European Cricket League (“ECL”) is the Champions League of European cricket. Founded by Daniel Weston, Roger Feiner, Frank Leenders and Thomas Klooz and hailed as a cricketing equivalent of the UEFA Champions League, the second-staging - ECL21 - will be played in May and June in Spain.
Ostend Exiles will return as Belgium's representatives at ECL21 after not being able to showcase their talents at ECL20 due to the postponement because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the circumstances surrounding the qualification of the Belgian Cricket Federation T20 champions had a tragic but uplifting background.
“Jhanghez Diwan Ali, my cousin and one of our young playing members, sadly passed away in a motorbike accident,” said Ostend captain Amer Diwan Ali.
“He was only 21 and married just three weeks before the accident. We therefore made it our goal to become champions. We managed this and as a result qualified for ECL20. From next year, we will hold a tournament in tribute to his name.”
Ostend Exiles gained useful T10 experience at the European Cricket Series Gent last summer.
Spinner Sheraz Sheikh was joint top wicket taker with his left-arm darts, returning the best figures of the tournament with 4-14 .
WATCH Noorullah Sidiqi NAIL the celebration after his three-wicket frenzy.
Drawn in Group B, Ostend Exiles will cherish the opportunity of playing a “Low Country” derby against HBS Craeyenhout from the Netherlands at ECL21.
We welcome Belgium’s Ostend Exiles to the 2021 European Cricket League.