Here are some more personal impressions from the weekend in Engadine:
On the Sunday, we played our final match - a play-off for third place versus Munich CC. As I was hobbling around after the injury, playing was out of the question, so I was asked to do some square-leg umpiring for the first 15 overs of both innings to keep me occupied. I quite enjoyed it, especially giving one of Munich's openers out after a run out. I could see that the batsman in question was miles out after taking a risky single, so I made a decision and raised my finger. Oh dear. The dismay was etched on his face - but I nodded at him to confirm that he was indeed out. Maybe in an ideal world, I would have appreciated the get-out clause of referring the decision to the third umpire, but in my mind he was stone-wall OUT. End of.
Munich CC 157/6 after 30 overs.
Basel CC 161/3 after 17.3 overs.
Basel won by 7 wickets.
Some further observations:
Apart from a Swiss junior team that was cobbled together at short notice for the tournament, the Germany U-19 team also took part. I don't want to encourage stereotypes, but the Germans took the whole event way too seriously. We didn't play them, but from the way they celebrated each wicket during their match on the adjacent pitch on Saturday afternoon, you might have got impression that they had just sent Ricky Ponting back to the pavillion in the World Cup Final - such was the extent of their whooping and shrieking. I also overheard their coach - who was umpiring at square leg at the time - remonstrating with his charges sat behind the boundary because they were talking a bit too loudly for his liking: "Hört auf mit dem Diskutieren, verdammt nochmal!".
Plenty of it whenever Basel played. Oh yess... But don't worry, it was all above board and good-natured. Our Sledger-in-Chief and wicketkeeper / part-time spin bowler, the South African called Burger (he'd flown in from London specially to play in Zuoz), came up with a few gems. For example, about the Munich batsman who walked to the crease with shades on, he noted: "Guys, he's wearing sun glasses to hide the fear in his eyes!". And his mantra during the Lyceum match was, "Boring cricket, guys, boring cricket... Let's bore them to death!"
An even more honorable mention also goes to the Aussie David Sykes, who used to live in Switzerland and play for Basel but now lives back in Oz. He flew all the way from Australia to play at the tournament. Howzat for dedication?
A fantastic-looking golf course adjoined the four cricket pitches, hence the putting green and golf buggies you can see in the photos below.
Team versus Munich CC, 24 June 2007:
Top (left to right): Suthan, Burger, Nikhil, Tariq, David
Botton: Jacques, Michael, Francois, Sajid, Anthony, Shani
Photo on the right: view from the golf clubhouse terrace as Basel hit the winning runs versus Munich at around 2 p.m. on the Sunday.