ICC Europe Division 2 Guernsey 2010

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14th JulyIsraelLeague
16th JulyGermanyLeague
17th JulyFranceLeague
19th JulyNorwayLeague

PREVIEW

It has been two years since Guernsey’s infamous one-run defeat to old rivals Jersey in the winner-takes-all concluding match of the 2008 European Division Two Championship. The hosts were seemingly coasting to victory before they lost five wickets for five runs to lose at -the KGV as Jersey claimed the championship and with it promotion to Division One, which they host this week.

‘I say we got over the final hurdle, but tripped at the line,’ said Guernsey coach Andy Cornford yesterday with a wry grin. But it says something of the character of the Guernsey squad when their response to that devastating defeat was to gain promotion from World Cricket League Division Seven, come third in Division Six and also beat Jersey in the inter-insular all in the following season. ‘That’s one of the biggest steps forward this squad has taken,’ Cornford said. ‘Since that day, they have shown tremendous team spirit, a reluctance to lie down and someone has always put their hand up when it has been needed. ‘We will need that again this week because undoubtedly we are going to be put under pressure in this tournament.’

On paper, Guernsey start as favourites with Norway arguably their biggest challengers, but all sides pose a threat. Gibraltar came close to causing an upset against the Sarnians at Port Soif last year in WCL 7 while France have enjoyed some good results against strong Dutch opposition recently. Germany and Israel are not here just to make up the numbers either.

Cornford admitted that his side are now more familiar with several of their opponents due to the more regular ICC competitions, but none will be taken lightly.

‘We are getting to know their style of cricket. ‘Bar Gibraltar, the sides have a very heavy Asian influence and they tend to play very aggressive cricket. ‘There are a couple of sides here we know very little about, but what we will do is fully respect each of our opponents and we are not underestimating how big a challenge this will be.’

Due to the ever-improving nature of Guernsey pitches, Cornford suggested that home advantage will not count for as much as it has done in the past with the truer surfaces likely to produce some good cricket played to full one-day international rules.

The Guernsey’ coach added that all of the 14-man squad will play a part throughout the week. ‘It is all about the squad,’ he said. ‘People are going to get opportunities and although it will be tough on those who do not make the first XI [today], these tournaments are long and they have their wear and tear on bodies so everyone of the 14 will be preparing as if they are playing each day, ‘I am looking for major performances from players in this tournament. Jeremy Frith has won two player-of-the-tournament awards in last year’s WCL events, but there are other key players in our squad who I am looking to make big contributions.’

In a late change to the squad, which is awaiting ICC ratification, Will Peatfield has dropped out with a knee injury and will be replaced by David Hooper. ‘Will has gone away with Sussex to Port Elizabeth during the winter and put in a lot of hard work. It is just unfortunate that he has picked up this injury,’ Cornford said. ‘One of the big things for me this week, though, is the introduction of some of the younger players to this type of senior competition. ‘We are always looking a little bit further ahead with regards to introducing more players into this environment and this is where it starts for some of our new squad members.’

 

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