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    The finals of the Tapeball League were successful at The Kia Oval
The finals of the Tapeball League were successful at The Kia Oval
The finals of the Tapeball League were successful. Source: Surrey CCC

The finals of the Tapeball League were successful at The Kia Oval

The Kia Oval recently hosted the final of Surrey Cricket Foundation's Tapeball League, in partnership with Chance to Shine. The four finalists competed to represent South London in the ECB's national finals next month.

Tapeball cricket is a fast-paced format of indoor cricket played with a tapeball - a tennis ball wrapped in electrical tape - and carbon fibre bats. Several games of competitive cricket were played during each session of the league, with six players per side and eight or ten overs in a shortened innings. The sessions aimed to create access to the game for young people in urban areas and were free of charge.

After eight rounds, HA Lions, Kingstonian Kingsmen, Kingstonian Kites, and PSD qualified for the semi-finals. The Lions, who displayed impressive cricketing skills, emerged as the winners on an enjoyable evening.

Ali Chaudhry, captain of HA Lions, stated that his team entered the competition with a winning mindset. They are now preparing to take the same attitude to Park Avenue Bradford Dome, a specialised facility for indoor cricket, which will host the national finals.

In April, the ECB's national finals for their Core Cities programme will take place up north, where men's and women's teams from across the country will meet. Ali's HA Lions nine candidates are standingunder the single umbrella of 'South London Capitals', which comprises the best indoor cricketers playing in SCF's university cricket programme. The Foundation provides weekly coaching to players from four universities in London: King’s College, Imperial College, London School of Economics, and University College London. These players have been competing in an ongoing Sunday league throughout the winter.

Tapeball cricket has helped to increase cricket’s accessibility in the county and across the country. This format of cricket has become increasingly popular as it does not require players to wear protective gear or a uniform kit, and is not reliant on the weather.

Some rules of tapeball cricket, such as not allowing LBW as a mode of dismissal or having the last batter standing, make it more enjoyable and accessible to participate in.

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