This weekend sees the 2021 edition of the Middlesex Vitality Under 19 T20 tournament getting underway. We spoke to current Champions, Eastcote Cricket Club.
U19 T20 provides a lively atmosphere where players take part in entertaining games with their friends and family watching. Matches take place on Thursday or Friday nights, normally once school, college and university exams have finished*. The County Group Stage is arranged geographically and teams are typically made up of players from the Under 15, Under 17 and Under 19 age groups.
Eastcote Squirrels have been very successful in the competition in recent years, winning the Trophy three times in the past four seasons, and are now looking to win it for the third year in a row.
How has U19 T20 benefited Eastcote CC?
Eastcote have a large and talented junior section, and have used the Transition Competitions to develop players into senior cricket. The coloured kit and pink balls make the games more attractive, and Eastcote’s home fixtures attract large crowds with music and a BBQ. It is important to the club that they create an environment where the players can enjoy their cricket, and to want to continue to play as senior members for many years to come – hopefully enabling the future First XI to have a core of home-grown players.
What else happens at Eastcote CC?
Eastcote have created a social space that provides something for everyone, making the most of their facilities. Before Covid, there were indoor bowls events, table tennis evenings and various quizzes throughout the year, with the wider community joining members for the traditional dinner dance.
During the season, there are junior fixtures almost every night, with Friday night training regularly seeing almost 200 taking part. Recently, the club has resurrected their Ladies team, which has been supplemented with developing a new Girls section, too. Four Saturday teams play open age league cricket, and the club often fields a friendly 5th XI, too. Finally, Eastcote also currently hold the trophy in the Middlesex Development League (The MDL), becoming the first club to win both competitions in the same season.
Since its inception in 2015, U19 T20 has always been extremely competitive, and the first fixtures are being played tonight. You can follow the tournament through weekly updates on the Middlesex Participation Twitter account, on the PlayCricket website or through each club’s social media feeds.
We would like to thank the team at Eastcote CC for their contribution, and good luck with the upcoming tournament! You can find more information about the club on their website.
* The 2021 competition schedule was changed in the light of covid, with clubs playing their first two fixtures by 25th June this year.