Isle of Man cricket team

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Isle of Man
Isle of Man Cricket Logo
Isle of Man Cricket Logo
ICC membership granted 2004
ICC member status Affiliate member
ICC development region Europe
World Cricket League division N/A
Captain Phil Littlejohns
Coach Phil Unsworth
First recorded match 14 August 2005 v Greece at Mechelen Cricket Club, Belgium
As of 28 July 2014

The Isle of Man cricket team is the team that represents the Crown dependency of the Isle of Man in international cricket matches. They became an affiliate member of the International Cricket Council in 2004. [1]

International competition[edit]

Since joining the ICC in 2004 the Isle of Man have the following record in official tournaments:

  • 2005: European Division Three – 8th place
  • 2007: European Division Three – 3rd place
  • 2009: European Division Three – 2nd place
  • 2011: European Division Two – 3rd place
  • 2012: European Division Two – Winners
  • 2013: European Division One – 9th place
  • 2014: European Division Two - 5th place

Four Islands tournament[edit]

The Island participated in the Four Islands Tournament with Guernsey, Isle of Wight & Jersey in 2000, 2002 and 2004. Their most successful of which was in 2000 when they beat Jersey comprehensively & finished as runners up to Guernsey in a very competitive final.

  • 2000 – 2nd
  • 2002 – 3rd
  • 2004 – 2nd

Early ICC Era[edit]

The Manx cricket team, based in the Isle of Man, joined the ICC in 2004, playing their first ICC affiliated competitions in 2005. Previously the national sides had played fixtures against the MCC, on tour in the UK and against touring sides to the Isle of Man.

The first international engagement for the Isle of Man came in 2005 at the European Affiliates Championship. The side was captained by Rob Webber, with the management team of Dougie Hind and Colin Jones. They finished in eighth place in this tournament, which originally meant a demotion to Division Four in the newly expanded five division European Championship. [2]

However, when the divisions were announced, the Isle of Man had a place in Division Three for 2007. As they had a year without competitive international cricket in 2006, the Isle of Man arranged two one-day friendly matches against Spain played in La Manga at the end of September/beginning of October, both of which they won.

In 2007 under Webber, Jones and coach Harvey Anderson, they finished a credible 3rd in the European Division Three, defeating Belgium, Malta (twice) & Cyprus. They were beaten by Spain in the semi-final by fewer wickets lost after a tie on runs. In the 3/4th play-off they recorded a 7 wicket win over Malta. Details on European Division Three 2007 in Belgium can be found in the European Cricket Tournaments archive – [3]

Gareth Dawson Era[edit]

In 2008, The Isle of Man cricket association appointed Gareth Dawson brother of former test spinner Richard as head coach of the Isle of Man cricket team. Gareth would be responsible for all age groups ranging from the junior set ups all the way to the full Senior squad.

Upon arrival, Gareth evaluated the state of Manx cricket and after a seeing after seeing a combination of batting collapses, misguided bowling and a series of fielding errors, decided a new approach was needed. He set a clear goal for his tenure, to achieve Associate status within the European Cricket Council and to reach the world cricket leagues.

Despite Gareth's customary flair and trademark swagger, he decided that to reach his goals that he needed to implement some "steel" into the Manx side. He implemented a strong fitness regime amongst his players. This included twice weekly runs along the Douglas sea-front, plyometric sessions, weight training sessions as well as the occasional interval session.

2009 ICC European Division Three Championships (La Manga, Spain)[edit]

On (Insert date), Gareth along with his second in command Mark Beardshall took his first Isle of Man senior team to La Manga (Spain) to participate in the European Division Three Championships. The team was :-

  • Richard Kniveton (Captain) (Crosby)
  • Nick Hawke (St Johns)
  • Gregg Hawke (St Johns)
  • Christopher Hawke (St Johns)
  • Daniel Hawke (St Johns)
  • Daniel Kniveton (Crosby)
  • Jonathan Norrington (St Johns)
  • Gareth Roome (Castletown)
  • Alex Stokoe (Cronkbourne)
  • Max Stokoe (Cronkbourne)
  • Arne Van Den Berg (St Johns)
  • Robbert Webber (Ramsey)
  • Oliver Webster (Ramsey)
  • Mark Williams (Castletown)

The team finished second, losing out disappointingely to Israel. The game will be remembered for a series of no-balls and run outs which led to the Israel coach commenting the Isle of Man were by far the better team but lacked the team ethos to beat the cohesive Israel side. Oliver Webster finished the islands leading run scorer with 123 runs in five games at an average of 24.60. The islands top wicket taker was Max Stokoe with 10 wickets from five games.

2011 ICC European Division Two European Championships (Belgium)[edit]

In 2011, Gareth coached the senior team to a second tournament, the European Division 2 championships in Belgium. The squad was :-

  • Richard Kniveton (Captain) (Crosby)
  • Seb Aycock (Castletown)
  • Ross Berry (Crosby)
  • Christopher Hawke (St Johns)
  • Daniel Hawke (Cronkbourne)
  • Jaco Jansen (St Johns)
  • Shaun Kelly (Ramsey)
  • Daniel Kniveton (Crosby)
  • Peter Lewis (Peel)
  • Gareth Morris (Castletown)
  • Gareth Roome (Castletown)
  • Max Stokoe (Cronkbourne)
  • Arne Van Den Berg (St Johns)
  • Oliver Webster (Ramsey)

The Manx senior squad were heavy favourites to progress through to Division one and albeit topping their group with a series of comfortable victories they eventually faded to a strong Austrian bowling line – up, at one point the Manx team were 10 – 7. Although they regrouped they ultimately lost the game and ended up finishing third in the tournament. Gareth Morris ended up the leading batsman in the tournament, amassing 289 runs in 6 games including a mammoth 141 not out against Cyprus. The islands leading wicket taker was Arne Van Den Berg, who claimed 12 victims in 6 games.

2012 ICC European Division Two Championships (Corfu, Greece)[edit]

In 2012, Gareth coached the senior team to a third tournament, the European Division 2 championships in Corfu, Greece. This time he was assisted by Andrew Parkin Coates. The squad was :-

  • Richard Kniveton (Captain) (Crosby)
  • Gareth Dawson(Unattached)
  • Greg Hawke (St Johns)
  • Daniel Hawke (Grappenhall)
  • Daniel Kniveton (Crosby)
  • Phil Littlejohns (Peel)
  • Russell Miller (Peel)
  • Gareth Morris (Castletown)
  • Gareth Roome (Castletown)
  • Alex Stokoe (Cronkbourne)
  • Max Stokoe (Cronkbourne)
  • Arne Van Den Berg (St Johns)
  • Oliver Webster (Ramsey)
  • Mark Williams (Castletown)

The Isle of Man emerged victorious from the ICC European Division Two (T20) tournament in Corfu, therefore earning promotion to Division One in 2013 and keeping alive their dreams of playing in the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

The Isle of Man won the tournament thanks to a disciplined bowling attack, backed up by a determined and athletic fielding unit. They held their catches at vital times, and always seemed to have a plan. Their batting had the most depth of any side in the competition, as evidenced by a number of late rallies in the final overs when they seemed in trouble.

Gareth Morris was their star performer with the bat, scoring 275 runs at an average of 39.29, which included three fifties.

Arne van den Berg was their leading wicket taker capturing 11 at just 9.00 apiece, but the real telling statistic is the fact that three of their bowlers featured in the top five economy rates for the tournament – the aforementioned Van Den Berg (2nd), Dan Hawke (3rd) and Max Stokoe (5th).

2013 ICC European Division One Championships (Sussex, England)[edit]

In 2013, Gareth coached the senior team to a fourth tournament, the European Division 1 championships in Sussex, England. Barry Smith was team manager, Andrew Parkin Coates returned as assistant coach.

Promotion to Division One meant a massive step up in competition.

The squad was:-

  • Luke Lacey (Captain) (Cronkbourne)
  • Matthew Ansell (Cronkbourne)
  • Daniel Hawke (Peel and St Johns)
  • Christopher Hawke (Peel and St Johns)
  • Jaco Jansen (Cronkbourne)
  • Philip Littlejohns (Peel and St Johns)
  • Adam McAuley (Cronkbourne)
  • Garreth Roome (Castletown)
  • Alexander Stokoe (Cronkbourne)
  • Max Stokoe (Cronkbourne)
  • Arne van den Berg (Peel and St Johns)
  • Carl Wagstaffe (Cronkbourne)
  • Oliver Webster (Peel)
  • Mark Williams (Castletown)

On Sunday 7 July (One day before the tournament was due to start) the island played a warm up game against Middleton, which is just outside Bognor Regis. As expected the Isle of Man ran out easy winners.

The islands first game was against the 2011 winners Denmark, in what was always going to be a difficult task the IOM won the toss and batted first. A fantastic platform was laid out by Jaco Jansen (43 runs) and Phil Littlejohns (39 runs). This led the island to a promising 103 of 15 overs. Unfortunately a strong Denmark bowling line-up struck back reducing the island to 120 all out. Despite inspired fast bowling by Daniel Hawke (2–24), the island succumbed to a seven wicket loss to the strong Danish outfit.

The second day of the tournament was always going to be crucial for the island, playing two games that they were expected to win comfortably, it was inconceivable for them to lose either to keep their hopes of qualifying for the semi finals alive. The first game played in the morning at Horsham CC (well known as a run scoring paradise) was against France. Surprisingly the French batsmen enjoyed the pace of the fierce Manx bowling line up and thrashed 197 in their 20 overs (including an national record opening partnership of 138). The Manx reply started disastrously losing inform batsman Jaco Jansen. However under the careful eye of Max Stokoe and the flamboyant stroke play of Philip Littlejohns the crown dependency brought themselves back into the game with a brilliant 93 run partnership before Stokoe fell for a defiant 39. Littlejohns however continued with a brand of powerful hitting and aided by cameo's from captain Luke Lacey (14 from 7 balls) and Oliver Webster (25 from 17 balls) left the Manx men needing 25 of the final over to claim victory. Unfortunately strong bowling by Shahid Malik reduced the island to 4 from the over, meaning a loss of 20 runs. Philip Littlejohns ended a fine innings unbeaten on 81.

The second game of the day took place on the same ground against a German side that many expected to put up little fight against the Isle of Man. The IOM started brightly despite the golden duck of opener Max Stokoe. Philip LittleJohns continued his fine form from earlier in the day and smashed 35 runs from 28 balls. However the island struggled throughout the middle overs, being reduced to 67 – 5. The Manx were rescued by some hard hitting from Oliver Webster ( 28 runs from 28 balls) which guided the island to a competitive total of 122 from their 20 overs. In reply Germany found the going tough against a disciplined IOM attack and were reduced to 54 – 4 with Arne Van Der Berg amongst the wickets. However big hitting from Nafees Ahmad and the odd bit of fortune saw them across the winning margin by 5 wickets.

The islands next match took place at the Preston Nomads ground, known for sharp turn and a paradise for slow bowling. Their opponents Belgium – Winners of European Division 2 in 2011, a tournament the Isle of Man dominated before a shock defeat to minnows Austria in the semi-finals. Island skipper Luke Lacey won the toss and decided to put the Belgium team. This was the first time the island had won toss and put another team in to bat in European competition. Belgium started brightly and opener Nivram Shah (35 runs) built a solid foundation and at 60 – 1 after ten overs they seemed well set. Cue spinner Alexander Stokoe, he ripped through the Belgium line-up returning incredible figures of 5 – 21 as Belgium collapsed to 119 all out. In reply Team IOM batted sensibly and reached their target with little trouble, losing only 5 wickets in reaching their target in 19.2 overs. Openers Max stokoe (38 runs) and Jaco Jansen (30 runs) easing the isle to victory.

The islands final group game was against pre tournament favourites Jersey and surprisingly coach Gareth Dawson decided to drop key all-rounder Max Stokoe in favour of the younger Adam McCauley. Jersey skipper Peter Gough won the toss and decided to bat first on what seemed like a perfect batting wicket, he ( 26 runs) and Ben Stevens (28 runs) got Jersey of to a brilliant start and at 55 – 1 after 5 overs they seemed set for a huge score. However brilliant bowling, in particular Alexander Stokoe (3–12) and captivating fielding forced the Jersey stroke-makers into mistakes. At 99- 8 the game looked lost for Jersey, however big hitting from the lower order propelled them to a respectable 141 from their 20 overs. In reply the IOM struggled instantly, not helped by some poor running between the wickets they fell to 18 – 3. Although a beautifully crafted 35 from captain Luke Lacey the IOM were always well behind the rate and ended their innings on 109 – 8, 38 runs behind Jersey.

This led the Isle of Man to a 5th place finish in their group and a place in the 9th-10th place match on playoff day against Gibraltar. The IOM clinched 9th place with a comprehensive victory in their final match of the tournament. Dawson picked a youthful team, handing a first cap to seamer Matthew Ansel. Despite recalling Max Stokoe, Dawson decided to keep with opener Adam McCauley. The island lost the toss and were asked to bowl first. Gibraltar struggled against a strong all round Manx bowling performance with Alex Stokoe picking up two wickets and swing star Arne Van Der Berg picking up three scalps. In reply the island coasted to an easy victory with Jaco Jansen (46 runs) and Phil Littlejohns (38 runs) easing them over the finish line.

2014 ICC European Division Two Championships (Essex, England)[edit]

In 2014, the island enlisted Phil Unsworth as their new coach, after Gareth Dawson decided to take up the role of Gibraltar coach. Phil led the team to the European Division 2 championships in Essex, England. Colin Jones took the role of team manager.

The island were expecting to comfortably win the tournament, arguably bringing their best batting line-up to date

The squad was:-

  • Philip Littlejohns (Captain) (Peel and St Johns)
  • Christopher Hawke (Peel and St Johns)
  • Greg Hawke (Peel and St Johns)
  • Sam Kebbel (Cronkbourne)
  • Adam Killey (Cronkbourne)
  • Daniel Kniveton (Crosby)
  • Luke Lacey (Cronkbourne)
  • Adam McAuley (Cronkbourne)
  • Alexander Stokoe (Cronkbourne)
  • Max Stokoe (Cronkbourne)
  • Arne van den Berg (Peel and St Johns)
  • Gareth Morris (Castletown)
  • Oliver Webster (Peel and St Johns)
  • Wicus Wessels (Castletown)

The islands first game was against Norway, in what was the first encounter between the two teams. The Isle of Man batted first and under the lights on a damp and humid evening scored a below par 116. Luke Lacey top scoring with 23. In response Norway reached the target with four balls to spare with 40 year-old opener Zaheer Ashiq leading the way, striking two clean sixes in an innings of 33.

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