Games We Play: March 23

New cricket season set to begin; Israelis win two squash categories in Wales.

Cricket 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Cricket 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
New cricket season set to begin

The new domestic cricket season is just a few days away, with the first set of matches scheduled to begin on March 26th.
Like last year, the 18 league clubs will be divided into two divisions, with eight teams competing in Division 1 and 10 in Division 2.
A new team, Modi’in/Bet Shemesh, will also compete in the T20 tournament, hopefully a stepping stone to becoming a fully fledged league team next year.
A number of changes have been made to the structure of the domestic leagues, the most significant being an increase in T20 cricket.
Division 1 teams will play a full league of T20 matches with the top two teams meeting in a final, while in Division 2 the teams have been divided into two regional zones, with the zonal winners playing in a final.
The Division 1 league format is unchanged, although there is a change to the Division 2 league structure; the 10 teams have been divided into two groups of five based on last year’s standings, with a second round of playoff matches between the top three and bottom two of each group.
Looking at the title contenders in Division 1, defending champions Ra’anana 1 look to be the team to beat, although runners up Lions Lod will be highly motivated to regain the top spot they had held for so long.
Young Ashdod challenged for last year’s title until the last weekend, and will be title contenders once again, while Sri Lanka Jerusalem and Sri Lanka Tel Aviv, who both earned promotion from Division 2 last season, are sure to cause a few surprises.
Divison 2 seems wide open with no obvious title contenders – the perfect recipe for a very exciting league.
This weekend’s matches see Sri Lanka Tel Aviv take on Ashdod ‘A’ in the 10 a.m. match and Young Ashdod in the 1 p.m. match, both in Ashdod.
Sri Lanka Jerusalem opens its season by taking on Lions Lod at 10 a.m. and Lod Rangers at 1 p.m., with both games in Lod.
Israelis win 2 categories in Wales
Daniel Poleshchuk won the under 17 age category and Ido Burstein won the under 13 category at the Welsh Junior Open earlier this week in Cardiff.
The event, part of the European Squash Federation’s junior circuit, marked the first time that Israel has won two titles at any squash competition.
Poleshchuk, who was the top under-15 European squash player, won the Under 17 category just one month after his 15th birthday.
Burstein, who has had little previous experience in European competition, lost only one game throughout the tournament.
More than 150 competitors, boys and girls, participated in five age categories, from Under 11 to Under 19. Other juniors from Israel were Roee Avraham (15), Inbar Grossberg (18) and Eden Yona (15).