22 June 2014

The Germans in England - ICC Europe Division 2 2014

Hello friends, it's been a while since the German cricket team has been out and about, but here we go again! The ICC European Division 2 starts on Monday in Essex again, and a lot of things have happened since the last time the Germans played on English turf, here's a quick wrap-up:

Coaching legend Keith Thompson, the backbone behind all the German successes you can read about on this blog, has climbed into his flying Keithmobile and returned to his home planet. Germany have appointed Steven Knox, a former New Zealand professional, who has played international cricket in Scotland and has gathered vast coaching experience with the Scottish youth teams and in top class cricket. Here's what Steven has to say about his new challenge:

The above interview was conducted by our batsman André Leslie, a journalist in his life outside cricket, and the DCB's new press officer, which means that the tournament and team news on the website of the German Cricket Association will come to you straight from the dressing room. You can follow André on Twitter: @andreleslie. The handle of Cricket Germany is @Cricket_Germany, the hashtag for all things concerning the national side is: #gothegerms.

Some team news:
Captain Asif Khan cannot take part in the tournament, so the reins have been entrusted to allrounder and stalwart Rishi Pillai, who also captains his domestic side with great success. Batsman and wicketkeeper Kashif Mahmood has broken his finger, and left-arm pace confusionist Ehsan Latif didn't make the selection. Other players are missing out, too, for example the internationally experienced legspinner Kashif Haider, as well as most of the youngsters touted as the next big talents, like Shafraz Samsudeen, Ashwin Prakash or Dilshan Rajudeen, who had appeared more or less regularily in past tournaments. Sadly no 'Afghan Assassin' Asad Khan either, of whom I had actually expected that Germany build him up as our new pace ace. I am really starting to wonder if some kind of cookie monster in the basement of the DCB headquarter feeds on promising new players and is gobbling them up all the time. But we are seeing plenty of unknown names and I am sure the odd international star with the life cycle of a fruit fly will emerge from them again (does anyone remember 'Oh Sohel Mia', the undisputed and globally acclaimed spin king of Botswana?). At least Germany can persist with Rohit Singh for the time being. More of this, please.

The German cricket team in 2010, white shirt: former coach Keith Thompson, front row third from left: Rishi Pillai.   (C) DCB

Cricket Germany writes about Rishi:
"The team has a new captain, Rishi Pillai, who is stepping in to replace Asif Khan, who is unable to take part in the tournament due to personal commitments. The 32 year old Pillai from Aachen has been a successful captain of Köln CC since 2008. Under his captaincy, the club has won five state titles and the national championship in 2012. The German squad also includes a few new faces with Khaled Khan, Hamid Mahmood and Zadran Nasrullah (all from Hessen) being joined by Aseeb Asgher (Bonn Blues CC) who have not yet played in an ICC tournament for Germany."

Full squad:
Rishi Pillai (captain, NRW); Khalid Butt (Bayern); Imran Chaudhry (Berlin); Wasantha De Silva (Baden-Württemberg); Shakeel Hassan (Hessen); Adeeb Asgher (NRW); Bilal Jafar (North Germany); Rana Javed Iqbal (Berlin); Khaled Khan (Hessen); Hamid Mahmood (Hessen); André Leslie (NRW); Zadran Nasrullah (Hessen); Harmanjot [Rohit] Singh (Berlin); Satyanarayana Srinivas (wk, NRW)

The practice match on Friday against the locals from Basildon & Pitsea CC ended with a victory for the German side. Today as I am writing this (Saturday) both Germany and Gibraltar practise at Basildon, while on Sunday they are even facing the Essex First Class players Tymal Mills (95 mph) and Nick Browne.

The tournament will be covered again on the ICC Europe website, the respective page is not up yet, but you should be able to find it by Monday. Video highlights will be provided by the ICC Europe on their YouTube channel, so make sure you keep an eye on that. The scoring will be done via CricHQ, the links can be found on the Cricket Germany website.

Fixtures in British Standard Time (via DCB):
23 June Germany v Austria 14.00 – 17.00 Essex County Ground
24 June Germany v Isle of Man 10.00 – 13.00 Billericay Ground 1
24 June Gibraltar v Germany 15.00 – 18.00 Garon Park
25 June Reserve Day
26 June Belgium v Germany 10.00 – 13.00 Billericay Ground 1
26 June Norway v Germany 15.00 – 18.00 Billericay Ground 1

If you can provide any additional info please leave a comment and I will edit it into the post.

So, all that's left for me to say is, go the Germs!


7 July 2013

Blitz Or Blunder - Germany In England At The Euro Div. 1

Germany are invading England! No fear my friends, they ain't gonna drop anything bar the odd catch ;)

Just one more night before the 2013 edition of the ICC European Division 1 T20 tournament gets under way in Sussex. The team and supporters have been counting down the days, and now it's just a few more hours until the Germans stride out onto holy English turf to destroy Belgium. Ahemm.

Some material for you, if you intend to follow the competition:

What's at stake? The two finalists of the competition will travel to the World T20 qualifiers in the UAE; the best non-World-Cricket-League-playing team will win promotion to WCL Div. 6, which means in order to get anywhere we need to finish better than Austria, Gibraltar, Belgium, France, Isle of Man, Norway and Sweden.

Big task, since we got drawn in Group B, the group of death, with Belgium, Denmark, France, Jersey and Isle of Man.

The teams in Group A are Guernsey, featuring the second highest runscorer in the history of the World Cricket League, Jeremy Frith, alongside Austria, Sweden, Norway, Gibraltar and Italy.

After the World Cricket League Division 7, the start of the domestic season, which unfortunately got delayed due to the long winter and subsequent floods, and the preparation camp in the Netherlands the players should be fit and in good nick. Apart from the usual suspects the team sheet also features a couple of new names, and I am especially happy to see young players Kashif Mahmood and Rohit Singh included. Kashif made a great knock against Denmark in the preparation games.

Picture of German cricket player Kashif Mahmood
Berlin batsman and wicketkeeper Kashif Mahmood, pic by Kashif
Asif Khan (capt.) - Düsseldorf
Rishi Pillai - Köln
Kashif Mahmood - Berlin
Nafees Butter - Frankfurt
Kashif Haider - Bochum
Imran Chaudhary - Berlin
Satya Srinivas - Köln
Rohit Singh - Berlin
Rana-Javed Iqbal - Berlin
Jafar Bilal - Hamburg
Wasantha de Silva - Stuttgart
Ajitabh Malviya - Berlin
Shakeel Hassan - Wiesbaden
Thomas Butt

Senior players such as Milan Fernando, Ehsan Latif, André Leslie and Farooq Ahmed are missing on the list due to various reasons. The vastly talented allrounder Rajeev Vohra and the promising batting youngster Shafraz Samsudeen had to pull out.

Pitifully also the bowlers Sohel Mia (the WCL spinning legend 'Oh Sohel Mia') and fast bowling destroyer Asad Khan, who I had been hoping to see in the troop, are staying at home.

Apart from that Germany are travelling with a lot of allrounders and four wicketkeeping options; five, if you include manager Ben Das. With attack leader Rana-Javed Iqbal and Bilal Jafar as our only genuine pace bowlers a sizeable share of the workload will be carried by the spinners and allrounders. Legspinning secret weapon Kashif Haider is back with the side and ready to fire.

Since the expectations after our below par WCL Div 7 campaign are modest, we can play freely and steamroller the enemy from behind (at least that's my theory).

Regarding the facilities and the coverage of the matches, here's a quote from the CricketEurope website:
The tournament will be played at four grounds in Sussex, with the first round matches being played at Horsham Cricket Club and Preston Nomads Cricket Club. The play-off matches will be played at Blackstone, home of the Sussex Cricket Academy, and the semi-finals and final will be played at the County Ground in Hove, with the final taking place under floodlights, a first for European associate & affiliate cricket.

That finals day will also be live streamed on the tournament website in association with Quipu TV, and there will be a daily highlights package available from the first round matches on this site.

I hope a lot of you will tune in, to show the ICC that the small cricketing nations have a broad fanbase, too!
Now all that's left for me to say is...

Go the Germs!