Cricket 19: Bonjour!

Introducing the French national cricket team!

L’equipe Francaise de Cricket are currently participating in some non-official practice matches before entering some as yet decided competitions and possibly even going on tour.

Any matches featuring France will be played at the hardest level. There will be no hiding place for this enthusiastic band of continental cricketers. 26-year-old off-spinning all-rounder Xavier Le Tallec will captain the side with wicketkeeper Maxime Bernard acting as vice. Players who herald from celebrated cities such as Paris, Marseille and Nantes are represented as are some less well known towns and villages. Virgin cricket fans from all corners of the country have had their interest peaked and sales of shirts have been off the richter scale even before the team have played a competitive match.

Meet some of the players…

Maxime Bernard, wicketkeeper and vice-captain

Alexandre Riviere, right-arm medium-fast bowler

Matteo Phillipe, middle-order left-handed batsman

Unfortunately our first match ended in defeat by a mammoth margin of an innings and 277 runs. At home we lost the toss against an amateur works side but despite dropping an early catch we posed a consistent threat with the ball to dismiss the opposition for 452. The pick of our bowlers was right-arm sling bowler Zidane Thomas who claimed figures of 3-68. Medium-pacer Gabin Sauvage (2-56), left-arm express paceman Paco Georges (2-81) and right-arm medium-fast bowler Alexandre Rivière (2-90) all bowled well at times. Young leg-spinner Mehdi Qadri (0-64) beat the bat on numerous occasions however all the wickets that we claimed (Excluding a run out) came courtesy of some form of pace bowling.

After 120 overs spread over a day and a bit in the field and with the opposition’s tail having wagged to the tune of over a hundred runs, we then floundered with the bat in both innings. In our first dig we recovered from appalling positions of 39-6 and 50-8 to at least reach 92 before last man Thomas fell for an innings top score of 32. 18 not out from last man Qadri was critical to us totalling as many runs as we did. Our batsmen were caught by surprise when the visitors opened the bowling with spin and their premier bowler promptly ripped through us with figures of 6-34.

I had hoped for better in our second innings but despite an encouraging 29 from Senegalese born opening batsman Omar Sissoko we crumbled to just 83 all out. Our spin foe from the first innings added four more wickets to his day’s tally to finish the match with analysis of 10-94. Sissoko’s opening partner, Jean-Luc Chevalier, contributed scores of just 5 and 1 however they were scores that middle order batsman Matteo Phillipe, who suffered the ignominy of registering a king pair on debut, could only dream of. Both batsmen will be retained for our next match however as we aim to have a good look at players before rushing into changing the playing personnel. I’m confident that the current playing XI will be better for their tough baptism.

With little money provided by the ICC and no sign of a millionaire benefactor, we’ve created a GoFundMe page to help raise costs to cover everything from player contracts, travel and kit manufacturing. Many thanks to those of you who have helped raise €20.00 so far. We’ll also be holding a coffee morning in Rennes later this month and washing cars in Grenoble in January.

Look out for further updates from the squad soon as eleven Frenchmen make history and look to take to the field at Test, ODI and T20I level for the very first time.

Paul Morris, Coach and Selector, France Cricket Team

Six to Watch: T20I Status – Women’s Special Revisited

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Hi all

Please find listed below six women’s international players that I suggested keeping an eye on when T20I status was dished out all around the globe. Firstly, here’s the link to my original post…

https://sillypointcricket.com/2018/07/01/six-to-watch-t20i-status-womens-special/

Louise Little (Ireland)

A tough time for the still only sixteen-year-old but hopefully she’ll be stronger for it.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ireland/content/player/1094718.html

Mariko Hill (Hong Kong)

Has shown glimpses of her ability but will want to make more significant contributions.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/343129.html

Pauke Siaka (Papua New Guinea)

A name synonymous with cricket in PNG, her games played are a small sample size on which to make a judgement.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/333936.html

Naruemol Chaiwai (Thailand)

Quite a few games under her belt now and performing well. She’s averaging 27.29 with the bat and has a top score of 64 not out scored against Malaysia in Bangkok last February.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/486944.html

Rubina Chhetry (Nepal)

Has produced some encouraging displays with both bat and ball including figures of 4-2 against Indonesia last January.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/500726.html

Cher van Slobbe (Netherlands)

Has chipped in with some wickets in her few games played.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/netherlands/content/player/577360.html

Six to Watch: T20I Status – Team Special Revisited

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Hi all

Please find listed below six men’s international teams that I suggested keeping an eye on when T20I status was dished out all around the globe. Firstly, here’s the link to my original post…

https://sillypointcricket.com/2018/06/14/six-to-watch-t20i-status-team-special/

The number in brackets denotes current world T20I ranking.

Argentina (56)

One of the few South American countries with any great cricket history, Argentina have plenty of work to do having fallen off the radar somewhat.

Canada (25)

A few years on from any meaningful international success, Canada will hope to climb back into the top 20 soon. South African Davy Jacobs leads the side nowadays. The successful launch of the Global T20 Canada and with it the attraction of international stars will hopefully inspire a new generation of Canadians to take up the game.

Denmark (24)

One of the early Associate trailblazers, Denmark are looking to make a name for themselves once again. Coached by Ireland cult hero Jeremy Bray, they came unstuck in recent World Cup Qualifiers finishing behind Jersey, Germany and Italy.

Fiji (48)

Like Denmark, Fiji’s proximity to a major cricketing nation, in its case Australia, made them an early Associate force but they’ve got a lot to do in order to ascend the current rankings.

Rwanda (77)

It’s early days but there’s a lot of cricket activity in Rwanda and they’ll surely be on the rise soon. They’ve got a lovely ground and cricket is the fastest growing sport in the country.

South Korea (64)

Languishing at the wrong end of the ladder, South Korea have some technically correct players but need to adapt to the modern game. In a recent regional World Cup Qualifier SK finished ahead of Japan and Indonesia but we won’t be seeing them in Australia next year.

Please click on the link below for full rankings:

https://www.icc-cricket.com/rankings/mens/team-rankings/t20i

Six to Watch: T20I Status – Men’s Special Revisited

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Hi all

Please find listed below six men’s international players that I suggested keeping an eye on when T20I status was dished out all around the globe. Firstly, here’s the link to my original post…

https://sillypointcricket.com/2018/06/03/six-to-watch-t20i-status-special/

Simon Ateak (Ghana)

Has made a couple of starts in the few matches that he’s played.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/308504.html

Harrison Carlyon (Jersey)

Struck 50 in his only T20I innings to date against arch rivals Guernsey exactly one month ago.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/1062706.html

Ahmad Faiz (Malaysia)

Has made some useful contributions with the bat in the past week including a knock of 43 against Maldives and helping see his team to another victory by scoring 27 not out against Thailand both in Kuala Lumpur.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/307639.html

Andrew Mansale (Vanuatu)

A tough time so far but he’s off the mark.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/275654.html

Calum MacLeod (Scotland)

One of the Associate games most proven players continues to go from strength to strength. He averaged 117 in the Oman T20I Quadrangular in February and recently struck an ODI ton against Afghanistan, not for the first time.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/scotland/content/player/232435.html

Carl Sandri (Italy)

Errrr, I may have got this one wrong. He’s not been seen for a few years!

http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/7908.html

Extras

Bye:

ODI status attained by USA!

Leg Bye: Bad news for one England wicketkeeper but good news for another… then bad news for another!

A dislocated shoulder for Sam Billings.

An England white-ball call-up for Ben Foakes.

Errr… insert picture of Ollie Pope!

A Billingsesque dislocated shoulder for Foakes’ Surrey teammate Ollie Pope.

No Ball:

A reported drugs fail for Alex Hales… but why try to hide it?

Wide:

Not cricket but loyal followers will be aware of my association with FC Nantes. As with all the above, this merits a post of its own but you’ll have to forgive me.

Farewell Horacio Sala. May you and Emiliano be reunited. Wishing your family great strength.

Free Hit:

190 from 154 balls for Hampshire’s occasional England player James Vince against Gloucestershire!

One Day

Hi all

As you may be aware, I’m a huge fan of spreading the game around the globe beyond the traditional hotbeds of cricket.

This week, countries such as Papua New Guinea and USA amongst others, go in search of full ODI status…

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/_/id/8786/icc-world-cricket-league-division-t

As with the application of T20I status to all Associate nations, gaining ODI status provides context and inspiration to many cricketers as well as fans.

There’ll be skill on show but surely heartbreak will also unfold. Let’s wait and see how the tournament develops…