The German national team has returned from Stockholm with a 100% record and a tournament win in the ICC World Cricket League – Europe Division 2 tournament. This is the first time that Germany has ever won an official ICC tournament and sees us promoted to Division 1 next summer.
The team started off excellently in their first game against the Isle of Man, who had beaten Germany the last time the two teams had met in Essex in 2014. Batting first, Germany scored an impressive 166-8 off their 20 overs. The middle order was responsible for a late surge that saw Asad Mohammad score 32 off just 10 balls, ably supported by Khaled Khan (28) and Sajid Liaqat (27). The bowlers then did their job, bowling the Isle of Man out for just 66, meaning a 100 run victory to kick us off. Top bowler was Mudassar Mohammed with 3-15 off his four overs of off-spin.
Tha afternoon’s game against hosts Sweden was affected badly by rain. Again batting first, we were reduced to 69-6 off 12 overs by some excellent Swedish bowling before rain interrupted. The weather only allowed the Swedes five overs to reply with a Duckworth-Lewis target of 36 being set. Our bowlers did admirably, reducing the Swedes to just 28 for the loss of three wickets with all five bowlers going for kess than 8 per over.
Following washouts against Spain (twice) we were in action on the third day against Gibraltar. This time we bowled first and once again did excellently in reducing the Gibraltans to just 81-9 off their 20 overs. Top bowlers were Asad Mohammad, Shahil Momin and Kashif Hussain who all took 2 wicktets. Germany were never in trouble in their chase and reached the target for the loss of just two wickets with vice-captain Amith Sarma top scoring with an unbeaten 41.
Unfortunately this game was the last for the Germans as a re-run of the abandoned Spain game and a game against Israel never took place due to the poor conditions of the outfield after heavy rain.
Germany finished top of the table, clear of hosts Sweden in second place who will also play in Division 1 next summer.
This is the culmination of a lot of hard work for our management team. It started after a poor showing in Essex two years ago and the reaction to this which saw the introduction of the DCB Super Series last summer. The regular high-level competition that the Super Series has offered has seen new players come to the fore and a new professionalism introduced.
At the heart of this have been our coach Steven Knox and his captain Rishi Pillai who have worked beyond the call of duty in getting the team ready for this event. In addition to thanking Knoxy and Rishi, the DCB would like to thank the team manager Ganid Arumadura who organised things so well.
It is also a success for the six regional boards in Germany who were all represented on the field in Sweden. Without their support and that of the coaches and organisers of the Super Series at regional level, we wouldn’t have reached this stage.
Most importantly though we would like to thank the players because ultimately they had to perform in this high-pressure environment. They rose to the task perfectly and we are very proud of every single one of them.
Everybody is agreed though that this is only the start of the journey. This team has potential and with so many other players qualifying over the next couple of years the sky is the limit.