Squads | Tournament Programme and in-depth squad descriptions (PDF)
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... your name is depletion... I was worried that a lot of players could not afford to take time off for a second week-long tournament this year, but still hoped that most of them would make it. However...
SQUAD: Asif Khan / Captain (Düsseldorf BlackCaps CC), Javed Iqbal / Vice-Captain (DSSC Berlin), Shakeel Hassan (SV Wiesbaden 1899), Dilshan Rajudeen (Bonn CC), Mudassar Razzaq (Dortmund CC), Fazal-Azeem Rathore (DSSC Berlin), Kashif Haider (Bochum CC), Kashif Mahmood (Pak Berlin), Syed Farid Shah (Pak Alemi, Hamburg), Milan Fernando (Serendip, Munich CC), Benjamin Das (Düsseldorf BlackCaps CC), Ehsan Latif (Pak Berlin), Imran Chaudhry (DSSC Berlin), Ayoma Abeywickrama (Göttingen UCT), Brian Fell (Manager), Keith Thompson (Coach)
PFCNFS-readers' favourite Satya Srinivas is missing a German tournament for the first time in his career, Germany have drafted two possible replacements into the squad, one of them being Ben Das (Germany selector), and Ayoma Abeywickrama. While Ben keeps wicket for the successful Düsseldorf Blackcaps I think that Göttingen's Abeywickrama would be our man here (because of the fact that his name kinda gives you a clue on this talent ;) ), and Ben jumps in when needed. But don't you find it amusing that it takes two people to replace Satya ^^ *bad but good joke*
Another gaping hole opens up in the side due to the absence of Rishi Pillai. Extremely painful since he's been having a super great run in domestic cricket.
The sparkling bowling allrounder Rajeev Vohra is not available either, schöner Dreck, I was of the opinion that he would make for a good T20 player as well. Damn.
Opener and, if you believe the rumours, Germany's sharpest fielder André Leslie is missing out, too, another big blow to our chances.
I'm also inconsolable about the unavailability of spinning allrounder Farooq Ahmed, he's high up on the list of my fav players and I needn't comment on his value in the Channel conditions, he had kickstarted his last year's Island campaign with a MOTM performance in this legendary match against France.
Out of the group of fringe and future players who are always on stand-by and pop in whenever needed I can't see anyone in the list. No Tarun Rawat, Ashwin Prakash, Shafraz Samsudeen or Khalid (Thomas) Butt.
So basically the entire middle order, incl. some of their possible replacements, got ripped out and has to be substituted.
However, I am very relieved to spot some familiar names in the list, these being skipper and stalwart Asif Khan, opener Milan Fernando, who seamlessly continued his rich form from Botswana and is coming off a stellar domestic season, the irreplaceable Shakeel Hassan, legmaster Kashif Haider, our ingenious strike bowling duo Rana-Javed Iqbal and Ehsan Latif, and of course Dilshan Rajudeen.
Too bad I hardly know anything about the new players in the side, some of them seem to originate from Javed Iqbal's Berlin team, i.e the one unbeatable force in the Wild East, so I trust they are capable replacements. No Dresdenians yet, but we should be getting there over the course of the next five or six decades, I am confident ;)
►►► Some details about the new guys and background info on the role of T20 in Germany can be found in this article on the Cricket Germany website, for more see the PDF mentioned above.
[Interview with Herschel Gutman about cricket in Israel and the preparation for the T20]
The Israel squad features all the great names I remember from last year perhaps with the exception of Gabi Schachat, so it quite looks like their opposition is in for a pasting here, especially as unlike some other countries the men in blue have not played any tournaments yet in 2011, which means they are sending their first string selection to Europe; they also started to practise early for this competition. Since the Israeli T20 cup has just finished (congrats Josh Evans and Ra'anana!) the players should be in the best possible fettle for the format. I firmly believe that we are going to hear more from this team in the future; although the coverage of Israel cricket outside the country might still be a bit sparse you can figure from the reports in the media that their support at home is growing constantly and the development of their local structures never comes to a standstill. You feel that something is bubbling underneath the surface and wants to break free very soon...
...Gibraltar have had a horrid last 12 months and will aim at returning to the European elite. While they will surely be missing the services of Christian Rocca and Richard Buzaglo the team is stuffed with young hopefuls as well as enough experienced forces and the format should help them to set an exclamation mark. Norway have suffered the mother of all blows since they are without Damien Shortis, and the 100% lack of Ehetsham ul-Haq keeps my affection within tight limits :P Guernsey feature all the names that annoyed the goodness out of me last year already. France are sending Ayya into the battle again. Jeeeeez.
Sorry for this topsy-turvy excuse of a blog post, more on everything in the coming days. Go the Germs!