Turkey: Istanbul may join Ankara league as numbers grow

Turkey's main domestic cricket competition, the Second Faisal Khalid Memorial tournament, may straddle two continents this year, if moves to include an Istanbul team are successful.

The addition of an Istanbul team would be the first from outside Ankara to play in the tournament already bolstered for this year by the addition of a fourth team from the capital.

The competition, which is based at the Middle Eastern Technical University, is comprised primarily of teams of expatriate students from the subcontinent.

Organisers hope the competition will commence in early July.

The devotion (and reflexes!) of the players is tested by damage caused to the 'pitch' by American Football players with whom it is shared.

Another hassle is access to gear, but this predicament is usually relieved on players returning from trips home to Pakistan.

Enthusiasts held a six team double wicket tournament last month to celebrate the Spring Festival.

The pairings were: Khalid Mehmood & Sajjad Shaheen; Atif Saeed & Atiq Nagi; M.Tahir Chaudhary & Yusuf; Mahish Singh & Akif Anwar Chaudhary; Arslan & Ajwad Ansari and Shahab & Mahraj.

Matches were played on single league basis, so every team had a chance to paly against all other teams.

Games were limited to three overs per team, with a deduction of three runs from the total upon fall of every wicket. Top two teams were supposed to play final.

The combination of Mahish and Akif remained unbeaten in the league matches, with the pair of M.Tahir Chaudhary & Yusuf just behind with one loss.

The final went this way: M.Tahir Chaudhary & Yusuf won the toss and elected to bat first. They were limited to 26 runs in their allotted three overs because of some nice bowling by Akif. Tahir hit some good strokes in the last over to reach this total.

Makish Singh and Akif Anwar Chaudhary won the match by smashing 36 runs in three overs to become tournament champions and thus remain unbeaten.