The Belgian Women’s XI was first formed in 2010 under the coaching of Fazil Mahmood and Patrick Demaerschalk. The team, made up of players from Meise Wolverines, BSB and RBBC, played their first international tournament in Hungary the same year, coming a close second after Austria (beating Hungary and Serbia). Since then, women’s cricket in Belgium has continued to develop. Belgium hosted the 4-team tournament in 2011, and competed in the Netherlands in the 2012 competition. 2013 saw the tournament split in 2. Belgium, Italy, Denmark, Estonia and Gibraltar played in Bologna, where Belgium came joint third with Estonia and Gibraltar. This years sees an enthusiastic 15-strong side heading to Berlin in August to take on 6 other countries. The “unofficial ICC tournament”, as it is known, continues to grow. It provides Europe’s cricket-playing women not only with a chance to test their skills on an international stage, but also the opportunity to develop a cricketing network which will continue to promote cricket through-out Europe. This year’s 7 participants are Belgium, Denmark, France, Gibraltar, Germany, Italy and Jersey. The competition will be fierce, but Belgium are looking forward to some competitive matches over the 4 days. The squad going to Berlin will be led by coach Fazil Mahmoud, and captain Sara Ashall, both of whom have been instrumental in developing women’s cricket over the years. This year’s squad: – Cate Ryan, Corrie Gomez, Elisabeth Vandeputte, Jani McLean, Kristen Onto, Mhairi Roberts, Nicky Thrupp, Poppy McGeown, Rhiannon Wilson, Rosemary Lister, Sara Ashall (c), Sevil Oktem, Shweta Sinha, Sue Parker, Zara Sands. [singlepic id=32 w=520 h=340 float=]

In the photo: Belgium (in yellow) with our Danish competitors, during the Schiedam Festival of Cricket in 2014. Belgian players (from left to right, top to bottom) are: Mhairi Roberts, Corrie Gomez, Antje Streitenberger, Elisabeth Vandeputte, Poppy Mcgeown, Lucy Roberts, Jani McLean, Ro Lister, Helena Vandeputte, Sevil Oktem, Kristen Onto, Sara Ashall, and Sue Parker.

-written by Nicky Thrupp & Sevil Oktem.

The competition can be tracked in CricQ