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Denmark victorious, Belgium celebrating solid performance after hosting international cricket tournament
Belgium won four out of their five matches in the recent Men’s T20 World Cup qualifying tournament, but narrowly missed out on reaching the final after being beaten by eventual runners-up, Portugal.
Denmark took the T20 European leg of the competition, claiming victory against Portugal in the final by nine wickets. It brought the curtain down on a successful six day event hosted by Royal Brussels Cricket Club together with Ghent Oval and organised by the International Cricket Council.
Denmark won with 41 balls to spare in front of a respectable crowd, which included RBCC and Ghent officials and players, along with Belgian Cricket Federation committee members. Ambassadors and diplomats representing the eight countries involved in the tournament, also went along to support their respective compatriots.
Gibraltar, Denmark, Spain, Malta, Hungary, Portugal, Israel and hosts, Belgium (pictured above), competed in the tournament that was postponed during the pandemic. Belgium defeated Spain in the third place play off by five wickets but there was further consolation for the Belgian Red Tigers as they were the victors of eventual winners, Denmark, in an earlier tightly fought match: Belgium won by just 12 runs. Denmark go on to compete against other European teams in future tournaments this summer for the chance to compete in the T20 Cricket World Cup.
Nick Compton, Former RBCC chairman and a key figure in bringing the competition to Belgium, said he was delighted to have brought cricket ‘home’. He said: ‘Cricket originated in Belgium in the 16th century, according to records. Of course we know it was later played just before the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 so cricket at last did come home.’
He added that Belgium's hosting of the tournament would hopefully be the start of a huge development programme in the country. “Cricket builds character and respect but we need the funding at grass roots level for top quality coaching, training and equipment to make it a top sport here in Belgium. We want it to be hugely recognised in Flanders, Wallonia and here in Brussels.”
RBCC chairman Chris Hutchins said: “Our ethos at the club is to bring the game to as many as possible and we were delighted to co-host this prestigious international tournament. It was wonderful to see many faces at the matches, especially the younger club members who would have been inspired by their heroes on the field.”
Photos: (c) ICC/Laura Piekarski