United plan a showstopper

25th anniversary of top EL club to be celebrated with much fanfare

The United Cricket Club will host six teams in a T20 tournament to celebrate its 25th anniversary.
The United Cricket Club will host six teams in a T20 tournament to celebrate its 25th anniversary.
Image: Stephanie Lloyd

One of East London’s most successful cricket clubs in recent years, United Cricket Club, will celebrate their 25th anniversary in style this weekend with an exciting T20 tournament.

Six teams will be taking part in the action, with United having invited local sides Willows and Super Eagles, as well as out-of-town sides Victoria, who are bringing two teams from Cape Town and Wanderers from Kimberley.

“We are expecting it to be a fantastic occasion. It is normally a very exciting tournament with top players taking part,” said Calvin Brown, who is a part of the Local Organising Committee.

“Victoria should have a few ex-provincial players and maybe even an ex-national player or two, which adds to the tournament and it should be a very competitive tournament.”

Over the last few years before the start of the season United have taken part in a small T20 tournament with a team from Cape Town and Kimberley.

This was to give them some game time ahead of the coming season and to give them a boost into the season.

“We call it the Community T20 cup,” said Brown.

“Normally it is three teams, and at the most four that take part. CPUT play in it occasionally, but they are unable to make this year’s tournament.

“It is played most of the time in Cape Town and also in Kimberley, and this will be the first time that it takes place in East London.

“Last year it was also held as part of anniversary celebrations, so it will be a very special occasion again this year.”

Last year the tournament was held in Kimberley and United beat Victoria in the final, so they will head into this year’s edition as the defending champs.

Having an extra few teams taking part will also make things interesting, as all will be keen to take the title.

“We invited Good Hope to take part, but they couldn’t make it, so we were happy that Willows and Super Eagles were able to play,” said Brown.

The action gets under way on Friday morning at Alfred Schoeman Park, while Saturday’s action will be played between Alfred Schoeman and Police Park, and Sunday’s final day will be back at Alfred Schoeman.

“We are starting on Friday at United in Buffalo Flats, then on Saturday we will have games at United and Police Park, and on Sunday we will have both the third/fourth playoff and final at United,” said Brown.

“The matches should be very exciting and we should see some games going right down to the wire.

“It is going to be an all-round great weekend.

“We will have the usual fare of DJ’s, stalls, beer garden, and we are expecting quite a large crowd which will make it a festival atmosphere.”

United are playing in pool A along with Victoria 2nds and Super Eagles.

Victoria 1sts, Wanderers and Willows will battle it out in pool B, with the top two teams in each pool competing in the final, and the second placed teams the third/fourth play-off.