Well obviously I'm not done yet.... so here's a few more words on the hottest cricket topic of the last week ^^
World Cricket League Div. 7 - Player Of The Tournament
Throughout the whole tournament I had had the feeling that our Rana-Javed Iqbal would and should be it, since he hadn't only been the number one ranked bowler in the table by wickets, average, economy rate and maidens, but he also captained the side (and on top of that earned the MOTM) in the victory against Kuwait, the latter a feat only Germany managed to achieve.
Kuwait's Mohammad Murad, just 21 years old, runner-up in the bowling table, part of the champion side and taking four in the final, would obviously be the second contender, delivering an impressively consistent performance throughout the whole competition, and also showed his determination with the bat against us.
If you look at the figures you will see that both bowlers have taken three wickets per match on average, and if Murad hadn't had to miss out on one game perhaps their stats would look like mirrored images. In fact, the chances of such an outcome would have been pretty high:
|Click the image to view the entire table|
So I think that Murad got picked for the trophy because of the above mentioned soft reasons, his young age and him being a part of the side that won the tournament.
But!!! Attention ladies and gentlemen, hold on to your seats:
Rana-Javed Iqbal was born on the 25th December.
This is not only one of the highest religious holidays in most Western countries due to the celebration of Jesus' birth, but also the birthday of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the father and founder of the state of Pakistan, and therefore a public holiday in Pakistan as well. In that context there also needs to be mentioned that 'Javed Iqbal' is the name of the son of Sialkot poet Muhammad Iqbal, one of the most highly respected Pakistani philosophers and great minds behind Pakistan's foundation (there is even a street named after him in the German city of Heidelberg). I will spare you another load of Iqbal-worship today, but you see where I'm coming from: in terms of soft factors Rana-Javed beats Mo Murad by a flipping mile! Statistically, however, the two bowlers should have shared the honours. Or maybe I'm just a wee bit jealous of that young whippersnapper from Kuwait :P
WCL Div. 7 - Glass Ceiling For Germany?
No, I don't think so. The competition was obviously a lot tougher than in WCL Div. 8, where we saw big differences in the skill levels of the participating teams, and enjoyed an undefeated run into the final. But in my opinion we were capable of reaching WCL Div. 6 as well. Nobody knows what would have happened if Farooq had bowled his quota in the match against Nigeria, or had been been introduced against Botswana earlier. There are so many situations in life when you get the best ideas retrospectively. Hinterher ist man immer schlauer.
Our team's efforts have largely been carried by the most experienced forces in our side: Milan Fernando, Farooq Ahmed, Asif Khan and Rana-Javed Iqbal -see above- proved to be absolutely irreplaceable once again. I hope and pray these guys are still going to stay around for a while. Their departure would leave gaping holes in the German line-up, and cut deep wounds in
my every German cricket supporter's heart.
Age-wise the next batch of players, Shakeel Hassan, André Leslie, Kashif Haider, Rishi Pillai, Satya Srinivas and the searing Rajeev Vohra have contributed tremendously to our efforts and will play key roles in our future successes, and I'm convinced they are going to do a stellar job for us.
The youngest generation, comprising Ehsan Latif, the second spearhead of our attack and equipped with a veteran's amount of experience already, as well as Tarun Rawat and Ashwin Prakash look promising prospects for our country, and surely some more gems are slumbering below the surface waiting to be unearthed by the German Cricket Federation soon.
The Summer Of Cricket 2011
July holds some more international challenges in store for the German teams:
From 19th to 24th the European Div. 1 T20 Championship will be played in Jersey and Guernsey. Oh god I mustn't look at our competitors: Croatia, Denmark, France, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Israel, Italy, Jersey, Norway... (big gulp of terror) plus the two highest-ranked teams from Div. 2, which takes place from 20th to 25th June in Belgium. The Div. 1 list features some of the strongest teams in Europe, and in random cricket anything can happen, so we have to be prepared for some seemingly unlikely results as well. I am utterly happy that Israel are returning to Europe for a couple of slog-outs, good luck guys, all the best. Gibraltar will be without Christian Rocca for the first time in like 300 years :(
Another important event takes place from 27th July to 2nd August: the European Div. 2 U19 Championship, which is staged in the Isle of Man. The teams competing with Germany are Belgium, Denmark, France, Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Norway, Spain. Tough tough tough. I will try and get my hands on some scorecards or whatever material is available, the future starts here!
So, thank god, there is some more continental cricket to come this year, before the German tournament schedule inevitably ends for the season... For now I would like to say thank you to the two or three people who have visited the blog during the last week, I hope you'll be popping in again in July :)