The second annual ‘Masroor International Twenty20 Cricket Tournament’ concluded yesterday as reigning champions Canada were deposed by Germany, who beat England in a thrilling and tense final. In contrast to last year the three day event was held at three separate locations; Merton, Tooting and Battersea. The semi-finals and final were held at the Abbey Recreation Ground in Merton.
The highlight of the event was the attendance of the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, His Holiness, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad at the final. His Holiness watched the final from the side of the pitch along with hundreds of spectators who had gathered to enjoy the cricket.
The final between hosts England and Germany was a contest familiar to many but thankfully this time there was no room for penalty shoot outs. Nevertheless the efficiency and skill of the Germans did prevail. Set a target of 129 the Germans seemed to be coasting along for much of their innings. However a late collapse gave the English great hope and when 12 runs were required from the final three balls it seemed that against all odds the hosts were going to win. However the next two balls were despatched for massive sixes which led to a deserved German victory.
The tournament attracted teams from Europe, North America, Asia and Australia and the standard of cricket was extremely high. Also the newly formed ‘Omair XI’ debuted, which was a team of central workers of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat. Despite the desire of all participants to win, the event was an example of true sportsmanship and epitomised the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat’s commitment to peace, tolerance and mutual respect.
At the end of the tournament His Holiness spoke about the importance of sport and how it was a means to develop peace of mind, brotherhood and respect. He said he hoped the tournament would increase in scope in the future and attract more and more teams from all parts of the world. He also congratulated the competitors, many of whom he knew personally and who, he said, were dedicated to serving the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat and spreading its message of love for all, hatred for none.