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Three on the bounce for RBCC 1st XI!

Genk won the toss and batted first, a strange decision that played right into our hands. With the pitch being wet our opening bowlers Ricky and Fida made use of the early moisture and ran through the opposition; after 8 overs we had reduced Genk to 17/5 and there was simply no way back for them. Man of the Match Fida bowled a brilliant spell of 10-2-44-6, Ricky took three wickets and Salim wrapped up the innings by taking a wicket with his first and only delivery.

Chasing a small total of only 73 we got off to a decent start with skipper Muneeb and Abdulwahed hitting a couple of sweet boundaries. We lost a few wickets but Jawad could not be moved and saw us home to a comfortable victory.

Onwards and upwards, we are all looking forward to our next match.

Match Scorecard

RBCC Colts feature in Roger Barker Cup

A Belgium (“Red”) international U13 team featuring four RBCC colts travelled to Luxembourg to play in the Roger Barker Cup on 8-9 June. The tournament also included teams from Luxembourg and Switzerland and a second Belgium team (“Gold”). Played under warm sunny skies, such a pleasant change from most of the first half of this rain-affected season, our Colts played superbly and enjoyed the two days. Thanks go to Luxembourg Optimists CC who were kind and generous hosts and the players and coaches from the other teams for providing a great atmosphere of competitive but fair cricket over the two days. Particular thanks also go to the other Belgium Red players and parents. 

It is no exaggeration to say that our young team formed over the two days and it was a wonderful experience for the RBCC players. But of course we are especially proud of the achievements of our players: – Akshat Tripathi captained the team, scoring a total of 48 runs and taking 6-63 over the four games; – Akhlaq Ahmad was the number 1 bowler in the tournament, taking 11-61 and also scoring 71 runs; – Thomas Leake, who is just 11 and so one of the younger players in the tournament, took 4-24 with a strike rate of 6.25 and finished in the top 5 bowlers in the tournament; – Hosain Ahmad Afghan, who kept wicket with involvement in 3 run outs and 1 catch, as well as scoring 22 runs as an opening batsman.

 Belgium’s first game on Saturday required our team to be at the ground in Luxembourg by 0830, so it was a very early start for some. Batting first, RBCC’s brothers Akhlaq and Hosain opened the innings. Akhlaq made a rapid-fire 24 off 11 balls including 3 fours and 2 sixes, before he had to retire under the competition’s rules. Belgium made steady progress to finish on 120 for 2 off the allotted 15 overs, with Akshat not out on 7 at the end. When Belgium came out to defend the total, Akshat opened the bowling and finished with 4-12. Thomas took 1-6 in an economical over as Luxembourg fell short on 112. In the morning heat, Belgium were sent straight back into the field again by Switzerland as their second game immediately followed the first, and 30 consecutive overs in the field proved tiring. Nevertheless, 2-25 from Akhlaq and another tight over from Thomas (1-6) helped restrict a very strong and powerful Swiss side, on average quite a bit older than the young Belgium team, to 131. 

Belgium’s chase fell just short on 117, with Akhlaq again retiring on 20 but unable to spark an unlikely finish when he was dismissed without further addition returning at the end. Akshat made 21 before retiring. For the third game, Belgium faced up against the Belgium “Gold” team and fielded first. An amazing start by Akhlaq saw him take four wickets (all bowled) with the first four balls of the innings. Midway through the third over of the innings, Akhlaq had incredible figures of 7 for 3 from ten balls (six of them clean bowled) and he finished with 8-5. Thomas (1-0) also got in the act, taking a wicket (caught by Hosain behind the wicket) with his first and only ball to finish the innings and leave him on a hat trick for the first ball of the next game. Akshat also took 1-6 as RBCC Colts got a clean sweep of the wickets with Gold bowled out for 29. The Belgium team reached their target in just 4.3 overs for a ten-wicket win, with Hosain unbeaten on 11 at a run-a-ball. 

This qualified Belgium for the final the following day, and a rematch against Switzerland in an extended match (20 overs). With their best chance of winning probably to bat first and try to put the strong Swiss batting line up under scoreboard pressure, Belgium unfortunately lost the toss and the Swiss decided to bat. In a strong start, Thomas and Hosain combined for a run out, followed by a wicket for Akhlaq and a second ball clean bowled strike for Thomas (just missing his hat trick) leaving Switzerland at 45-3 in the 7th over. But with the tournament rules meaning everyone had to bowl the Swiss took advantage of the part-time Belgium bowlers to pile on the runs and at one stage looked to be headed for a total in excess of 200 as fielders visibly struggled in the heat.

 However, an RBCC-led fightback in the final five overs was masterminded by Thomas (1-12), Akhlaq (1-22) and Akshat (1-26) whose inspired captaincy got his side back in the game and saw the Swiss finish on a difficult but not impossible total of 173. Belgium never quite were up with the run rate, but excellent innings from Akhlaq (27 off 20) and Akshat (20 off 12) saw Belgium reach 118-2 off 16 overs, before a vain attempt to accelerate saw wickets tumble and the side eventually bowled out for 120. An excellent two days of exciting cricket saw the RBCC quartet inspire their nation to reach the final and show great potential for the future.

Ricky’s Fifer! ICCB vs RBCC – Match Report

RBCC’s first XI travelled to Wemmel in a confident mood following their win against AICC. With Muneeb on national team duty (congratulations to the Cricket Belgium team by the way, for their excellent performance against Guernsey) Ricky stepped forward to take over as captain.

Ricky duly won the toss and we batted first. Mustafa and Abdulwahed gave us the solid start that we needed. Jawad came in at first wicket down and was dropped off his second ball playing an uncharacteristic lofted shot; ICCB would rue this miss as he proceeded to top score with a serene 48. Abdulwahed continued his fine form from the Paris trip, making 43, while Afzal added 33 before being bowled with our score on 200. A flurry of late wickets saw RBCC all out for 224 from 47 overs; not the biggest total but we thought this was a good score on a tricky pitch with some variable bounce.

Royal Brussels Cricket Club 1st XI

We came out all guns blazing in the field, with Salim taking the first wicket and Ricky joining in the next over thanks to a brilliant catch by Abdulwahed. Our fielding was good all day, we didn’t drop a single chance given to us. Ali joined the wicket-taking fun from the other end, bowling an absolute peach to clean up one of their batsman. As usual, Channi applied the finishing touches (fast becoming his trademark!) but the last wicket was a piece of art by Salim, a direct throw from midwicket to run the batsman out. The star performer though was undoubtedly Ricky, leading from the front and finishing with figures of 10-3-31-5. 

ICCB were all out for 118 in 28 overs, RBCC winning by 106 runs.

Well played lads, let’s keep this run going!

Match Scorecard

Back to France 🇫🇷 – Tour Report

Royal Brussels Cricket Club v Aulnay CC 7/8 June 2024

A select RBCC team was delighted to re-establish links with our friends at Aulnay via a short trip over the border; it’s been 10 long years since we last visited France but we intend to strengthen these bonds and make a longer French tour a regular addition to our calendar.

In keeping with the ongoing World Cup, our squad was drawn from many proud cricketing nations with Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, England and Australia all represented.

Royal Brussels Cricket Club Touring Team

With his usual attention to detail, Arun had organised the trip to perfection; the correct number of cars with the correct number of players arrived at the correct hotel and were allocated the correct number of rooms. After that things did get a little messy; perhaps the Burger King we visited didn’t represent French cuisine at its finest but fortunately Tipu had brought some refreshments with him and it ended up being a rather late night for some of our group. 

While the young lads watched Afghanistan’s glorious victory via some dodgy stream the older boys were introduced to Arun’s friend Paul John from Goa…while it is true that the hotel management had to break up the party in the early hours they were friendly enough and there’s no doubt that we will be welcomed back with open arms next time. It has to be said that there were some complaints about the excessive snoring of one of our players; in true touring tradition, we will not name the guilty party here but merely congratulate Sameel on his wisdom in locking the culprit out of his room…

Saturday morning dawned clear and bright as we gathered for breakfast with Fakrul providing the good stuff to help the jaded recover.  A short drive brought us to the Aulnay ground, based in a sports park and looking a fine sight under a cloudless sky. Being on the CDG flightpath meant that any longueurs in the cricket were compensated for by the constant procession of brightly-coloured planes. We were warmly welcomed by our hosts and we agreed to play a test match T20: two innings each of 20 overs.

A warm welcome from Aulnay

RBCC were invited to bat first on a lively pitch that offered plenty of lateral movement; Asama got a tricky one that he edged through to slip and the bounce continued to cause us some problems. Abdulwahed steadied the ship and went on to score an excellent 65 from only 60 deliveries in what was to prove to be the highest score of the day. Obaid also demonstrated some powerful hitting as we posted 129/6.

Aulnay’s innings started at a ferocious pace as their two young openers put together a stand of 87; our bowlers were getting a bit of a pasting until Sameel brought on Jalal and Arun in a bid to regain control. Not only did they slow down the run rate but Jalal went on to take 4 wickets with some excellent bowling. 

Jalal, the wizard

Having established a first innings lead of 50, Aulnay exercised their right to bat again.  On a hot day with a difficult outfield our lads put up a good fight with Max opening the bowling and William getting two classic wickets bowling down the hill and finding plenty of swing. With Asama struggling with injury Noor volunteered to keep and did a sterling job as we restricted them to 114 in 20 overs.

We needed a big score but a steady trickle of wickets meant that despite some impressive hitting from Fida, Sameel and Arun we couldn’t put big partnerships together. Tipu hit the last boundary of the match as we finished on 135/7.

The game was played in an excellent spirit. To mark our respect and our thanks for an excellent biryani, Arun presented our hosts with an RBCC pennant, a replica shirt and some fine Belgian beers. 

Arun, thanking the hosts on behalf of Royal Brussels Cricket Club

We had a great day and everyone returned home safe and sound. We will host the return match later this summer, hopefully with the same sense of camaraderie and victory for the Royal Brussels Cricket Club!

Match Scorecard

Royal Brussels CC host Belgium vs Guernsey T20 International

Last weekend Cricket Belgium enjoyed high-class international cricket from across the board hosted at Royal Brussels Cricket Club in Lasne.

Cricket Belgium hosted Guernsey at Royal Brussels Cricket Club on Saturday-Sunday (8-9th) June in an ICC Bi-lateral T20 International. The Guernsey side is ranked several places higher than Belgium in World Rankings and arrived with a professional set-up including 2 coaches. 

Cricket Belgium & Guernsey Squad

At the request of FWBC (Federation Wallonie-Bruxelles de Cricket), they agreed to come to RBCC on Friday evening before the tournament to conduct a cricket training for Belgian juniors. The event was open to juniors across the region and a lot of new faces turned up to try out the sport. FWBC has recently received its first funding from ADEPS and chose this occasion to sponsor the evening which ended in a BBQ with Guernsey mixing with the parents and kids, while the RBCC volunteers worked tirelessly to get the ground ready for the tournament.

On Saturday the cricket tournament commenced in sunshine and Belgium were put into bat. RBCCs own Muneeb opened the batting to face the new ball for Cricket Belgium, but both openers did not stay long. The middle order put up a fight and we got to a reasonably respectable 154 after 20 overs – or so we thought. The young, fit Guernsey lads made light work of our bowlers and reached the total in just 18 overs. The Guernsey CEO was now looking for a clean sweep.

Either one-all at the turn.

Cricket Belgium won the toss and elected to bowl. The afternoon did not start well for Cricket Belgium who were taking wickets but the runs kept coming for Guernsey who ended on a mighty 197 for 9 after 20 overs. Too much for some, but not enough to daunt the Belgian team. Out came RBCC’s own Muneeb and, together with Hakim, had put on 52 after just 4 overs when they fell. After 8 we were 93, well ahead of the run rate. In came Burhan and Sherry Butt and both put on 40 each. In the end, there was controversy, when Belgium needed only 3 from the last over. The batsman hit the ball clear of the ropes at Cow Corner, and one of the Guernsey fans caught the ball over the boundary as the player collided into him. The Guernsey players surrounded the umpires claiming it should be pronounced a dead ball, but the umpires held firm, a 6 was awarded and Cricket Belgium won the game.

RBCC skipper in Belgian Colours

On Sunday morning we returned in high spirits when Guernsey came out to bat buoyed by the morning’s success and proceeded to dispatch the ball to all areas of the ground, this time ending on 192 for 6 with one lad making an impressive 73. Knees were trembling amongst some supporters but not with the Belgian team as they came out confidently to chase it down. And so they did – in the 19th over for only 5 wickets, led principally by Shery Butt who made 75 including a six over the trees on the far side of the ground.

FWBC Chairman & RBCC Member presenting club flag to Guernsey Cricket Chairman

Cricket Belgium were leading 2-1 into the final game, much to many’s surprise. In the final game, we ran out of steam and posted a meagre 125 which Guernsey chased down quite easily to halve the series. How great to have the pleasure of exciting cricket in Belgium on a sunny weekend. Thanks to all the parents, kids, volunteers and officials who together made it a great weekend.

Match Scorecard 1st T20i
Match Scorecard 2nd T20i
Match Scorecard 3rd T20i
Match Scorecard 4th T20i 

Cricket Season ’24 Starts Here!

Cricket Season ’24 Starts Here!

A flurry of activity has seen the first steps in preparing our ground for the new season. Under the control of Chairman Chris Hutchins, Ground Manager Jalal and first-team Captain Muneeb, the pitch was uncovered, the nets were prepared, the outfield was mown, and the clubhouse fumigated. We even found time for our annual run-in with the forces of law and order over whether we had the right sort of bonfire permit…

cricket belgium

On Thursday, we had the first outdoor nets to kick off the 2024 cricket season in Belgium, with some hostile bowling and big hitting. Matt and Chris ran some fielding drills, an area of our game that the Cricket Committee are keen to improve. The brains trust is already planning our campaign with our first game, a T20 at Hasselt, taking place on Sunday, 14 April.

cricket belgium

This weekend, Royal Brussels Cricket Club will also host the Cricket Belgium national trials and workshops for Women’s cricket and Junior cricket. Cricket Belgium has been steadily growing in prominence, fostering a vibrant cricketing community nationwide. Focusing on inclusivity and development, they’ve been actively promoting the sport among women and juniors, recognizing the importance of nurturing talent at every level. These national trials and workshops signify Cricket Belgium’s commitment to identifying and honing the skills of aspiring players, ensuring a bright future for the sport in the country. Through such initiatives, Cricket Belgium aims to enhance the competitiveness of its national teams and foster a deeper love for cricket among enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds. The details are in the poster 👉🏼

Good luck to all RBCC members!

Finally, the club would like to send its best wishes to Sudhanshu and Sibylle on the birth of their daughter Lila. Congratulations from all at RBCC! We trust that she will turn out to be a better cricketer than her father!