Piran Merkl is the National Cricket Team Player from Luxembourg. Piran also leads an indoor league team. He is also involved in Coaching in a junior training camp organized annually by Luxembourg Cricket Federation. It's been 12 years now, since Piran is playing Cricket and has participated in various European tournaments. He says that "Luxembourgish cricket is incredibly difficult to predict." Piran and his team are looking forward to nurture more local talents, which will solve the challenge of having expats in the team. Despite of these challenges, Piran is sure to take Luxembourg Cricket ahead with his love for the same.
1. Tell us about you?
Full Name: Piran Merkl
Date of Birth: 29th August 1992
Playing Role: Spin-bowling All Rounder
Batting Style: Right Handed
Bowling Style: Right arm spin
2. At Present: Are you a Coach? A cricket player? A cricket related business? A club Owner? A cricket Fan? Mention your work profile (if anything else).
I am currently primarily a player although I do captain an indoor league team. The LCF (Luxembourg Cricket Federation) organises an annual junior training camp, where I often help out for a day or two each year as a coach.
3. Are you playing cricket currently? If Yes - Since how long are you playing cricket? What level of cricket have you played so far in your country?
I have been playing cricket for around 12 years and continue to play. I have played various European Tournaments – firstly indoors in Vaasa, Finland, in 2007, which was followed by 3 outdoors tournaments with the national team.
4. Do you play for any club or a team? Mention their names? When was it founded? Where are you working currently?
I currently captain the WOCC/ISL indoor team, which is running for its 2nd year now. Outdoors, I also play for the Communities Cricket Club in the Luxembourg League – generally for people who work for the EU institutions. The club has been running since 1986.
A selection of players from all the domestic teams in Luxembourg then play for the Optimists. This team was founded 10 years prior to CCC and takes part in friendlies against visiting teams from across Europe as well as the Belgian League.
I have also played internationally in Europe. I went to Cyprus, Belgium and Corfu with the Luxembourg National Cricket Team in 50-over and T20 competitions that was organised by ICC-Europe. Our national team first played in 2003, although our last official tournament to date has sadly been in Corfu in 2012.
5. Where do you and your team see yourself in coming 5 years? Where do you want to focus in order to improve your cricket?
Luxembourgish cricket is incredibly difficult to predict. While we have a steady cricketing base with many players having been around for some time, the state of cricket in Luxembourg also depends on the newcomers/departures. Many people generally only spend a couple of years in Luxembourg, so it is difficult to predict where we will be in a few years’ time. The Communities would like to build on and increase the steady base of players that we have, having seen our numbers dwindle over the last few years.
I would like to improve my decision-making over the next few years. I give my wicket away to a stupid shot far too often, so I would like to eradicate this.
6. Do your club/association have any website or facebook page? Mention their links.
7. Any recent achievements/activities that you had. (It could be organizing a small camp, or just playing a match or organizing a cricket camp or playing a tournament series) Do mention the date.
As winter draws to a close, the most recent cricketing activity that has happened was leading my indoor team to the semi-finals of the Luxembourg Indoor League (that semi-final was on the 22nd March).
8. Would you like to come to India for a tournament or a coaching camp? Or do you want to travel any other country (if Yes, please mention the name)?
There is plenty of cricket in Luxembourg at the moment and while travelling to India is definitely on my Bucket List…it would be difficult to justify a trip in the near future. One day, hopefully.
9. What are the challenges you are facing in your country's cricket? If any, how do you feel to overcome those challenges?
Our challenges are twofold. We firstly need to overcome to nomadic culture of expats in Luxembourg. We could do this by targeting local youngsters, although that is no easy task – there are other sports to compete with and we generally communicate in English, which can often put the local children off just to name two reasons. Cricket is generally so unknown in Luxembourg that you feel like you are fighting a losing battle.
Our 2nd challenge is even less easily overcome – ICC Europe have changed their membership criteria, which has resulted in a drop in funding as well as no longer being able to compete in official international tournaments. Luxembourg is an incredibly small country which has no chance of fulfilling the new criteria due to its size.
10. One thing that you instantly need that would boost the involvement of people in your country's cricket?
Maybe a beginners league between different firms. Adult players could be put off by experienced expat players at the moment…
11. Name any 3 active Cricket Clubs from your locality, Country. Also mention the name and email id of these 3 clubs.
1. Communities Cricket Club
2. Star Cricket Club
3. Optimists Cricket Club
12. Would you like to nominate any club from your country for a free website from Global Cricket Community? If Yes, Why?
I would like to nominate Star CC. This is because they are one of the leading cricket teams in the country and are by far and away the leading team at unearthing new players in this country. This is something this country needs badly and I think a Star CC website would enable this to happen even better.