, no team in this July's North American tournament will venture further than the Honolulu Cricket Club when it plays its first match in Vancouver, Canada.

The club, which has a cosmopolitan blend of 30 playing and 20 social members, plays matches year round at Queen Kapiolani Park, nestled between the tourist attractions.

If you envisage a cricket club in Hawaii would be without heritage, the Honolulu C.C. is the oldest sporting club in the Pacific Ocean, being formed in 1893.

In 1998 and 1999 it has regularly received visiting teams from San Francisco (Marin C.C. and Pig & Whistler), Los Angeles (Hollywood Golden Oldies) and Australia (Kookaburra C.C.) and is eager to receive more. If you would like to contact the Honolulu C.C. please email me at the address at the top of the column.

Cricket is believed to have been first introduced into the Solomon Islands in the early part of this century by the Church of England and Methodist Missionaries and was very popular right through out the Islands up until the late Sixties, when it started to drop off in the Provinces. By the Eighties it became non existent out side of Honiara.

Honiara being the capital has a lot more English, Australians, Kiwis, Africans, Indians etc., so cricket there survived up to about the mid-90s. The cause of the decline stemmed mainly from the fact a lot of the expatriate population after Independence were on short term contracts and didn't get involved in the organization and keeping the association going, but rather joined the Golf Club.

Through a lack of support, our gear deteriorated and the game was more or less forgotten for five years. A couple of months ago, a Royal Australian Navy frigate visited Honiara and enthusiasts there managed to scrounge some pads, balls, wicket-keeping gloves etc.

This provided the impetus to reignite cricket interest and since then Solomon Island cricket has consisted of the occasional friendly.

About two months ago, Brisbane's Sky West Air Lines visited for a friendly game from Brisbane and the Solomon Islands beat the Australian team by six wickets.

Again, this has increased enthusiasm and officials are hopeful of restarting competitive cricket. This is in spite of a chronic shortage of gear.

Evidence of a small core of cricket followers in Panama has emerged with the success of a satellite subscription service to the World Cup which has attracted over 400 customers.

This service will lesson the cricketing drought for Panama's expatriates who cannot get on the field at the moment due to the onset of the rainy season.

The rain has meant the indefinite postponement of the final between Paraiso C.C. and Bathan C.C.

Paraiso C.C. had qualified for the final by eliminating Kachalia 'A' C.C., chiefly thanks to Ranguni, who top-scored with 34 runs.

Bathan C.C. gained its final berth with a victory over Sidat C.C., with Bathan C.C.'s best batsmen being Zahid Chojam.

The expats in Panama are happy at this stage to treat the game as recreation and are unlikely to form a national association in the near future.

The Korea Cricket Club spring season finished last weekend with its grand final. Here are the vital details:

The Grande Finale of the '99 Spring League pitted Rest of the World against Pakistan. Going into the game, the punters' money was being bet on R.O.W. despite the loss of captain Tony James with a broken hand. However, Pakistan could not be written off. Although they scraped into the finals, they finally fielded a full strength team against India in the semi-final and defeated their then-undefeated arch-rivals mercilessly.

Pakistan batted first. Sikander opened the batting in an attempt to stop the quick fall of wickets that had occurred in previous weeks. A sensible tactic which did not produce results, with the normally staunch batsman being bowled on a full toss the first ball he faced. Nonetheless, the other opener Mujtaba went on to score 42 in a 62 run partnership with Loddhi (16). Nasir took over, scoring 40 of the Pakistani total of 162, with 30 or so extras. For R.O.W., the bowlers (Chris, Shah, Nimal, Farhan and Arshad) pretty much divided the spoils, Shah bowling extremely well for only one wicket.

Being a better bowling than batting side, 162 was a fair total for Pakistan to defend. However, their bowlers struggled with their line early, despite having given India nothing the previous week, and only one wicket fell in the first six overs. Shah was doing a great deal of damage to the attack, and the tide had turned ROW's way. The highlight of the early spell was Shah's controversial not out when seemingly caught on the boundary. Shah typically smote 43 runs.

It was a superb spell from Man of the Match, Nasir, that turned the tide. In two delightful textbook overs Nasir took four out of the top five R.O.W. wickets - including Shah and the R.O.W. captain, Chris. Although they came close, R.O.W. never re-swung the pendulum, with only Kamar (17) and Farhan (16) troubling the scorers to any great degree. ROW were bowled out in the 19th over, 24 runs shy of the Pakistani total. Best of the Pakistani bowlers were Nasir with four wickets and Taimuar with three, with Kashif and Tahir taking one apiece. Overall, a superb win and another cup to the Pakistanis.

Thanks to Olivier de Braekeleer for his contributions through the Korean spring season. The Korean autumn season commences in August.

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