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2020 Cricket Season - Much promised...but too little delivered!

Updated: Nov 24, 2020

The 2020 cricket season has come to an end and here we are with only one trophy, the SM-VIIKKO championship. We claimed that title in February in Joensuu, winning the final against our fierce rivals and friends Empire CC. Luckily for us, we were able to share our victory with the world as the final was televised live by Finland’s national broadcaster YLE. Now after all that transpired in 2020, it feels like that victory was celebrated in a different age!


Champions of the SM-VIIKKO 2020

So one title in the bag and 2020 coming to a close, and time to reflect. If we are honest we are disappointed. We reached the final knockout stages in four of Finland’s major summer competitions: Premier League T20, Kerava Shield T20, ECS T10, and the One Day Cup. Yes, we did win the “regular season” or “group stages” of Premier League (PL), Kerava Shield (KS) and One-days (ODs). And sure we should be proud of our efforts however but you cannot hide from the truth...we failed to win any of those competitions.



The disappointment is real. It still haunts us. Fair to say in the ECS it could have gone either way. And the worst of them all, getting eliminated in the ODs through a super-over after having the ascendancy over the opposition’s first innings before rain intervened, rubs salt in our wounds. That will be an extremely difficult day to forget. We were gutted. In the Premier League playoffs we had Empire 20 for 3, and it should have been 20 for 4… but catches win matches.


In all competitions, we have played well and asked some serious cricketing of our opponents. But could we have kept our cool in tough situations? Could we have trained harder or prepared better? Or was it pure bad luck in the finals? It has been a tough year. There is a myriad of lessons for all of us.


On a positive note, we can find some solace and celebrate individual performances. Particularly Asim Ghani, he had a season to remember collecting more than 40 wickets and securing the best batsman, bowler, and MVP awards in the KS competition.


Yet through it all, we stand together. We stand strong. Despite our lack of trophies we have had an amazing journey. We have definitely strengthened our team culture and ethics. For many of us, we want to represent this club, we want to fight for future glories. We want to bring home the trophies in 2021. As Rahul Dravid said, “I have failed many times, but I never stop trying.” Like him, we will keep our spirits high and look forward. In addition, we have unlocked the youth potential. Out of all the clubs in Finland, we have trained and fielded two young members, aged 16 and 18 respectively. Ashar Quadir and Kartikeya Voleti. Altogether, they have played 16 matches between themselves. We are proud of this achievement and hope to inspire other clubs to do the same.


Furthermore, our social culture of the club has seen a drastic improvement. Whilst defeat can strain relationships...2020 has seen a fortification of relationships on-and off-field. Our premier league T20 lead the way, enjoying a beer or coke after every game. More importantly, we have initiated “last Saturday of each month” social events for all our members. The wildest of which was at AussieBar in June, the night before one of our OD games. The night ended late and a number of players caught the jäger train.... Luckily, everyone got home safely and we won the game the following day. One of the players however, realized he was missing one lens from his glasses during his batting winnings only after getting out! That was comically embarrassing, yet everyone had a laugh afterward.


Jäger train at the AussieBar. It was that sort of a night.

Last month, we had our postseason awards giving event at the AussieBar Helsinki. It was an incredibly fun afternoon as many of the members put in the effort to attend. Chairman, Ponniah played the master of ceremonies role as we re-lived all the fun moments and embarrassing experiences of 2020. We watched youtube clips from our games at Kerava National Cricket Ground (KNCG), it was great fun. Interestingly, we had over 800+ thousand YouTube views for all our games at the ground; an amazing and unprecedented feat for any sport in Finland, let alone cricket. We streamed everything during the social awards night from Nathan Collins’ glamorous sixes to Jakey Goodwin’s dropped catch in the playoffs, to the “overspill” of emotions between HCC and SKK. We also witnessed how our famous Andrew Armitage uprooted the wickets of current national team members, Jonathan Scamans and Mahesh Tambe during a T10 match. Awards presented to our members included the best batsmen of the year: Nathan Collins; best bowler of the year: Peter Gallagher; SKK cricketer of the year: Asim Ghani; and clubman of the year: Simon Rodgerson (Dodgy).

So we conclude the year on a positive note. We thank all our members and supporters for being with us through our ups and downs. We thank our captains for leading the sides to amazing victories and consoling us in defeat. We thank our leadership group for their support and encouragement. And of course, we thank Cricket Finland for organizing the tournaments.


So now we look forward to 2021, and it is onwards and upwards. As the famous Jonty Rhodes iterated, “I’m convinced things will go much better if the players smile and have some fun on the field, rather than acting like a wound-up spring”, similarly we want to ensure all of us have fun on the field.


Writers: Areeb Quadir, Ponniah Vijendran, Gerard Brady

Photography: Manoj Thavayogarajah

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