Sport: A new team from Lorraine has taken the crown for the second time in a row at Optimists Cricket Club’ annual six-a-side tournament.
Photo: Charles Caratini
Metz beat out ten teams to win this year’s six-a-side cricket tournament organised by Optimists Cricket Club. The event was held over the weekend at Pierre Werner Cricket Ground in Walferdange.
On Sunday, Metz defeated second placed G6, “who reached the final by just shading the [Optimists’] senior juniors team, who are all the product of our youth programme”, said Optimists vice chair Stephen Evans. “It was a very close game decided on the last ball.”
It was Metz’s second consecutive victory in the annual tourney, even though the team was only formed last year. Most of its players originally hail from Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The victory also came on the heels of its win over the Optimists in a friendly match on June 2. According to the Optimists website, in that game “the Optimists kept up a decent run-rate early in the reply, with all batsmen getting starts, but too many innings were cut short for 10s and 20s before wickets were carelessly given away. OCC finished on 173-9, Metz earning a deserved victory.”
This past weekend Optimists Maidens--celebrating its 20th anniversary this year--also fielded six players in the women’s competition.
Evans noted that tournament was “played in perfect summer weather” and that for many “just taking part was the focus; whether with bat and ball on the pitch, or with beer and barbecue on the sidelines”.
Growing youth section
“Optimists were founded in 1976; this is the main Luxembourg team which plays in the Belgian cricket leagues, organises friendly games and runs the youth section. We also have a Luxembourg league of five teams; with a further three teams playing friendlies,” he told Delano on Monday.
From July 23 to July 27 the club will host is seventh annual “Junior Academy”, which is “when over 50 kids will play games and receive professional coaching”.
Evans reckoned the sessions have “helped grow our youth section which is producing results”, including its U14 squad which beat the Swiss national team at an away match over the weekend.