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The Bavaria Championship - A big weekend for European youth cricket

Sun, Mar 30, 2008 2:24 PM


Over 100 children from five countries competed in the Bavaria Indoor Junior Cricket Championships held 8-9 March in Munich and Tegernsee. A total of 17 teams competed in three age sections, U11, U13 and U19. 5 teams came from the powerful Austria CC Vienna club, 4 national selection teams were brought by the Swiss Cricket Association, 2 teams came from the British International School Bratislava (BISB) in Slovakia, a Czech Republic team, as well as 5 teams representing the hosts Bavaria, Germany.

This line-up reflects an international youth cricket network in Central Europe which has developed over several years. The geographical position of Munich/Tegernsee means the closest youth cricket is found in neighbouring countries rather than in Germany. The long-standing, excellent work of Austria CC under Siva Nadarajah and Tegernsee CC under Peter Stiff, has been augmented by the dynamic growth of Swiss junior cricket under Patrick Henderson. Additions in recent years are the Czech juniors under Scott Page and Munich Youth Cricket under Mike Kwan. The latest members welcomed to this open and growing network is BISB Slovakia under Gill Ingham, and Comenius Hungary under Andy Grieve. A happy arrangement born out of geographic necessity!

This means that cricket events take players and families to some of the most attractive and fascinating destinations in Europe. The Future Challenge Cup outdoor tournament in early-May is hosted by Austria CC in Vienna. The Swiss hold a large junior tournament in June in the remarkable mountain setting of Zuoz. The Czechs held a major international indoor tournament in Prague in November, and there are strong hopes that Bratislava and Budapest will soon be added to this list of regular destinations. Who knows where next!

The Bavaria Championships on the weekend 8-9 March represented the Munich/Tegernsee leg of this Central European Grand Prix of tournaments.
The Munich Cup (U11s) and Bavaria Cup (U13s) was held at the European School in Munich, and the Tegernsee Cup (U19s) was in the Gymnasium Hall, Tegernsee.

Munich

81 children (71 boys and 10 girls) in 12 teams descended on the European School Munich to contest the Munich (U11) and Bavaria (U13) Cups. The same format was used for both tournaments, with six teams playing each other over 15 matches on Saturday to establish a table. The placings from Saturday determined the line-up for the nine matches on Sunday, and the points were carried forward to determine the final placings. Each team was therefore guaranteed eight matches and four hours of cricket.

The rules were based on the ICC indoor regulations with six-a-side teams and six-over innings. Each batting pair had two overs and each player had to bowl one over, so the tournaments were a true test of the teams' all-round cricketing ability with each and every player having an equal opportunity.

Such opportunities are rare in Central Europe, and for many this was their first taste of competitive cricket. By far the most satisfying aspect of the tournaments was the enormous progress made by the children, particularly in the BISB Slovakia, Czech Rep, Austria Whites, Munich Panthers and Munich Jaguars teams. It was clear from their play on Sunday that valuable experience had been added to their obvious enthusiasm and commitment. It is our hope that this tournament has played a positive role in their cricketing development.

Whilst the competitive element is clearly a strong spur to development, there is always the danger with children that this aspect dominates. Luckily it was generally the case that the responsible adults balanced this element with due respect for opponents and officials to ensure that the tournaments were conducted in the correct spirit.

Congratulations go to all the teams with many thanks to all the accompanying families for their unflagging and vocal support. Many thanks go also to the many helpers who ensured the smooth running of the tournament with scoring, umpiring and organisation. Thanks also to Brian Fell, President of the German Cricket Association (DCB), for coming to present the prizes. Extra special thanks go to the Munich parents who put a lot of time and effort into providing excellent and plentiful food and drinks on both days.

The Munich Cup (U11)

41 children (38 boys and 3 girls) in six teams from four countries competed for the inaugural Munich Cup donated by www.SriSai.org. The withdrawal of the Czech Rep team was compensated by an additional team from Austria CC. They were joined by a Swiss national selection team, a BISB Slovakia team, and two Munich teams. As already mentioned, the progress seen in the children from the BISB Slovakia, Austria Whites and Munich Panthers teams was the most heartening aspect of the tournament.

Saturday's play in the U11 Munich Cup saw three teams, Switzerland, Austria Reds and Munich Tigers, pull away from the field. A win by just one run over Munich Tigers, followed by an excellent fielding display against Switzerland, left Austria Reds overnight on 53 points ahead of Switzerland with 45 and Munich Tigers with 37. A fine fielding display by BISB Slovakia against Austria Whites settled the duel between the only teams yet to register a win.

Sunday saw a loss by Austria Reds to Munich Tigers turn their final match of the day against Switzerland into a tournament decider. Even though Switzerland could only score 32 runs, a tense, low-scoring match was settled when tight, accurate bowling by Switzerland had left Austria with just 25 runs. Meanwhile, Austria Whites put their lack of Saturday success behind them and roared into fourth place with two wins on Sunday, including revenge over BISB Slovakia.

Final placings were:

1. Switzerland 74 pts
2. Munich Tigers 69 pts
3. Austria CC Reds 64 pts
4. Austria CC Whites 22 pts
5. Munich Panthers 21 pts
6. BISB Slovakia 14 pts

No team remained unbeaten and the hard-fought, close nature of the key matches is reflected in the final standings with just 10 points separating the top three teams. 1757 runs were scored and 173 wickets were taken in 24 matches. The spirit of cricket award goes to the enthusiastic and sporting team from the British International School Bratislava, Slovakia. Tournament highlights were the fielding of Austria Reds, the bowling of Switzerland (leg-spin bowling by Arthur, most wickets with 40), and the batting of Munich Tigers (Blake and Harry B top pair score of 43, top team total of 497 runs, and top team match score of 99).

The Bavaria Cup (U13)

40 children (33 boys and 7 girls) in six teams from five countries competed for the second Bavaria Cup donated by the Bavarian Cricket Association (BCV). The Czech Rep team was completed by two players from Munich, and they were joined by Austria CC, a Swiss national selection, a BISB Slovakia team, and two Munich teams.

Saturday's play in the U13 Bavaria Cup also saw three teams, Switzerland, Austria Reds and Munich Lions, pull away from the field.
Convincing all-round displays by Switzerland left them overnight on 55 points ahead of Austria Reds on 44 and Munich Lions with 33. An excellent fielding display by BISB Slovakia against the Czech Rep settled the hard-fought Slovakia v Czech Rep duel by just one run.

Sunday saw Austria Reds and Munich Lions chase Switzerland hard, but the Swiss battled to three further wins to remain the only unbeaten team in either tournament in Munich. Meanwhile, the Czech Republic put their lack of Saturday success behind them to extract sweet revenge over BISB Slovakia by just 4 runs.

Final placings were:

1. Switzerland 86 pts
2. Austria CC Reds 67 pts
3. Munich Lions 55 pts
4. Munich Jaguars 32 pts
5. BISB Slovakia 13 pts
6. Czech Rep 12 pts

As the reigning champions and the only national team, the Swiss justified their status as favourites in the U13 Bavaria Cup. They remained unbeaten, but the high bar they have set is quickly being reached by other teams. 2319 runs were scored and 144 wickets were taken in 24 matches. Also here, the spirit of cricket award goes to the sporting team from the BISB Slovakia. Tournament highlights were the clever running between the wickets by the girls, the fielding of Austria Reds, the all-round ability of Switzerland (most wickets with 38, most runs with 560), and the batting of Munich Tigers (top team match score of 114, plus Chase and Krishna twice top pair score of 44).

Tegernsee (U19)

This year's Tegernsee U19 indoor tournament saw two Swiss sides, two from Austria CC Vienna and one side from Tegernsee compete in an
under-19 tournment under ECC indoor tournament rules. The tournament was played over two days with each side playing the other once and then a grand final based on the first-round results. No side dominated. Each side losing games and winning games. Indeed it was the closest and best-fought Tegernsee tournament anybody can remember.

The final was played out by Swiss Reds v Austria CC Reds. The Austrians batted first and scored 144 for 4 (Shivam 29, Lukas 21, Ciju 25, Faiz
27) in their 10 overs. The Swiss started off well but a few wickets in the middle of the innings saw their run chase come to an end before finally falling all out for 104 all out in 8.2 Overs (Lee 41 not out, Mikhit 16, Peter 15)

The presentation saw a reflection of the Tegernsee Tournament over the last 10 years by Siva Nadarajah of Austria CC as the only person who has been to all 10 years of the tournament. Tegernsee Sports Verein President Rudi Geintner then also gave a few words of thanks for all the work over the years before Peter Stiff, Tegernsee Cricket Club President, gave the prize to the victorious Austria CC Vienna Reds side.



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