Lieberman passes the test of time

By James Masters, September 27, 2011
Akiva Lieberman

Akiva Lieberman

Akiva Lieberman says he was left in shock after landing the two top prizes at the Greater Manchester Amateur League cricket awards.

The talented all-rounder enjoyed a stunning season for South Manchester and picked up trophies for the highest individual score and highest batting average.

Lieberman, whose spectacular 163 against Olympic was the highest recorded in Division Three last season, averaged 85 with the bat following a tremendous run of form.

South won six of their 18 fixtures to finish sixth in the league thanks to Lieberman's superhuman efforts.

But even the 23-year-old admits he was stunned after being handed the awards and says he only found out when team boss Steven Glicher emailed him.

"I had no idea the league awarded prizes at the end of the season so I was completely shocked," Lieberman said.

"I'm delighted to have done it though because I've had a really great season.

"I used a new bat this year and from the very first ball of the season, when I hit a six straight through a window, I've been in very good form.

"I've taken quite a few wickets too this year. I'm now looking forward to next year and with my brother, Hudi, coming back into the team, we're going to be even better."

South Manchester boss Glicher is also confident his side will improve next year and says he has been impressed with his players following their debut year in the GMACL.

"After a slow start whilst getting used to the level of opposition faced and the standard expected of us, we gradually improved and developed," he said.

"The whole team has had to raise their performance levels, which has taken longer for some than others, but by the end of the season we were on target to reach our expectations.

"In the latter half of the season we should have won at least three more games than we did, which would have meant finishing fourth in the 10-team league.

"Once we learn how to finish teams off, then we will progress, and we are not far from that.

"We are only a couple of players short and will be looking to recruit during the off season."

While South Manchester enjoyed relative success, Ray Tammam admits his Maccabi side were overwhelmed by the high standard of the GMACL.

He said: "We were told from a reliable source that the standard of this new, non-Jewish league was very similar to the standard of our former, all-Jewish league. Sadly this wasn't the case.

"It was a real shock how good most of our opponents were and the standard was definitely a couple of levels higher than we were used to.

"Having said that, we had some excellent individual and team performances in most games and had a nice mix of younger and older players, but we will have to have a real think about what we do next season."

Last updated: 3:12pm, September 27 2011