First ever Estonian Inter-School Cricket Tournament leads the way
Over the summer, the Estonian Cricket Association (ECA) has been working hard on a school cricket training initiative as part of their Youth Development Programme. All the hard work culminated in the first ever Estonian Inter-School tournament last week.
The initial focus of the programme has been on 14 to 17 year old children and on teaching the Physical Education (PE) teachers about the game. A total of six schools have been visited to introduce cricket and to donate equipment.
Four schools participated in the event: International School of Estonia, Kernu School, Rocca Al Mare School and the English College. Rocca Al Mare School and the English College made it through the round robin stage of the tournament and faced each other in the final. The English College were eventual winners, beating Rocca Al Mare by one run in the final over. A tense, hard fought final that was a true example of an exciting cricket game, played in good spirit.
The foundation has been laid for further competition between the schools. With the help of the Estonian School Sports Union, cricket will be introduced to more schools throughout Estonia. The next goal is to develop a league for the Tallinn based schools.
The ECA's goals are to spread cricket and grow the base of indigenous players. The Youth Development Programme plays a major part in increasing the number of Estonian players. A large percentage of the national team represented at the recent ICC Europe Division 5 Championships in Corfu, were made up of indigenous Estonians. Three of the Estonian players were U19, which proves that the programme is starting to show benefits and hopefully develop future stars.