Category: Featured

RBCC Women Display Exceptional Performance at BCF Women’s Soft Box Cricket Tournament in Mechelen

Mechelen, Belgium – On Sunday, November 19th, the RBCC Women showcased their cricket prowess at the annual BCF Women’s Soft Box Cricket Fest held at the Nekker Sportshall in Mechelen. The event, a dynamic 6-a-side tournament, is dedicated to fostering the growth of women’s cricket in Belgium, attracting six teams, including some newcomers to the game.

Despite a scheduling clash with the World Cup Final, approximately 60 women participated throughout the day, underlining the enthusiasm and commitment to advancing women’s cricket in the region. The RBCC team, albeit one player short due to an unexpected business trip, displayed remarkable cricketing skills, navigating their way to the semi-finals. Their journey ended in a closely contested match where they were narrowly defeated on the last ball.

The much-anticipated final witnessed a thrilling encounter between The Titans and Kortrijk Warriors (KWCC). The intensity of the competition reached its peak, culminating in a nail-biting finish as KWCC secured victory with a winning run on the very last ball. The entire event was a testament to the talent and dedication of the participating teams.

The prestigious awards ceremony saw Mr. Gohar Sakeel of Coco Group and Mr. Mazhar Iqbal, representing the event’s sponsors, and presenting prizes to the deserving winners. In a generous gesture, Mr. Iqbal promised a celebratory dinner in one of their renowned restaurants for all the finalists, further adding to the camaraderie and spirit of sportsmanship that permeated the tournament.

The BCF Women’s Soft Box Cricket Fest not only provided a platform for intense competition but also served as a catalyst for the promotion and expansion of women’s cricket in Belgium. The presence of newcomers in the tournament highlighted the growing interest and participation in the sport, promising a bright future for women’s cricket in the region.

As the event concluded, the RBCC Women left Mechelen with heads held high, having played an instrumental role in making the tournament a resounding success. Their exceptional performance and sportsmanship have undoubtedly contributed to the flourishing landscape of women’s cricket in Belgium.

1st XI finish with a flourish

1st XI finish with a flourish

A good crowd gathered at RBCC for the final match of the season. This was a crucial game against ICCB, had results not gone our way then we could have been facing relegation.

There was a fair amount of tension in the air as the match started; this was only exacerbated when our captain, Muneeb, fell to the first ball of the second over and Sudhanshu went with the score on 15. Mishi and Jawad steadied the ship, putting on 150 for the third wicket before Jawad was given out LBW on 48. Mishi went on to score 126 off only 124 deliveries, a fantastic effort made all the more special because he was using Sairab’s bat, the one given to him by our late coach Farrukh. The big man must have sent us his blessing!

The other innings of note was a brisk 31 scored by young Afzal. Agonisingly he was the last man out with only 2 deliveries remaining; this meant that we had missed the opportunity to score valuable batting bonus points and meant that our score, 274 off 49.4 overs, might not be enough to keep us up. The pressure was now on our bowling attack…

Our lads went hard at the opposition and wickets fell regularly. Muneeb rotated his bowlers and was rewarded as 7 different players took wickets, the skipper leading the way by taking 2 for 13 off his 6 overs.

ICCB realised that they were unlikely to match Royal’s score but knew that a batting bonus point would keep them above us in the table; however, if we could bowl them out within 40 overs then the situation would be reversed. In a tense finish, Afzal took a catch off Sudhanshu that saw us dismiss ICCB for 162 with only 3 balls of the 40th over to come. This was a fantastic victory and the joy on the players’ faces was great to see. This was a hard-fought victory and needs to be the template for all our teams next season. As Muneeb said afterwards ‘A perfect example of our team spirit is that last inning when we all fielded together. We played as one team and for each other. That is how I want us to play going forward!

A special mention for Afzal who, following the disappointment of getting out in the last over, took 3 smart catches and pulled off a stunning piece of fielding that will live long in the memory. He caught a certain 6 in mid-air and before his feet touched the floor threw the ball back in to play so that Mishi could take the catch. Well played!

Congratulations also to Dom, making his first team debut, big thanks to Channi as 12th man and also to Chris & Max for scoring.

And the crowd went wild…

It has been an eventful season; we have won trophies, suffered relegation and organised a successful tour. Through it all the players and supporters have stuck together in true RBCC fashion. See you all at the Club Dinner in a couple of weeks!

Match Scorecard

FWBC T10 Champions 🏆 | Royals Romp to T10 Tournament Triumph!

Royals Romp to T10 Tournament Triumph!

Over the weekend of the 22nd/23rd of September RBCC hosted the FWBC (Federation of Wallonia and Brussels Cricket) T10 Cup, determined to go one better than in the last edition where we lost in the final.

We didn’t get off to an auspicious start, losing a wicket to the first ball of the competition. Our opponents, ICCB, bowled well but Waqas and Mustafa responded with some excellent batting as we set a target of 88 for losing 7 wickets.

RBCC – Ready to go

As ICCB looked to respond Sairab set the tone by taking 2 wickets in his first over. Mishi also bowled well with figures of 2 for 10 off 2 overs. Our fielding was excellent, with Siftay running an opponent out with a direct hit. In a tense finish, ICCB needed 10 off Sairab’s last over but fell short as RBCC won by 1 run.

In our second match, the result was never in doubt as we raced to a commanding 130 for 1, with Muneeb and Mishi scoring 52 and 45 respectively. In comparison, Brussels Strikers could manage only 85 with Taha taking 2 for 8. Our final league game was cancelled because we had already qualified for the semi-final against PCCB.

RBCC family

The semi-final was highly competitive. PCCB made a respectable 89/3 with one of their batters really going after Mishi’s last over. In reply, Muneeb went for their bowling from the start but a tense finish was in prospect until a couple of huge blows from Mustafa and Ollie saw us home with 2 balls to spare.

On to the final, a rematch as we squared up to Liege. Restricted light meant that each team was limited to only seven overs but incredibly Muneeb still managed to make 51 before being run out off the last ball, while Mishi made 31 off 15 deliveries. Liege CC were always behind the run rate with Waqas and Ollie taking crucial wickets as the visitors made 63.

RBCC family

At the presentation ceremony, Nick thanked all the teams that had participated, the spectators for their support, and the two umpires without whom the tournament could not have occurred. In addition to steering RBCC to the trophy, Captain Muneeb won two richly deserved individual awards; best batter and most valuable player.

Muneeb: Our captain!

A great weekend of cricket and a fantastic performance by RBCC. Well done!

Silverware at last! Royal Brussels CC wins Bob Parker T20 Cup 🏆

RBCC successfully defends 173 to claim BP Cup 2023

Congratulations to Captain Hameel and the team following their victory in the Bob Parker Cup. It has been a couple of barren years for RBCC in terms of winning trophies at the senior level so it was good to see the boys clinch victory in a tense and exciting finish.

Winner of BP Cup 2023

We batted well to set a target of 173 with man of the match Ollie scoring 56 and Waqas and Faisal also making good contributions.

ICCB seemed pretty confident that they could knock that score off but they reckoned without our tactical masterstroke, Taha coming in as wicketkeeper! The watching supporters gave him a great ovation but he was so overcome with emotion that sadly he missed the photos with the trophy…

ICCB needed only 12 off the last 3 overs but superb bowling from RBCC meant that 9 runs were still needed in the final over. Faisal bowled the last ball with our opponents needing 3 to win, they scrambled 2 and RBCC got the victory by 1 run.

It was a great match to watch and a terrific performance by our lads. Well played!

Obituary: Farrukh ‘Rookie’ Malik

It is with great shock, sorrow and sadness that we have to announce the death of one of our stalwart member and friend Mr. Farrukh Malik who passed away on 31/12/2021.

Rookie, as we fondly remember was a popular figure in Belgian cricket. He represented and captained the Belgian National Team & Royal Brussels CC. Subsequently, he was the Head Coach at RBCC.

The club is devastated to learn of his passing. His presence will be missed by everyone in Belgian Cricket, especially at the Royal Brussels Cricket Club, to which he devoted over 40 years of his life. Our thoughts are and will remain with his family.

RBCC Honorary President, Ted Vorzanger, paid the following tribute to the great man:

“In the early ’80s, a young Pakistani by the name of Farrukh Malik arrived in Belgium and went to work helping, and working, with his brother  who ran a curry restaurant called “Upstairs Downstairs” in Rue Archimede near the European Commission

He was probably about 18, but Farrukh himself didn’t know exactly his date of birth as hospital records in Pakistan were a bit hazy at the time.

He soon found the RBCC and at first, it was thought he was only a fast bowler, and he was certainly a bit quick!

Gradually though people realised he could bat as well as bowl, and it was not long before the club realised a special player had arrived as he started to move up the order and became a prolific run-scorer.  He blossomed at the end of the ’80s and became the only person in the club’s history to twice score a thousand runs in a season, as well as doing the double of 500 runs and 50 wickets.  Farrukh made more runs and hundreds than anyone else in the club and made them on the old concrete wicket, on Astroturf and on the grass in England. He adored cricket and spent a fortune on new bats, clothes, pads, gloves etc., and was always the smartest and well-dressed player on the field. He played in every game he could and joined the club tours to the UK. It was not only glory though as he had his share of adversity.

Sadly in the same year, his brother tragically died in a gas boiler leak at home and a parcel bomb sent by a jealous romantic rival exploded when opening it and it left him with only a couple of fingers and a thumb on his left hand. Just after an operation on his hand with pins and rods in it, it looked like the Eiffel Tower but with a towel wrapped around it he insisted on playing and bowling. Such was his passion for cricket.

Many people would have given cricket up after such a handicap. However, incredibly, he adjusted his game and still carried on making runs and taking catches which even players with two good hands would have found difficult. Later, he worked at Winners, a fitness club, near Place Madou, where he was a fine squash player and coach and dealt with the catering before finally starting his own catering business. 

He became not only club captain, but also captain of the Belgian team in the early days of the Belgian Cricket Federation (BCF), and without help from the BCF, he spent his own money and time in getting the team together and arranging travel to get them to wherever they were playing. For nearly 30 years now, Farrukh was an integral part of the club, Mr. Reliable when it came to batting, he was always there to help, cooking and feeding visiting teams, (His Tikka Masala curries at the ground were legendary), helping with the ground and the wicket, going on tours and away weekends. He helped players with their technique and as his cricket career came to a close he devoted himself to coaching the juniors He won the cup for outstanding performance more than 5 times, and in the end, it was presented to him permanently as a gift.

By the end of the ’90s, he had also won the club’s ‘best batsman’ award so many times that the club gave him the trophy to keep. Later he was awarded life membership in recognition of his great service to the club. These 2 trophies sat in pride of place in his house, a tribute to the great love he had for RBCC.

There are many stories to tell of Farrukh, how his ability towered over everyone else, and how much he gave to the club, a huge debt we can never repay. He played in the true spirit of cricket and was an example of fairness and respect for the spirit of the game. There are three things he loved, his wife, his family and cricket. His presence will be sorely missed and we will not see his like again.” 

A true legend, an honourable gentleman and an inspirational figurehead for so many generations of RBCC’ers. His presence will be sorely missed by those who knew him, whose lives he touched and the generations of young cricketers he coached and nurtured. Rest In Peace Rookie; may all your batting strips be as gentle as you were and your bowling strips absolute ripper.