THCC 3/94 (Murali 29, Israfeel 20*, Daub 1/11, Murugan 1/16) def. Göttingen 90 (A. Mustafa 34, Kamaladin 3/21, Cam 3/23)
There can be no doubt that back on February 2, Punxsutawney Phil saw a shadow, meaning six more weeks of winter. Well, that must have been some shadow, because it was still winter in Germany when the first ball was bowled in the 2016 NDCV Bundesliga.
A short pre-season, with little chance for outdoor training, meant the THCC first XI travelled to Göttingen with little preparation, but with a lot of clothing. Snow was forecast, and it came, along with rain, hail and a chilly northerly wind. For many, the match marked the first time playing cricket in snow.
Safiullah and Israfeel guide the team to victory as the snow falls
The new-look THCC team included Murali and Chandan, playing their first games for the club, while Henrik debuted for the first XI. It meant the team comprised players from Afghanistan, Australia, Denmark, England, India, Pakistan and South Africa, with a 12th man and scorer from Germany.
Cam lost the toss, with Göttingen electing to bat, perhaps hoping conditions would improve during the day and the temperature might rise from 3° to 6°. So, THCC took the field, literally shaking with excitement. Bipin started proceedings, bowling with the arctic wind and finding a rhythm early. He had an LBW turned down, which looked about as good as an LBW can, but then got the rub of the green next ball, when a good-pitched delivery kept (very) low and hit the bottom of the stumps.
The Mustafa brothers then batted well to defy Israfeel and Bipin, taking the score up to 36 until G. Mustafa was well caught by Safiullah at point, with Bipin getting a second wicket. Israfeel followed soon after with a searing ball that cut back on Germany U19 player Oliver Markus and took the top of off-stump. From there, Kamal and Cam teamed up to cut down the runs and pick up six wickets. Celebrating his 23rd birthday, Kamal dislodged the stubborn A. Mustafa, brilliantly caught by Bipin at first slip, then had Prem out next ball, this time with Murali taking a sharp catch at short leg, but couldn’t get the hat-trick.
Murali and Steve combined well for a run-out, Henrik took a great catch at extra cover, and after 26 overs, THCC had managed to dismiss Göttingen for 90. In the break, the Göttingen team, always generous and welcoming hosts, put on an excellent lunch of sandwiches, home-made cake and hot drinks.
With the temperature having dropped, debutants Murali and Chandan opened the innings, cautiously taking the score to 25 before Chandan was out LBW. Murali and Cam got to 50, before another LBW sent Cam packing for 16. As the weather started to turn bad, with blustery snow falling, Murali swung the bat some more, hitting a succession of fours before trying one shot too many and getting bowled by the Göttingen captain, Raja Murugan. Israfeel and Safiullah weathered the storm (hah!), getting the runs in the 23rd over, with Israfeel finishing in style with a big six over long on.
The low scores, matching the day’s temperatures, shouldn’t take anything away from this being a hard-fought match. Göttingen is a team showing a lot of promise, especially Z. Jamali, the young left-arm bowler, and Mahel Daub, who dismissed the THCC captain, while Oliver was solid behind the stumps. THCC wishes Göttingen all the best for the rest of the Bundesliga season, and extends a big thank you for your warm hospitality and a great day of cricket. Thanks also to Moritz for scoring in difficult conditions.
Scorers Moritz and Thomas look more like they’ve camped out while en route to the top of Mt Everest
The new cricket season is starting and has much to offer cricket players and fans:
Our first team is looking to win the Bundesliga Nord and compete for the German championship. There will be five home games for fans and those curious about cricket.
Our teams in the Regionalliga, the Women’s Bundesliga and the youth leagues want to build on last year’s success and look forward to drawing new players and spectators alike.
THCC Rot-Gelb Hamburg invites everyone to participate in the wonderful sport of cricket, as a spectator at one of our games or even at training for a hit and a bowl!
Here’s a sample of the season ahead:
After just losing out to title winners SG Findorff on net-run-rate, the THCC first XI will be looking to go one better in 2016 and win the NDCV Bundesliga. There will once again be stiff competition from SG Findorff (Bremen) and HSV (Hamburg), while newcomers MTV from Hannover look like being a tough side to beat. The first match of the season will take place in Göttingen on April 24, while the first home game in Klein Flottbek will be against SG Findorff on May 22. THCC will look to build on last year’s dominance with the ball, with further improvements in fielding skill and intensity, while also strengthening the middle-order batting.
This year’s revamped Regionalliga includes two new teams and two renamed teams, making for a league of seven teams. The THCC second XI will be looking to improve on last year’s performances over the course of the twelve-match season, which starts at home on May 1 and ends on October 9. The team will mix youth and experience and focus on playing smart cricket to establish themselves as real contenders in the NDCV Regionalliga.
The THCC Ladies want to play all the games at full team strength and build on the success of the last season, when they won their first ever game. Above all, they want to play cricket together and enjoy it. And they want to show that they are nicest ladies team in Germany – because in this team there are no arguments, no sullenness, and no losers.
Starting from April 27, outdoor training for adults and league players will be on Wednesdays and Fridays, from 18:00, at the THCC ground, Hemmingstedter Weg 140, 22609, Hamburg. New members are very welcome.
If you’re interested, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org
Having moved to Koblenz and playing his cricket in Frankfurt, former THCC member Satya helped organise a tour to the city on the Main for a weekend of matches against Frankfurt CC.
The THCC convoy started from Hamburg at dawn on Saturday morning, with Sandeep, Silva, Hardeep, Ali and Kamal in one car, and Steve, Emil, Raman, Dom and Shane in the second car. Cam was working in Cologne and took the train from there. Continue Reading
4 day youth training camp with 4 matches against 3 Danish teams
Back row: Husum CC, 2nd row: THCC Rot-Gelb Hamburg,
3rd row: Køge CC, Front row: Skanderborg CC
Background – For several years now, THCC Rot-Gelb Hamburg has held successful summer youth cricket camps at its ground in Hamburg, in association with the Twenty20 Cricket Company. In 2014, there were even two camps, a week-long soft ball camp also open to the youngest cricketers and a 3 day hard ball camp for the older ones. In 2015, however, the THCC youth coaches volunteered to dedicate some of their holidays to run the camps themselves. The soft ball camp was run by coaches Keith, Matthew and Steve and took place 17th–20th August at the THCC ground in Hamburg Klein-Flottbek.
For the hard ball camp, however, the coaches recognized that what the U15/U17 players needed most was match practice. With so few matches scheduled during the outdoor season, as a result of having so few opponents in Northern Germany, the coaches reached out to Husum CC early in the year and asked about holding the camp at their fine ground and playing matches against the Husum team and potentially some Danish teams as well. Jörg Krüger at Husum CC invited youth teams from Køge (near Copenhagen) and Skanderborg, and together with the THCC and Husum teams, a 4 team youth cricket festival was born. Continue Reading
The 2015 NDCV Bundesliga saw THCC field a very different team compared to previous seasons. With the loss of several club leaders and key players last year, questions were asked at the start of the season as to who would fill the void. A new captain was elected, and with him came a new approach to THCC cricket. But would it work?
The numbers tell part of the story: 10 matches, 8 wins, 2 losses, to finish equal first in the NDCV league (second only on net run-rate), with the team having comprehensively beaten the league winners, SG Findorff, twice. In the 8 wins, THCC took 80/1008, which works out as 1 wicket every 12.6 runs. And this happened with THCC never fielding the same 11 twice.
The 18 players who took the field for THCC came from 7 different countries, and ranged from the teen-aged to the middle-aged (showing the depth and diversity of the club). The team included 5 new players who recently joined the club (Dom, Raman, Aman, Imran and Shane), and was brilliantly supported by 2 volunteer scorers (Tina and Dave) and 5 volunteer umpires (Saradhi, Arun, Chris B., Emil and Shah).
Those are great numbers, but the other part of the story is something a little more intangible. The team succeeded, matured and unified far beyond expectations. It wasn’t just about playing great cricket and winning; it was also about creating a strong team spirit, a positive atmosphere and a team culture of responsibility and accountability. Young players were given opportunities, good fielding became the priority, players were encouraged to play their natural games, mistakes were seldom criticised, and players selected as 12th man embraced the role. At different times during the season, all players had the chance to shine, exemplifying the fact that teams win cricket matches, not individuals.
The team that played the first game of the season, at home to Göttingen
It started with a victory at home against Göttingen in bright sunshine, in what was a competitive and entertaining match. Göttingen showed they have some young, up-and-coming players, and could be a team to watch in the future. For the away match against Göttingen, THCC enjoyed the best of the conditions, with a superb fielding effort resulting in Göttingen being bowled out for 84.
After two good wins, THCC went off the rails a bit, getting thumped at home against Hannover. Credit must go to Hannover for a brilliant batting effort, but THCC also threw the game away somewhat, with some important catches going down that could have made a big difference to the outcome. But that loss also turned out to be a welcome wake-up call, with the team galvanising for the return match away at Hannover, in what amounted to a remarkable 371-run turnaround.
It was fantastic to see the team really step up a gear against SG Findorff, who had up to that point swept all before them, had a side stacked with talent and looked unbeatable. First, THCC won on Findorff’s home turf in Bremen on the back of Israfeel’s six wickets, and proved it was no fluke a week later by beating Findorff at THCC’s home ground, with the victory built on Dom’s splendid 92 and Sandeep’s brilliant spell that yielded 4/16.
Those two wins put THCC deservedly at the top of the league table, but unfortunately the team felt the rub of a lost toss against HSV. Batting was very difficult on the damp wicket, and was made even more difficult by excellent bowling from HSV. The team responded well a week later, beating HICC in a close game that saw young players Aman and Safiullah bat the team to victory, then managing to end the HSV hoodoo with an exciting one wicket victory at home (the game including possibly the leave of the century).
Steve “Drama” Aplin demonstrating the fine art of the leave.
The last game against HICC at their ground in Horn saw the culmination of all the hard work the team had done, with HICC bowled out for 106 in clinical fashion. The wickets were spread between the bowlers (who bowled really well as a unit), some fine catches were held, and there was great pressure fielding (which included running-out HICC’s most dangerous batsman). Even better, the team avoided the usual middle-order collapse to get the runs relatively easily.
So, a season that began with trepidation and worry turned into a season of triumph and success, with only net run-rate keeping THCC from winning the league. Though in finishing “second”, THCC can draw a lot of positives from the season, putting the club in a strong position for the coming T20 competition, the current Regionalliga, and for next year’s Bundesliga.
It was especially good to see young players like Dom, Raman, Aman, Kamal and Safiullah developing as cricketers, establishing themselves in the team, enjoying their cricket and having success on the field. The team really benefited from their involvement, both on and off the field.
Thanks to all the players, scorers, umpires and fans who supported the first XI throughout the season. It was fantastic to see lots of supporters at our home games, which shows the strength of THCC as a club.
The United Nations of cricket: the victorious team against SG Findorff
Thanks also need to go out to the first team “Tight Five” (Cam, Bipin, Steve, Trived, Satish), with excellent support from Mark Richardson. The Tight Five did a lot of work behind-the-scenes, including selecting the team, organising transport and catering, running team training, uploading the scores to crichq, and doing all the necessary league paperwork.
Well done to everyone involved and congratulations on a great Bundesliga season.