German Youth Cricket Continues to Flourish in North Rhine Westphalia
Brian Fell DCB
Wed, Jun 1, 2011 12:48 PM
In glorious sunny weather, the Rheinau Ground, in its superb setting close to the banks of the river Rhine in Bonn, Germany witnessed on 21 May the coming together of nine teams of NRW youth cricketers to participate in U17 and U15 league championships.
The U17 tournament which was won by Cologne Extreme CC consisted, in addition to the Extremers, of teams from ASV Cologne, St George’s School, Cologne, and Schloß Holte-Stukenbrock Gymnasium. The U15 tournament attracted teams from Bonn, the Rheinau All Whites, ‘A’ and ‘B’, ASV, Cologne, St George’s School, Cologne and Lessing School, Dusseldorf. Rheinau All Whites emerged as winners.
After a round-robin of league games, Extreme CC and ASV Cologne finished in first and second place, with Schloß Holte-Stukenbrock, a mixed team, taking third place. The U15 tournament was played in two groups of three teams and at the end of the league games Rheinau All Whites, winners of group ‘A’ and ASV, winners of group ‘B’ faced each other in the final, which Rheinau All Whites won by scoring 60 without loss to ASV’s 44 for 2. St George’s School ‘A’ took third place and Lessing Gymnasium, fourth.
At the award ceremony, Brian Fell (DCB President), Siegfried Franz, DCB (Treasurer) and Brian Mantle, Chairman of NRWCU, together with the trophy sponsors Neil Townsend (Extreme CC) and Ravi Navaratram (Dortmund CC) made the presentations to the teams and Man of the U17 tournament, Noormohammed Ninzi, of Extreme CC, Cologne, who had starred with the bat and was not out each time he went to the wicket. The U15 presentation of Man of the tournament, Man of the Final and Best Emerging Player was made to Jack Lawton of U15 winners, Rheinau All Whites, who showed a maturity in batting, bowling and all round cricket way above his 12 years of age.
Special thanks go to all who helped to make this a memorable day for all those involved with cricket in North Rhine Westphalia and Germany. Instigator and chief organiser was Raymond Cooray of Bonn Veterans CC, who, together with his team showed in an impressive way how older players can contribute to the development of youth cricket by sharing the experience they have gained over may years – ‘putting something back into the game’. Teachers, parents and coaches who attended also deserve well-earned thanks.
The umpires, Martin Brett, Nadeem Abassi, Tahir Rana, Pete Baldwin, Indrajith Fernando also showed a similar invaluable commitment to youth development. And a remarkable day’s scoring was provided by Wray Wenigmann, who scored every game with barely a pause - a tribute to skill, stamina and, above all, love of the game.
Apart from the personal sponsors, Gray Nicholls, the well-known cricket suppliers firm, through its Dortmund branch, also supported the tournament. In addition, a particularly attractive aspect to the tournament was the sponsorship contribution of Neil Bunting and Darren Talbot of ‘Twenty 20 Cricket Camps and DT Sports Coaching’, England, who came over to Bonn for the tournament and offered the two tournament winners a free coaching day to be held at the Rheinau Cricket Ground, Bonn from 30 Aug to 1 September 2011. The camp will be open to other German youth players from 10 – 17 years of age - on payment of a fee.
With this tournament, NRW added a further instalment to the development of hardball, outdoor youth cricket in Germany. The work which has gone into interesting schools in the region for cricket is now bearing fruit and as well as the schools and clubs which took part in this current venture there are several others which have already made or are ready to make the jump from indoor to outdoor cricket. Elsewhere in Germany’s six cricket regions such work is also progressing.
NRW, with its many neighbouring large cities, is, though, without doubt, ideally placed to develop all aspects of cricket whether at club or school level. All those involved with the U15 and U17 tournaments in Bonn are aware of this and are pledged to keep the development moving forward – ‘in the true spirit of the game’ - as was shown in exemplary fashion on the day.