Club Cricket Conference

Monday, 29th November 2021

Pak Pakhtoon recover from three all out Birmingham calamity

By Charles Randall

23 June 2014

The dust has settled at Perry Hall in Birmingham, and Pak Pakhtoon CC have recovered from their three all out calamity, the second such league score in England this season after Wirral CC's embarrassment in April.

As though Wirral's three in the Cheshire Cricket League was not enough, Pak Pakhtoon had to live down their three all out against Pioneers A in the strong Birmingham Cricket League, torn to pieces by Khalid Sadiq's seven wickets for two.

Pakhtoon made Division Two headlines early in the season when Amsal Kubair produced a superb innings of 199, so their collapse to three proved all the more remarkable, but they recovered by winning their next game convincinly. The aftermath for Wirral was different. The focus of intense television interest in April, they slipped to the bottom of Division Three in June while their tormentors Haslington set the pace at the top.

Pioneers were not sure their score of 173-8 would be enough to win the 40-over game against Pakhtoon with Kubair batting against them, especially as Sadiq was nursing a calf injury, but the innings folded in 13 overs. Sadiq produced analysis of 7-5-2-7, claiming Kubair for a duck, one of nine batsmen failing to score. Mazar Ali supported well for three wickets at the cost of a no-ball. As though to confirm the freakish nature of the afternoon, Pakhtoon won the following week after rattling up 209-9 against Skolars to move into mid-table.

It was interesting that focus switched to the Birmingham Cricket League, the oldest cricket league in the UK.  The competition was founded in 1893 and organised by the  Birmingham Public Parks Cricket Association as the major provider of grass roots cricket in the city with 56 teams on Sunday and 24 teams on Saturday.

The league has attracted a total of 80 weekend teams, Saturday and Sunday, with more than 1,500 players drawn from Afro-Caribbeans, English and Asians, reflecting the diverse ethnic groups found in Birmingham. Some players turn out for the better known Birmingham & District League on Saturdays and go to the parks on Sundays. The standard of play is good, as to be expected, and fine individual performances crop up each week. For example, Abdul Akbar hit 74 for Saltley and followed that with 5-0, including a hat-trick, to defeat Mirpur recently in the Saturday premier division.

It is the only league in Birmingham not requiring teams to have their own ground. The League sets itself out to provide facilities, via Birmingham City Council, for affordable competitive league-based games within the city of Birmingham, generally maintaining a high standard of play. Pakhtoon's three runs was the lowest total recorded by any side in the league's long history.