NRW Minister plays it straight
Nord Rhein Westfalen's Interior and Sports Minister, Dr Ingo Wölff, paid a visit to JHQ, Mönchengladbach on July 1st to watch the German National U19 Cricket Squad being put through their paces by Assistant German National coach Sgt Pat Legge of Rheindahlen Support Unit along with Dan Kremer DCB U19 Coach and Ben Das both from Düsseldorf 'Black Caps' CC.
Also the British Army (Germany) coach, Pat was pleased by the visit, "The facilities here at JHQ are the best in Germany. It's a great credit to the Army that the German Cricket Board want to use our training ground and nets".
The sqaud, assembled from the best U19 players throughout Germany was 28 strong at the start of the selection weekend, had travelled from as far as Tegernsee on the Czech border, Berlin and Hamburg to take part.
Amongst these talented cricketers were 2 members of the Rheindahlen Crusaders, Shane Kelly and Alex Davis, both at Windsor School. Although they have not yet fulfilled the residency criteria to represent Germany at the International level they made their mark on the proceedings. They impressed with both bat and ball and will certainly cause the selectors a headache for next season when they do become available.
Chairman of the Crusaders, Lt Col Sean Armstrong, was also on hand to welcome the Minister to JHQ with glass of champagne and a complimentary shirt from the club.
The Minister took up the challenge to face the mighty bowling of Pat Legge, and with his background in Hockey was soon knocking the bowling around with ease, although he did politely turn down the offer to have a bowl!
The Minister said, "It's great for cricket in Germany that the British Military can offer such facilities, and to see so many players from different cultures and creeds all taking part in one game is what Germany is all about. Integration is very important and we will enter into dialogue with the German Cricket Board to offer support to this sport that crosses so many boundaries".