Vinny Sandhu with six takeaways from his latest interactive Maximo Chat with guests Michael Leask, Hamid Wardak and European Cricket League founder Daniel Weston.

European Cricket Studio - TAKE 6 with Mr Maximo

Wrapping up our April Instagram Live shows, we invited three more entertaining guests for a Maximo Chat. Michael McCann and I will return for more European Cricket Studio Live from Monday 11 May on Facebook Live!

1. Michael Leask has captained his father.

The hard-hitting Scottish all-rounder comes from a proud cricketing family. We learned that he has captained his father on more than one occasion. Interesting dynamic! His father sounds like a sprightly 72-year-old, still filling in down the grades when they need a body. Let’s hope the younger Leask ages as well as his ‘not-so-old’ man!

2. Michael Leask would love to play a Test match.

Responding to a question about whether he would rather play a Test Match for Scotland or win the T20 World Cup, Leask said that he would prefer the ultimate prize of becoming a Test Cricketer.  He said he was inspired by the trajectory of Ireland and hoped that one day Scotland could follow a similar path onto the purest form of the game.

3. Massive admiration for Michael’s huge first-ball SIX!

In Scotland’s upset victory over England in 2018, Leask hit the first ball he faced from paceman Mark Wood over long-off for a Maximo Grande! We were able to see the shot from a couple of different angles, with viewers admiring the way he authoritatively re-marked centre after the ball sailed high over the fence. When it comes to big sixes though, Michael admitted he had also been hit for a couple, noting an occasion where the mighty West Indian Carlos Brathwaite hit one of his off-breaks so hard that it was still going up as it disappeared out of the stadium. This prompted Leask’s captain to remark to him that it was “massive”, just the encouragement the bowler needed for sure! 

4. Freddy, the dog steals the show.

We met Leask’s dog, Freddy, who captured the hearts of many viewers. One asked if he was named after a certain former English all-rounder, but apparently there is no connection.  I challenged Leask to teach Freddy some slip catching, as they make really good internet videos!

5. Germany international Hamid Wardak’s “Man vs Ball” moment.

In the ECL19 semi-final against Danish champions, Svanholm, the German all-rounder was fielding at cover when two balls were hit to him in quick succession. The first burst through his hands, but he was able to hold onto the second chance, remarking that it was “hit like a tracer bullet”. Wardak said that he had to catch it otherwise it would have hit him in the face! The highlights of that exciting match can be found here. The stylish left-hand bowler and stroke-maker has carved out an international cricket career for his adopted home over the past few years, and spoke of his disappointment when Germany missed out on the recent ICC T20 World Cup qualifying tournament by the narrowest of margins.

6. Daniel Weston discusses, reflects and looks ahead.

ECL Founder Daniel Weston joined me to wrap up our final Instagram Live show. We have certainly enjoyed bringing these shows to you throughout the month of April.  Moving forward, we announced plans to bring the Studio to Facebook Live from Monday 11 May. Weston also said he was working on resuming the Dream11 European Cricket Series in select locations as soon as it was safe and prudent to do so. I’m sure that is something all of us will watch with great interest in the weeks ahead!

Make sure you follow the @europeancricket Facebook Page for our European Cricket Studio live shows starting Mondays and Thursdays from 9pm CET (7pm GMT, 12:30am India). You can even catch up on previous episodes as they are downloaded to the page!