LOOKING BACK ON 2006
2006 was a progressive year for Spanish cricket.It saw the birth of the Women’s team, a successful Junior tour of the UK, Alfas win the league, and sadly, the loss of one of the pioneers of Spanish cricket. On the ladies front coaching started in May 2006 in Albir, with on average a group of 8-12 ladies enthuisiastically attending nets.Probrably the highlight of the year was when former England Womens International Aran Brindle (who was with the Stags touring team playing Sporting Alfas) dropped in on ladies practice and offered some tips and encouragement to the players.By the end of the year there were fifteen members on the books and they are hoping early next year to begin coaching alongside the Juniors at La Manga as well as Albir.
The Juniors enjoyed a very progressive season,with a tour of the UK,competitive matches against Ireland and Gibraltar,with one Junior attending the ECC school of Excellence and an outdoor tournament in Belfast,which has in turn helped create strong links with the Irish Cricket Union.The year was capped with the news that the Under 15’s will play host to a Division Three tournament in August,the very first time an ECC outdoor competition has been allocated to Spain.
The national side did not perform up to scratch in competitions this year, but confidence is high for a good performance in Antwerp in August where a Divison 2 tournament will take place.The league this year was won by Sporting Alfas although problems arose when Valencia failed to complete their quota of games.In an attempt to offset some of the hiccoups associated with the league last year an ad-hoc committee is meeting at the end of January to discuss the format and rules for 2007.In November a very successful 20/20 competition was organised at La Manga with the Norwegian side Sinsen beating Derbyshire’s Ticknell in a thrilling final which was only decided on the last ball of the game.
Finally it is with sadness that we have to report the passing of Gordon Samuel who died on 17th September 2006. Gordon, a Yorkshireman, was the Founding Father of cricket on the Costa del Sol , being responsible for starting and developing cricket in that area from the mid 1980’s. He was responsible for arranging for the visit of the first touring team (East Anglian’s) to the Costa del Sol and, following that visit, organising a match against a team from the P.O liner Canberra which docked in Malaga and had on board a number of well known cricketers and cricket journalists including Tom Graveney and Christopher Martin-Jenkins. Gordon was responsible for forming the Costa del Sol C.C. in 1985 and Chairman of the Club for a number of years. He was, in addition, an active member of the Malaga Cricket Association and involved in the establishing of the Asociacion Espanola de Cricket. Our condolences go out to his wife, Rita and family. We hope that Spanish cricket continues to develop in 2007 with a speed and in a spirit that Gordon would have been proud of.