Jewish cricket plans shake-up

By Danny Caro, April 29, 2010

Radical plans to shake up Jewish cricket in London were being discussed this week after Maccabi Cricket chairman Richard Mitchell stepped down from his post.

A new committee will be set up in an attempt to resurrect the sport. Michael Ziff, (inset) chairman of Team GB cricket at last year's Maccabiah, has discussed his vision with Maccabi GB Head of Sport Daniel Collins.

Ziff's plan is based on the establishment of a Jewish super-club, using the model of London Maccabi Vale, whose Rowley Lane base houses a thriving colts section.

The move follows the demise of the Maccabi League which has rapidly declined in quality and numbers. It was left with three teams following the departure of MAL, who joined Belmont & Edgware and LMV in the Middlesex Sunday League, and the collapse of former winners Casual Nomads last week.

Ziff said: "We have no choice. We need to put all our resources into one basket and put the best Jewish players into one Sunday club.

"I want to have an MCC of Jewish cricket at Vale. They are the only club with pedigree.

We must put the top players into one club

"The Sunday League has run its course. The standard was not very good and the behaviour of some was terrible."

Ziff suggested that Maccabi GB will run the Twenty20 competition. He said: "The question we have to ask is why try to change the world when the world is telling us what we want."

The chief executive of Barratts Priceless Ltd will also help fund an initiative to encourage enthusiasts to qualify as umpires.

The problems come just two seasons after Manchester cricket was resurrected. The reduction in numbers of Jewish players and clubs is not just limited to cricket. The Maccabi (Southern) Football League has seen six teams fold this season as well as one in the Manchester Jewish Soccer League.

Last updated: 4:22pm, April 29 2010