Luxembourg Juniors enjoy Cricket Academy

Thu, Jul 26, 2007 2:31 PM

Throughout last week, the Luxembourg Junior Cricket Academy took place at the Optimists Cricket Ground in Walferdange in mostly perfect conditions.

Almost 40 young cricketers, with an age range of 6 to 15, took part in a 5 day programme of cricket skills development culminating in real matches on the Saturday.

This year the Academy week was notable for two extra levels of support. Firstly, the International Cricket Council assisted by sending from London Mr Philip Hudson, Cricket Development Officer for Europe, to Luxembourg for 2 days. Philip is an experienced player and first-rate coach and used his skills and experience to guide the children to reach higher levels with some great exercises and useful tips. Secondly, this year the Academy Week attracted the generous sponsorship of Citco who continue to be great supporters of cricket in the Grand Duchy.

The week itself is designed to give keen young cricketers a structured programme of development in many skill areas such as fielding, batting, bowling and catching whilst being reinforced through regular matches.

This process builds towards the final day of truly competitive matches. On the final Saturday, the older group fought out a tough 22 over match with some notable performances with the ball from Jason Dennis, Christopher Evans and William Cope.

Strong batting from the Barker brothers, Tom Clarke, Anthony Perdichizzi and man-of-the-match Nicholas Evans resulted in a close finish with the team led by Charlie Ramsden sealing victory in the final over.

After a splendid barbecue, the younger group then provided the highlight of the week. This match was as tight as anything seen all season.

Jan Meijer's team batted first and created a respectable score which looked unreachable at one point. But a good captain's performance from Mark Parson's set up a dramatic final over. With the energetic crowd cheering on, the entire week came down to the final ball with one run needed to seal a win. No batsmen likes that kind of pressure so it was all down to Roshni Gianchandani (a batswoman) to show the boys how. With a cool head she played a good straight ball into a space and scampered through for the winning single.

The Cricket Academy Week is part of a year-round programme to encourage children to develop a love of the game of cricket and with over 75 regular players and the full support of the parents, the coaches and the Luxembourg Cricket Federation, the continued growth of the sport in Luxembourg certainly looks bright.

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