As some of you know, Studivest were very proud to sponsor the National Cricket Team during the T20 European Qualifiers last year and we were delighted to catch up with Muhammad Husain, the team’s captain and get a behind the scenes look at how they got on:
Your Domain Name site de rencontre badoo mobile dating sites in the philippines for free site de rencontre celibataire pof 100 gratuit redes sociales para conocer personas del mundo who is lauren from the hills dating 2013 agencias matrimoniales argentina mari qui va sur site de rencontre rencontre homme 87 partnersuche agentur
What was your average day like during the tournament?
On the game days we were usually getting up quite early and we were one of the first teams to get done with the breakfast. This allowed us to go back to our rooms and get changed for the warm ups so that we don’t waste any time after arriving at the ground. Usually, the bus ride to the ground was only 10 minutes, except on the first day when it was nearly an hour-long bus ride. Once at the ground, the team Head Coach, Richard Cox was making sure that we get down to business quickly and in no time, He was setting up the warm up drills. The warm ups and stretching exercises were usually taking 45 minutes and we used to get done with it before the toss. The toss takes place half an hour before the game and we had enough time between the start of the game and the toss to get changed for the game and have a team talk.
After the game, once we were done with the warm down exercises, we use to pack our bags and vacate the changing rooms before heading to the players and officials area for the lunch. After the lunch we were getting picked up by the bus for the ride back to the hotel. Once back to the hotel we had enough time to have some rest before going to the town centre which was 20 minutes’ walk from the hotel for the evening meal.
Which game did you feel as a team was the hardest and why?
I believe the first game against Germany was the hardest considering the weather conditions. Germany was one of the teams that was favourites in our group to qualify for the next round and they had a quality squad with ex-Afghanistan International fast bowler Izatullah Dawlatzai amongst their ranks. The fielders found it difficult because of the overnight rain. The bowlers had trouble gripping the ball and during our batting innings we had a rain break – at the time of break both teams were tied on DLS method – however, after the rain break, we were given an improbable target to achieve in alien conditions and we found it difficult to achieve and eventually lost by 46 runs (DLS method).
What was it like for some of the newer players to be at the tournament?
We had a near complete squad overhaul with captain (Muhammad Husain) and vice-captain (Mike Kyriacou) the only survivors from the previous assignment in 2012. The players were excited to be part of the tournament and they were even more excited to play on grass / turf pitches, as we play on artificial surface in Cyprus. However, the excitement soon turned in to desperation for positive results once we found the going tough against Germany and Denmark in the opening two games. However, the team stayed focused throughout. The squad showed great unity and were understanding of the situation and the team management was satisfied with the overall discipline of the squad.
What do you think were the main things to take away from the experience?
The players have realised that playing domestic cricket in Cyprus is far different than playing in alien conditions against unknown players. However, if we look at our performance against Austria who were one of the better teams in our group and only missed out qualification to the next round on net run rate, we should feel confident that the players have the potential and they can play much better cricket. Perhaps, the pressure of the big moment and the burden of the expectations was a bit difficult to handle for some players. Nevertheless, we know that we are doing right things at the moment. We have gained valuable experience in our approach to the game. We looked at various ways how other teams approached the game, we looked at other teams’ strategies in countering various oppositions and how to use various tactics when going gets tough. Perhaps, the experience will allow us to have clearer mindset in future tournaments and hopefully will allow team to play its normal game under pressure.
After the result, what are the next steps for the Cyprus team?
Cyprus intends to participate in the ICC European championships again in 2020. The team gathered last October and had a talk about it. The team will be assembling again in March 2019 and will be provided with a training program for 2019 and 2020 leading up to the tournament. There are quite a few areas that require attention and the onus will be on players to work on those areas and improve their game. We are looking forward to involve new players in the pool and hopefully that will have a positive impact. The next event in 2020 holds significance as the matches will hold the T20I status. Until Dec 31, 2018 there were only 18 ICC member countries with T20I status. All the matches involving remaining members were classified as ‘Other T20’ and didn’t hold the International status. However, from January 1, 2019 all 104 ICC member countries now hold the T20I status. It’s a major move from ICC to spread the game globally and it brings a lot of excitement for the players vying for a place in the Cyprus Cricket National team.
What are the future developments for Cyprus cricket (domestic), in general over the next 12 months?
In the past 20 years of organized cricket in Cyprus – with only 6 teams in the league in 1999 when Cyprus was granted the ICC membership to more than 20 adult men cricket teams on the island in 2019 – we have come a long way in developing the game on the island. We are working hard in having appropriate facilities available for the growth of the game. We always took the tournament as a step towards targeting the indigenous audience and we should focus on the youth and women cricket development where we have a lot of potential to grow. Men’s cricket is quite stable at present with regular league cricket taking place throughout the year. Also, we have regular softball events taking place every month in various towns in Cyprus. Cyprus Cricket is a private sports organization and we are working towards government recognition and once we will have the government support, we believe we can make real progress in further growing the game in the Republic of Cyprus.
If you would like more information on Cricket in Cyprus, please see their website: https://www.cypruscricket.com/