GB cricketers will always be batting on a sticky wicket

By Danny Caro, July 15, 2010

The European Maccabi Games are less than a year away. Proceedings get under way in Vienna at the opening ceremony on July 6 with Team GB and Austria expected to field the largest delegations. Guest teams from Israel, primarily juniors, USA and Canada will also feature with one or two possible additions.

Nineteen sports are currently on the schedule, ranging from badminton, basketball, beach volleyball, bridge, chess, fencing, field hockey, football, futsal, golf, judo, karate, squash, swimming, ten pin bowling, table tennis, target shooting, tennis and volleyball.

Cricket, rugby and track & field, sports that GB have enjoyed success at recent Maccabiot, do not feature on the European programme. Cricket is not included as the organisers believe that there are an insufficient number of Jews playing in Europe. A combination of Austrians and expats from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and England make up the Vienna Cricket Club. Surely there must be some Jews amongst them. It's a great shame that cricket is not part of the make up of the Euro Games. Very few Jewish cricketers get the opportunity to represent their country and as with the Open football competition, it would offer the perfect opportunity for those not up to Maccabiah level the chance to test themselves at a higher level.

There is little doubt that England and Israel could get a squad together. And there must be at least one other nation who could step forward for a Twenty20 competition. With inter-shul cricket starting to take off in London and several players standing out in the NJCL, the competition could have an equal emphasis on winning and fun. Failing that, I would like to propose that a collective British team is put together to play a combination of 40-over and T20 games in a tour of Israel.

● Manchester Maccabi 1st's have stepped up their preparations for the new football season. Managers Stuart Delmonte and Tony Rosenberg have added a second training session for their squad who will now be put through their paces on Thursdays as well as Sundays at Brooklands.

The Thameside League Division One side has its first pre-season friendly against Flixton FC at home on July 26.

● The JC MSFL will feature seven new teams next season while two others - Rapid Banta and FC Heath - are merging. The league lost six teams during the course of last season but only one - Highgate & Muswell Hill – has left over the summer.

Nick Sonenfield, the HMH manager, was left with little option but to pull out with the majority of his boys starting university or gap years. Left with a handful of players, Sonenfeld said: "I'm extremely sorry that we've have to drop out. Hopefully it will be for no more than a year or two.

"We've got a pitch and a kit and if I had the players we'd definitely be there." The club's youth section remains healthy however, with 22 teams ranging from Under 7 to 16.

● London Maccabi Lions has named its new management structure for season 2010/11. A team manager Eilon Kennet will be assisted by Motti Colman and Ricky Kennet. Dan Levy will lead LML B with new C team manager Jamie Kyte assisted by James Gold and Simon Zender. Lions will run training on Sundays and Wednesdays at Rowley Lane.

● Sam Sloma has signed for Wingate & Finchley. Released by Woking, he returns to the club that he represented 167 times until 2006.

● The race to find the first winners of the JC Daniel Sacks Award for Outstanding Sporting Achievement is hotting up. Remember, nominations, for athletes aged 11-16, must be registered at

Last updated: 1:41pm, July 15 2010