Pride must take a back-seat now

By Danny Caro, December 21, 2012

There are no guarantees in life, and very few cast-iron guarantees in sport, but I’m struggling to understand just why the latest attempt to merge the three leading Jewish cricket teams in London failed to materialise.

The concept of a super-club has had its critics from the off, but these are now desperate times for the Jewish game and pride shouldn’t come into it.

Having played for both Belmont & Edgware and London Maccabi Vale, the plan makes completes sense to me.

MAL have enjoyed a renaissance in recent years, but like BECC and LMV, struggled to field the quality and numbers they would’ve wished for last season.
With this in mind, LMV chairman Terry Hyman contacted both BECC and MAL shortly after the final matches, but the invitation to merge was declined. It
was a no-brainer for me. Instead, a selection of BECC’s most accomplished performers will link up with MAL next year.

2013 promises to be another testing season for Jewish cricketers in London. The Maccabiah means the cream of the crop will have staggered availability and there are no signs of players coming through anywhere other than the successful colts section at Rowley Lane.

LMV have the facilities, resources and vision to maintain the infrastructure and I find it hard to believe the best of the rest still want no part of it. The demands of the game are also less attractive to the younger audience when it comes to playing.

Like many clubs, LMV saw a decline in numbers and it appears the lure of quick-fix cricket, also known as Twenty20, appeals to family men and youth alike. But for me, the fundamental elements of the game will get lost, such as a batsman building an innings and bowlers ‘working a batsman out’.

It’s reached the point where club names are irrelevant. It’s pointless having three good players in three teams rather than nine in one. Some people still believe the long-term future of Jewish cricket is a fight worth fighting and it’s a crying shame the same few, stubborn obstacles maintain a stance that will only kill the product and certainly isn’t in the interest of
future generations.

The theme of declining numbers appears to a recurring theme. The fact that four MSFL clubs were forced to forfeit matches last weekend through a lack of numbers shouldn’t be glossed over. I’ve heard talk of conspiracy theories with a couple of B teams pulling out of a competition their respective A teams are still involved in and I sincerely hope it wasn’t the case of ensuring the top players in lower teams are available to make the step up later in the competition.

Last updated: 1:03pm, December 21 2012