THE Madrid United cricket club won the European Cricket Series held last week in Albir on the Costa Blanca. Six Spain-based teams–Sporting Alfaz (Albir), Intellectuals (Alicante), La Manga, Levante (Valencia), Madrid United and Pinatar Pirates–took part in the series which was watched live on YouTube and other streaming websites by 500,000 people worldwide. The title is sponsored by Dream11, a fantasy sports platform based in India whose users can play fantasy cricket, hockey, football, basketball or the Indian contact team sport, kabbadi.
The tournament was reported in Spain’s national and international press, with a big feature in the Guardian and an interview with Daniel Weston, the Australian ex-pat who is behind the series. Weston told the Guardian that there are roughly 20 million cricket fans in mainland Europe who until now have never had the opportunity of playing or watching the game. The Alfaz matches were the first of 400 matches that Weston explained will be played over 100 days of competition spread over the next six months. The teams played innings of 10 overs each, reducing the matches to a streamlined 90-minutes. This was the second time that Alfaz has hosted a European Cricket Tournament and apart from the game’s sporting aspects, Alfaz town hall’s sports councillor Oscar Perez underlined the importance to the town of tournaments and series like these.
“They have an economic impact on the hotel and catering industry and, televised live they are also introducing Alfaz to the world,” Perez said.