Our XI’s performance was courageous and determined – as, of course, was Afghanistan’s – and it was a fitting climax to a series that has shown off the talents of our players in fine style.
Saturday’s defeat was undoubtedly a disappointment, but by that stage a great deal had already been achieved. Jersey had secured five victories – including one against the strongly fancied USA side – and had won promotion to the league’s Division IV. Our XI will now go on to compete at the higher level in Tanzania in October.
Credit for such an excellent outcome must go to each and every member of the team. That said, the level at which Island cricket is now played speaks volumes about the talents, enthusiasm and motivational skills of two people – cricket development officer Chris Minty and coach Peter Kirsten. They can be justifiably proud of their own efforts and those of the players whose abilities they have helped to shape.
Praise must also go to the many people, ranging from umpires and ground staff to parish officials and supporters, who did so much to make the tournament such a magnificent success.
It is clear that the ICC tournament has done a great deal to spur new interest in cricket in Jersey. Something like 1,000 spectators turned up at Grainville to watch the final and they will not have been disappointed by what they saw. As well as being a thrilling spectacle, the game was, like the rest of the tournament, played in a spirit that was friendly and sportsmanlike but also driven and committed.
There has been much talk in recent years of raising the Island’s profile internationally and of demonstrating that our identity depends on far more than our status as an offshore finance centre. This latest sporting success and the Island XI’s progress on the international scene can only help to substantiate our claim that, as a community, we punch well above our weight in many spheres of activity.