Spain catch the spirit with Solidarity Twenty20 Tournament
Wed, May 6, 2009 11:24 AM
Amsterdam CC beat Quick CC The Hague by 23 runs in a close-fought final to win the Madrid CC 2nd Solidarity T20 Tournament held at La Manga Club in southern Spain to raise funds for the Vicente Ferrer Foundation and cricket development in the Spanish capital.
The Dutch teams had dominated the group stages, winning all three matches and finishing top of their leagues. In the semi-finals Amsterdam beat Milton Keynes CC and Quick CC The Hague defeated Bank of England CC to set up an all-Dutch final.
With current and former Dutch internationals featuring in both sides, it was sure to be a great final. Amsterdam batted first and amassed an impressive 180 off their allocated 20 overs. This included 77 from Mudasser Bhakari, who the week before had been playing for the Netherlands in the World Cup qualifiers in South Africa. Bhakari scored 5 sixes in his innings but even this was surpassed by De Bruin, who scored 6 sixes in his quickfire innings of 54.
Quick CC started badly, losing G Mol quickly and always struggled to keep up the run rate. Despite a flurry of runs and sixes from South African James Rosenburg in the middle order of the Quick innings, the team as a whole could not sustain the required 9 runs an over required to win the tournament. They finally mustered 157 runs from their allocated overs. Zulfiquar´s bowling figures of 3-18 did most of the damage as Amsterdam finally ran out winners by 23 runs.
Bank of England took third with a win over Milton Keynes, while hosts Madrid CC defeated Belsize Village to take fifth place. Mojacar CC and La Manga CC came seventh and eighth respectively.
Damien Ridgeway of Bank of England won the Catch the Spirit Fair Play Award for accepting an opponent's decision that he had been caught off a questionable catch, and the two Dutch teams split the best batsman and bowling trophies, with Jeroen Brand of Quick getting the best batting award from the umpires for two excellent 50's during the tournament and Amsterdam captain Moshin Ghaznavi winning the bowling award for his overall effort throughout the tournament.
The event was supported throughout by the former Lancashire and India wicketkeeper and batsman Farokh Engineer, and on the last day a video and TV crew recorded footage as part of one of Spain´s showcase events for the ICC Centenary celebrations.
At the trophy ceremony, Madrid CC Vice-President Jon Woodward announced the club had raised enough funds to purchase cricket equipment for 1 200 children with disabilities attending the Vicente Ferrer Foundation's schools in the Anantapur region of India. The children, almost half of whom are girls, have learning disabilities, hearing impairments and visual impairments.
Additional funds will be donated to the Foundation for other programmes and invested in developing cricket in Madrid.
Woodward later commented, "The whole weekend has been a success both on and off the field. The teams have had a great three days of cricket and we have more than met our fundraising target. We have all caught the spirit of cricket here in La Manga and we are proud to have been part of the ICC's centenary celebrations."
"The kids with disabilities in India will now get the chance to play the game they love so much, and that can only be good news. Everyone has had such a good time and all the teams have already told us they want to come back next year! On behalf of Madrid CC, I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the tournament, and especially Farohk for his support, Cricket España for their backing and all our sponsors", he added.
Madrid Cricket Club is one of the premier cricket clubs in Spain. Founded in 1975, it is the oldest club in the country. Madrid CC organises, runs and develops cricket in the Spanish capital and plays in the Spanish National Cricket League, finishing runners-up in 2007 and third in 2008. Madrid CC received the 2007 ICC Development Programme Best Spirit of Cricket Initiative in Europe Award for hosting the ‘1st Solidarity Twenty20 Cricket Tournament' in October 2007 to raise funds for UNICEF (www.cricketinmadrid.com).
The Vicente Ferrer Foundation is a Spanish Development NGO operating in Anantapur, India. Taking a humanistic approach to development, the Foundation works to improve the life conditions of the poorest, most vulnerable and most disadvantaged people in the region, including children with disabilities (www.fundacionvicenteferrer.org).
Cricket España is the governing body for the sport in Spain. Founded in 1986, Cricket España now brings together 20 teams from many parts of the country. Its mission is to promote the sport, encourage youth participation, develop cricketing abilities, organise competitions and national teams and ensure the Spirit of Cricket prevails in the sport in Spain. Spain became an Affiliate Member of the ICC in 1992 (www.icc-europe.org/SPAIN).
International Cricket Council: The ICC is the international governing body for cricket. The ICC centenary is an opportunity to commemorate a century of international cricket and to embrace and celebrate the sport in all 104 Members countries. More details about the Catch the Spirit celebrations and ICC's centenary can be found at www.catchthespirit.com.
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