Bavarian Youth International Championships
The annual Bavarian international youth championships were held on the 12th and 13th of March was a slightly smaller event compared to previous years due to some last minute withdrawals and the loss of the second hall. Nonetheless, it was again a fantastic event with teams from Hessen and Austria visiting to compete in a soft ball section for youngsters and a hard ball section for the U16s.
In the soft ball section, Austria and Munich ended up blurring team lines by fielding constantly mixed teams for their games, epitomising one of the goals of this tournament, namely that the youth should play in great spirit and make new friendships.
In the hard ball section, things got tense between Hessen, Austria and the Munich Lions and Tigers. For a few years now, Austria had dominated events and whilst respectfully aware of the competition ahead of them, they still suffered two shock losses to Hessen and Munich Lions. At the same time, Hessen, disciplined in field and ball also upset Munich Lions. Overnight on day 1, each team had suffered at least one defeat. Each team knew the other teams could be defeated. Even Munich Tigers, many of whom were playing hard ball for the first time (And two who were playing their first ever competitive tournament whatsoever) knew they could snap victory if the stars align. Such an even playing field has not been experienced for years. The parents and coaches were visibly aging as the tournament progressed and this was wonderfully juxtaposed by the players themselves playing hard, competitive cricket whilst retaining utmost respect towards their opponents. Even though every team lost at least one game, no team was disheartened and each team won something bigger than any one result. In the end, on day 2, Austria’s discipline and experience won out to give them the title. However, the most important thing to note on day 2, every single game went into the final over with the result undecided. All participants here have gained experience of sporting pressure that many an international star would have envied at the same age.