“We all speak the same language”. That was the sentiment after the Basel Indoor Tournament for the U17 age group (26 and 27 March 2022), organised by the Basel Dragons Junior Cricket Club, wrapped up proceedings on another successful tournament on Sunday. And there were plenty of languages on show: English, German, French, Pashto and Hindi – but only one that really mattered – Cricket.
“It’s amazing how cricket has this ability to unify. It’s like a common home for all of us” said tournament organiser Jonty Acton, originally from South Africa.
Teams from Bayern in Germany and the Swiss clubs from Basel, Zurich, Cossonay and Geneva battled it out over two days to see who would take home the coveted trophy. Two pools of three teams wrangled for positions on the log, but finally only two teams were destined for the final.
“The Zurich sides are always strong and well represented. And this one was no different. Pace, spin, electric in the field. And passion. Plenty of passion” said Acton. And their opponents in the final? The Swiss U15 National Team, one of the strongest national teams the Swiss have fielded in recent Junior cricket history.
“The Swiss side are a class act. But Zurich were certainly pumped up. To be beaten by a Swiss team a whole age group below, well that would be a hard pill to swallow”.
And so to the final…
With indoor cricket likened to a pinball machine on steroids, 2 runs are awarded for every completed run between the wickets, and 1 extra run awarded for anything hit against the wall. So the chances of a first innings total in excess of 200 was very likely…
Likened to a showdown between Beauty and the Beast, it appeared the beauty of the Swiss side would carry the day as they had Zurich in early trouble and restricted them to a paltry 145 for 8 wickets, bowling them out in the last over of their innings.
But Zurich fought back strongly with some targeted ferocious bowling and the Swiss side were down 6 wickets within the first 9 overs. A strong rear-guard action revived Swiss hopes, but couldn’t prevent the Zurich side romping to an impressive victory, restricting the Swiss U15 team to 121 all out.
“At the end of the day, it’s not so much about who lifts the trophy”, said Acton, “Of course that’s what keeps everyone focused and on their toes. But it’s the coming together, the sharing of the passion for this unique game that makes these tournaments so special. It’s the talking the same language”.
The Basel Dragons Junior Cricket club will be hosting the U11 and U15 versions of the indoor tournament this weekend, the 2nd and 3rd of April, in Basel. For more information contact Jonty at [email protected].
Batting – Danish (Bayern Cricket Verband) – 124 runs, average 41.3, S/R 207
Bowling – Sahil (ZCCC) – 7 wickets for 49 runs, average 7.00
Fielding – Sai (Swiss U15A) – 3 catches and 1run out