Alby Cricket Club leading the way in Sweden
Alby Cricket Club is one of the most recently formed cricket clubs in Sweden.
It was founded by Azam Khalil and Aman Khan Zahid. They started with 5 members in 2015, today they have more than 30 members with an A team, B team, under 19 and under 15 teams.
Alby took part in Division 1 of the Swedish league which was the highest division in 2015. The Swedish Cricket Federation allowed everyone to play in Division 1 last year.
In total there were 30 teams participating in the league, 16 from south and 14 from North Sweden. Whoever would win the finals in their respective regions would qualify for the grand final.
For the 2016 season, the Swedish Cricket Federation have changed the structure of the league, with promotion and relegation.
For the Twenty20 League, at the end of the 2015 season, the top 8 teams from the North group and Top 7 Teams from South group have been elected to play in the Elite division (previously Division 1).
The remaining teams will form Division 1 (previously division 2). Teams already in Division 3 and other clubs will be part of Division 2 and all remaining clubs plus any new teams will be part of Division 3. The total teams in each division will be 15.
At the end of 2016 season, 4 top teams from Division 2 and below will be promoted to higher divisions and the bottom 4 teams in each division will be relegated to lower divisions respectively.
For the 40 Over League at the end of season 2015, the top 4 teams from each group in North and South zone have come together with the total number of teams to be 16.
Division 2 will have the remaining 14 teams who will play 40 overs League.
Division 3 and lower divisions will have 12 teams each who will play 30 over format.
At the end of 2016 season, 4 top teams from division 2 and below will be promoted to higher divisions and bottom 4 teams in each division will be relegated to lower divisions respectively.
Alby CC has a mixture of young and experienced players with Azam Khalil, Aman Khan and Toram Khan who have been playing cricket in Sweden since 2003. 5 players were under 19 and 3 of them were playing hard ball for the first time in Sweden.
With this team Alby CC not only stayed in the Elite Division but also qualified for the final in North where they lost to Märsta CC and therefore became the third best team in the country.
With a lack of experienced player in the team it did not go quite as well for them in the 40 overs format and the team did not qualify for the Elite Division. Instead they will play in Division 1.
In total 14 teams participated in the tournament which took place on 27-28 Feb 2016 in Sweden (Botkyrka where the club is located).
Taking part in the tournament were:-
3 Teams from Norway
1 team from Austria
2 teams from Malmö (500 km away city in Sweden)
1 team from Eskilstuna (about 100 km away city in Sweden)
1 team called iDesi (the youngest players of the tournament where average age was 18)
Plus 7 more teams from Stockholm city
The tournament was called Mitt Alby Super Sixes Indoor Cricket Tournament.
Sponsored by the Mitt Alby construction company, iDesi (an electronic media and production company), Cumin club (An Indian restaurant). IDesi helped with all the posters, Facebook, designs, roll ups, photos and they even sent the semifinals and final live on internet.
Cumin club provided the players with lunch on both days.
8 teams qualified for the quarter finals Alby CC, Klemetsrud A (Norway), Klemetsrud B (Norway), Cricketer CC (Austria), iDesi, Alby Zalmi, Solna Tigers and Sacs. Alby CC, Alby Zalmi, Cricketers CC and iDesi qualified for the semi-finals.
The best game of the tournament was the semi-final between iDesi and Cricketer CC. iDesi, the youngest team of the tournament, beat the tournament favourites and qualified for the final.
The final was played between iDesi and Alby CC and the hosts ended up on winning side.
The tournament best batsman was Azam Khalil, best bowler was Sher Ali who won both the quarter-final and semi-final for his team in the last over. At just 15, Sher Ali was also the youngest player who played in the tournament and surprised many with his bowling and fielding skills.