Finnish women win the first FinEst Cup
Thu, Apr 19, 2012 5:33 PM
The inaugural meeting of Estonian and Finnish Women's teams in Tallinn on a chilly late winter Saturday was a resounding success.
Two highly competitive indoor matches were played, the first was used as a warm-up to make sure all the players understood the rules, and the second was for the prestigious FinEst Trophy; the match rules were set loosely according to Australian-style indoor cricket, which differs in some aspects from the indoor cricket played in Europe, but made the games quick and intense.
The title of the Cup, The FinEst Women's Trophy, tributes the location of both countries - Finland and Estonia; this first trophy event took place in Tallinn, Estonia, which lies across the Gulf of Finland from the Finnish capital Helsinki in Northern Europe.
The Finnish Women's team for the day comprised of four girls, age fifteen, who had a few years of cricket behind them, and four more mature female cricketers, who were mostly very new to the game. The strong and developing youth scene in female cricket in Finland is the work of the Finnish Cricket Association (FCA) and has been developed over the years by organising youth camps and regular practices. The bulk of the Estonian team, on the other hand, were recruits from the active schools' programme the Estonian Cricket Association has successfully been working on.
The Finnish team received a warm welcome on arrival by the coaches of the Estonian women?s team and were taken to Pirit Hall, an indoor sports arena near the harbour in Tallinn.
Both games were played with tremendous spirit and fantastic cricketing skill. Spectators, players and coaches alike were cheering and clapping their own team, as well as acknowledging good play from the opposition.
Finland were victorious in both of the matches, an awesome batting effort from young captain, Birgit Truu and Anne-Marie Vessik had everyone on the edge of their seats, as they slowly but surely batted Estonia into a position where the match was there for the taking. Finland had already settled for a win, when with two balls left, someone shouted 'The game is even!' Marika was bowling for Finland and with a tense situation, held her nerves remarkably well. In the end, Finland took the inaugural FinEst Trophy by just 2 runs.
The Estonian Women's team is certainly looking forward to the return in Finland, when the FinEst trophy will be on the line again. We're all hoping for more intense and nail-biting games, and let?s see, if lady-luck will be smiling on the Estonian side this time.
Women's Cricket in this sometimes forgotten corner of the cricketing globe has certainly taken a few strides towards solidifying itself into the sporting culture. Tournaments such as the FinEst trophy are extremely important in keeping players interested and motivated; the future work lies in making the Cup a regular event. Both countries look forward to continuing this cricketing friendship and also starting new ones too. The road to the World Cup has to start somewhere!