ICC World T20 European Finals 2019

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The Guernsey Cricket Board are honoured to be able to announce that they have been chosen by the ICC to host the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Europe Final 2019. The tournament will see the winner move forward to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier (14 teams), vying then for a place at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Australia 2020. The tournament is one of five separate regional finals being held with 25 teams competing across these.

Guernsey will welcome their fellow qualifiers from the recent Regional Qualifiers held in the Netherlands, being; Denmark, Germany, Italy, Jersey, and Norway

The schedule has been released (March) and is:

Sat 15th June  am  Guernsey v Jersey at KGV, Norway v Italy at CF

Sat 15th June pm  Guernsey v Germany at KGV, Norway v Denmark at CF

Sun 16th June  am  Italy v Germany at KGV, Jersey v Denmark at CF

Sun 16th June  pm  Italy v Guernsey at KGV, Jersey v Norway at CF

Mon 17th June  Reserve day

Tue 18th June  am  Denmark v Guernsey at KGV, Germany v Norway at CF

Tue 18th June  pm  Denmark v Italy at KGV, Germany v Jersey at CF

Wed 19th June  am  Guernsey v Norway at KGV, Jersey v Italy at CF

Wed 19th June  pm  Germany v Denmark at KGV

Thu 20th June  Reserve Day

The tournament will be a single round robin format with two matches played each day at KGV Playing Fields and College Field on 15th, 16th, 18th and 19th June with reserve days on the 17th and 20th.

On hosting the tournament GCB Chief Executive Mark Latter said, “We are delighted to once again be given the opportunity to welcome the ICC and fellow Associate Member teams to our wonderful island, which we know will be a great place to both play cricket and enjoy our wonderful hospitality on the rest days. Given that the teams are just two steps from a World Cup Final, this will be the highest level of team competition seen on Guernsey ever. We hope to see all the island out supporting the Greens and coming to see some superb international cricket. We will be initiating several activities in schools and the community to get everyone fully involved in the excitement of the tournament. We also look forward to working with Visit Guernsey, to take advantage of all the fans and media eyes on Guernsey during the week, to make sure we promote our great island to the international audience watching in. First and foremost, we hope that seeing the National team playing on an international stage, at home, will inspire more boys and girls to take up our great game”.

Ed Shuttleworth, ICC Regional Development Manager – Europe, said: “We are delighted to be taking the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Europe Final to Guernsey. This promises to be a fantastic event that will provide one of the six teams with the opportunity to proceed to the final stage of qualification for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia.

“The T20 format has been identified as the global growth vehicle for cricket, and this tournament will benefit from ICC’s recent decision to award full T20 International status to its Members. As well as deciding the team that progresses to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier, the matches played within this event will also contribute towards each sides T20I team ranking. ICC are looking forward to working alongside the Guernsey Cricket Board to deliver a competitive and enjoyable event.”

Admission to all matches will be free.

‘Ash is Wright man for the job’      by Gareth Le Prevost       GEP  24.5.2019

GUERNSEY’S national coach is to become his island side’s newest player. Ash Wright will be in the thick of the action rather than watching from beyond the boundary in the upcoming T20 Inter-Insular Series and subsequent ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Europe Final having qualified for Guernsey under the recently-introduced three-year residency rule. He started as the GCB’s head of cricket in January 2016. The former Leicestershire professional could not sup- press a chuckle when announcing ‘as coach I’ve selected myself’, but a lot of thought and preparation has gone into the decision, including making runs in the Sussex Premier League recently ahead of likely opening for the island in their crucial summer ahead. ‘I feel that batting is an area where we need a little bit more experience,’ said 38-year-old Wright. ‘I’ve worked hard with the lads this winter, I think I deserve a place and I hope to win some games of cricket with the boys.’ He added that it was not a decision taken lightly. ‘I have said to the lads the whole way along, please knock me out the team. I say that if I deserve to play, I’ll play. ‘I am my harshest critic and it takes other people to tell me I’m playing before I push myself [for inclusion] – it isn’t just a decision by me to come in. ‘I’m still young enough that I hope I’ll play for Guernsey for the next five years – I hope that I’ll play for Guernsey longer than I’m coach of Guernsey. ‘It’s not one of those quick fixes, I’m going to keep training and keep practising and make sure that I’m available for the next five years.’

‘Ash hits the longer ball in our family’  by Gareth Le Prevost          GEP   24.5.2019

LUKE WRIGHT has more than 100 appearances for England to his name yet he is willing to bow to his brother when it comes to the ‘best in the family’ tag. In the week it was announced that Guernsey coach Ash Wright will play for the island side having completed his three-year residency, his younger sibling gave a glowing endorsement of his credentials. ‘To be honest, Ash has always been the most talented in the family. When we grew up, he was always a great ball-striker,’ said Luke, the Sussex T20 captain who recently broke a county record with a brilliant 166 against Middlesex at Lord’s in the Royal London Cup.

‘If anything he missed out in the fact that he was out of the game when T20 came along. If that had been around when he grew up, especially at Leicestershire when he was a professional, then he would have flown at it. ‘I suppose he is unlucky in that way, but it’s nice to see him back playing. It was such a shame when he wasn’t playing – he was a bit of a missed talent – but he certainly hits the longer ball in the family.’ He laughs when adding that Ash is perhaps ‘not in as good a nick as he used to be’, but he believes that his brother taking on a player-coach role will be of great benefit to Guernsey. ‘He is enjoying his life over here, which is great, it’s one of the things he loves about being over here, he’s met such great people and great friends over here and now he gets to represent them. ‘It’s a proud day for him and it’s a proud day for the family. Obviously, I’m pleased I’ll be here to watch his international debut and I really hope he can help the team because I know what he can do as a batter, he has prepared well, he has been playing back in England in club cricket to get ready, so fingers crossed he can do well.’ Luke was here this week at the invitation of his brother to assist with coaching some youngsters as well as the senior island squad. Speaking in-between the two sessions, he revealed that he had been impressed by what he saw from the juniors before adding that although the senior squad might be regarded as underdogs in the competitions they have ahead of them, that could work in their favour, starting with the T20 Inter-Insular series.

‘I think it’s about playing smart and using that underdog tag to your advantage. That’s when the pressure is all on Jersey, they are probably expecting to come here and win, so I think it’s using that and making sure you set up in a way that you play smart and give yourself the best chance,’ he said. ‘I’ve seen the guys, there’s certainly enough talent there to win the games, it’s just making sure they can put Jersey under enough pressure to do that. ‘I’ve lost too many underdogs. When I played for England we lost to Ireland, we lost to the Netherlands and that’s the thing – on any given day, if one or two players come off. ‘That’s the exciting thing for Guernsey, they have got a chance. If one or two of them come off, you can win games.

‘I think there are chances for a few upsets in the coming tournament. I’ll be at training with them today and help out in any way I can, but speaking to Ash I think the lads have prepared well.’

‘Role clarity within squad is key to Guernsey success’  by Gareth Le Prevost

THE extension of his role to player-coach is one of three definite changes Ash Wright has made to the Guernsey squad going into their busy summer of T20 internationals. From the squad that earned a place in next month’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Europe Final by coming through the qualifier in the Netherlands last year, Zak Damarell, Max Ellis and Tom Nightingale have dropped out for varying reasons from moving off island to just missing out on selection this time around. Wright is one who has stepped up into the named extended squad having now qualified to represent Guernsey through three-year residency, as has Charles Vorster through the same qualification, while young pace bowler Nic Buckle is another newcomer. There are also returns in the 16-man group for Luke Nussbaumer and Tom Kimber, who will be available for the ICC event although not the Inter-Insular series.

‘We are trying to play the best team that we can to go forward,’ said the coach. ‘We are going into this tournament and trying to win as many games as we possibly can, so it’s about how we get a team that’s balanced and what we think is the strongest team.’ Wright then went into more depth on the other newcomers. ‘Nic Buckle has had an exciting winter. We remodelled his action about a year ago after a stress fracture, he has worked really hard and we’ve found he has genuine pace. ‘He’s a young lad in the system at the minute, but when we see someone with that genuine pace, it’s quite exciting. He has put a really good shift in this year and we thought he deserves his opportunity to come into the squad. ‘Charles is a person who genuinely shapes the ball and we’re looking at him potentially more in the 50-over format, but he has worked hard through the winter and we’ve seen that he can play T20 cricket – he can give the ball a hit as well, he’s pretty decent in the field – so he is in the squad for the Jersey games.’

The squad will get their first T20 outings against the MCC in back- to-back games on Wednesday at the KGV before the InfrasoftTech Inter-Insular Cup starts on Friday 31 May with a game at the College Field before moving to the KGV on Saturday 1st June for the concluding two matches.  MCC is just practice games,’ Wright said. ‘We’ve games against a good team, trying to continue on with our formula from the Netherlands. ‘We put a lot of work in on role clarity and specific ways we go about playing, we’ve hopefully filled the gaps we needed to from there, it’s just about getting that structure back as a team and that everybody knows what their role is and going for it.’

Team: Josh Butler (captain), Ben Ferbrache, Ollie Newey, Anthony Stokes, Matthew Stokes, Ash Wright, Will Peatfield, Nic Buckle, Tom Veillard, Luke Nussbaumer, David Hooper, Lucas Barker, Luke le Tissier, Jordon Martel, Charles Vorster. Tom Kimber (for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup European Final)

‘County trio lined up for Germany’      by Rob Batiste       GEP   24 April 2019

Guernsey’s European T20 Championship bid looks likely to get that bit tougher. Three county stars – perhaps a fourth – are being tipped to be among the Germany team that arrives on Sarnian soil as they host the six-team Europe final between 13 and 21 June. The tournament will see the winner move forward to the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier (14 teams), vying then for a place at the T20 World Cup in Australia 2020. It is one of five separate regional finals being held with 25 teams competing across these. If the presence of Jersey, Italy, Norway and Denmark was not enough to worry Ash Wright’s young squad, news that the fast-improving Germans may have the services of Middlesex’s German born former England Lions player Ollie Rayner, Glamorgan’s Craig Meschede and Dieter Klein of Leicestershire, both of whom hold German passports, have confirmed their willingness to represent Germany.  A fourth county player and German passports holder, Michael Richardson of Durham, son of the former South Africa wicketkeeper Dave, has also expressed an interest in playing here. Speaking to Simon Wilde, the Sunday Times’ cricket correspondent, classy off spinner Rayner and Meschede signalled their keenness to play. Rayner, who has approaching 300 first-class wickets to his name, does not expect to be needed for Middlesex over that period. ‘Angus Fraser (Middlesex’s managing director of cricket) is aware of the situation and I’d be surprised if he had an issue if it doesn’t impact on what I’m doing at Middlesex. For me, I want to play white-ball cricket so if I go out there (Guernsey) and get some white-ball practice and put my name in the hat for the T20 blast that’s good for everyone.’ Rayner, who could still play for England even if he does represent the Germans in the Euros, said German cricket is on the up and he wanted to be part of it. ‘I want to do what I can. I genuinely believe cricket in Europe is going to be popular. They just need the chance to train regularly and to do that they need to qualify for a World Cup. It’s a long shot, but that’s their aim. Afghanistan have shown that it can be done.’ All rounder Meschede told the Sunday Times; ‘It’s down to Glamorgan to let me go and they seem on board.’ He bowls right-arm medium-fast, and bats right-handed. He made his debut for Somerset in the 2011 Caribbean Twenty20, and played regular Twenty20 cricket for the county during he 2011 English domestic season. He also made occasional appearances in both first-class and one-day cricket. The tournament will be a single round robin format with two matches played each day at KGV and College Field and with two reserve days. ‘Given that the teams are just two steps from the World Cup Final, this will be the highest level of team competition seen on Guernsey ever,’ said GCB chief executive Mark Latter.

Berg drifts in to do an Italian Job        Rob Batiste  GEP   May 30th 2019 SEVERAL English county stars have been confirmed for the ICC European T20 Championships which start in Guernsey in a little over a fortnight. And they include a surprise name. Hampshire all-rounder Gareth Berg has been included in the Italy squad. Born in South Africa, Berg, who featured in last weekend’s Royal London One-Day Cup Final at Lord’s, is qualified by residency for England as well as holding an Italian passport. It is that latter link that enables the talented medium-fast bowler to bolster the Italian challenge. Germany, meanwhile, have their own English first-class recruits as they chase the tournament’s one available spot that moves on to contest the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier, vying then for a place at the full T20 World Cup in Australia 2020. The fast-improving team is expected to name Middlesex’s German-born former England Lions spinning all-rounder Ollie Rayner, Glamorgan’s Craig Meschede and Dieter Klein, of Leicestershire. Ahead of the week-long Guernsey tournament, the home side continue their own preparations against a strong Netherlands A squad. They will play four T20s here in the latter part of next week. The Netherlands coach Ryan Campbell, said: ‘Our trip to Guernsey with our Netherlands A team is a very important one for us as it will give our players a great opportunity to push their case for selection firstly for our series against Zimbabwe but then ultimately for our World Cup qualifiers in October.’

‘Euros’ to be shown live by Rob Batiste GEP Fri 31st May 2019

Guernsey’s hosting of this month’s T20 World Cup Europe Finals could be seen by millions of cricket ‘nuts’ across the world and provide a huge boost for island tourism. All 15 matches in the week-long event running from 15 June will be live streamed and available to watch for free on the ICC global Facebook and YouTube channels. The live streams will be delivered by production agency 3C International, with on-screen graphics and scoring integration provided by CricClubs. The tournament will also have a dedicated commentary team on-ground covering each match, consisting of Andrew Leonard, Ciara Metcalfe and Iain Leggat. This represents the first time the ICC has led the production of live video coverage for a regional ICC event and will provide great exposure and awareness of the Associate game across the Continent and the world. Mark Latter, chief executive of the Guernsey Cricket Board, said it was a fillip for local cricket and he has his fingers crossed that sun and blue skies prevail over hosting groundds KGV and the College Field, not the drizzle and grey murk which wrecked this week’s two T20 games against MCC.

Squads announced for the tournament:

Denmark:  Hamid Mazhar Shah (C), Omar Hayat, Taranjit Singh Bharaj, Oliver Damgaard Hald, Anique Uddin, Rizwan Tariq Mahmood, Jino Jojo, Nicolaj Damgaard Lægsgaard, Anders Bülow, Saif Ahmad, Zishan Shah, Bashir Shah, Abdul Wahab Hashmi (Wkt), Delawar Khan

Germany:  Venkatraman Ganesan (C), Daniel Weston (Wkt), Muslim Yar Ashraf, Izatullah Dawlatzai, Amir Khan Mangal, Asad Mohammad, Mudassar Muhammad, Vijayshankar Bangalore Chikkannaiah, Harmonjot Singh, Hamid Ahmed Wardak, Rishi Pillai, Oliver Rayner, Craig Meschede, Dieter Klein

Guernsey:  Joshua Butler (C), Ashley Wright, Ben Ferbrache, Lucas Barker, Oliver Newey (Wkt), Jordan Martel, Thomas Veillard, Thomas Kimber, Matthew Stokes, William Peatfield, Luke Le Tissier, David Hooper, Nicholas Buckle, Anthony Stokes

Italy: Shan Munasinghe (C), Joy Perera, Rakibul Hasan, Nick Maiolo, JP Meade, Gareth Berg, Rehman Abdul, Shameera Kuruppu, Michael Ross, Simranjit Singh, Baljit Singh, Charanjeet Singh, Jasspreet Singh, Manpreet Singh (Wkt)

Jersey: Charles Perchard (C), Corey Bisson, Dom Blampied, Harrison Carlyon, Jake Dunford (Wkt), Nick Ferraby, Anthony Hawkins-Kay, Jonty Jenner, Elliot Miles, Rhys Palmer, Will Robertson, Ben Stevens, Julius Sumerauer, Ben Ward

Norway: Raza Iqbal (C), Khizer Ahmed (Wkt), Waqas Ahmed, Prithvi Bhart, Walid Ghauri, Henry Glanfield, Ansar Iqbal, Javed Maroofkhail, Faizan Mumtaz, Hayatullah Niazi, Abdullah Sheikh, Junaid Sheikh, Ali Tafseer, Ehtsham Ul Haq

‘Massive game to open Europe final’   GEP

JERSEY coach Neil MacRae has knocked back suggestions that his side are
clear favourites to win a place at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Global Qualifier. The six-team round-robin Europe Final tournament begins here this morning and the victors will gain a place in the Global Qualifier, in the United Arab Emirates, in October and November. Guernsey take on Jersey at KGV this morning, the home side boosted by ending a losing streak with a good warm-up win over Germany on Thursday. MacRae said the Guernsey clash was ‘a massive game’. ‘The Tri-Series was a great result for us but we are not expecting the results to have any bearing tomorrow. ‘Every game is massive and throughout the tournament we’ll look to play our best cricket and put points on the board.’ MacRae side-stepped the question of who were favourites. ‘All the teams will be thinking they have a chance, we are the holders and Denmark and Norway won their groups last September.’

Review

‘Team come good in the end as Guernsey excel as hosts’          by Gareth Le Prevost       GEP

FIRST things first – take a bow the Guernsey Cricket Board and ICC Europe. The weather was sent to test them, but they passed their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Europe Final examination with honours. The officials were never far from their laptops and calculators, the groundsmen barely had time to sit down, the production company and their commentators had to broadcast from temporary gantries and ‘studios’ while also taking the rearrangements into account and then, of course, there were the players who had to be ready to go at a moment’s notice whenever there was a break in the rain. The outcome? A vibrant – albeit stop-start in the middle – tournament full of character and no little skill enjoyed by those who descended on the KGV and the College Field as well as who-knows how many more watching on the live social media streaming coverage provided from both venues. Fittingly, it came to a hugely dramatic conclusion, too. Out of context, the decisive final match at the College Field was a one-sided thrashing as Germany inflicted a comprehensive defeat on the previously unbeaten Jersey. The reality was that the Germans knew from the start of their reply that they had to reach their 135 target in around 14 overs to stand a chance of usurping the Caesareans at the top of the table and if they were going to go down, they were going to go down swinging. Such is the nature of T20 cricket, and also the benefit of having a couple of professionals in your line-up, that it so nearly paid off on this occasion as their successful run chase was completed in 14.2 overs. That left an agonising wait for both sides while the ICC officials checked and double-checked the mathematics before confirming that Jersey would progress to the Global Qualifier in the UAE later this year. It was the correct outcome in that the best team of the week came out on top. But what about the hosts? Guernsey mirrored the weather, brightening as the week went on and registering back-to-back wins over higher-ranked nations – Norway and Denmark – to sign off their campaign. ‘It’s turned out to be a brilliant week’, said Guernsey coach Ash Wright. ‘I’m really proud of the lads because we’d said beforehand, if we end up winning two games in this format we’ve done absolutely amazing. Obviously, with the start we had, there’s a lot of pressure to keep picking ourselves up and keep going. We’ve had a couple of tight games where I feel we could have actually done better than we did, but to come out of this tournament with two wins against these sorts of teams is an amazing effort.’ He added that the character his players showed in those two victories will hold them in good stead moving forward. ‘We are going to go away from the tournament and there’s still areas we want to keep working on, but it’s shown when you look at all the scores and all these teams that we have got fight’, Wright said. ‘The one thing good with this island is because the lads are constantly close, when we get out there we are desperate to win, it’s not through lack of trying. Sometimes our skills levels let us down or our fitness or sometimes the opposition are just better than us, but overall I’m absolutely chuffed. It’s made it an amazing week for us.’ Batting is one aspect, in particular, that Wright highlighted improvement was necessary, but added that the experience of playing better sides will help his batsmen in achieving that. He is looking into the possibility of finding more T20 matches for his squad, too, because they will now have a lengthy wait for their next ICC event in the format. ‘That is all part of being in Associate cricket’, he said, philosophically. When asked, though, if any individuals within his squad had stood out for him during the week, Wright did not take the bait. ‘All the lads. Like I always say, we have very small squads here and playing at home we have found you’re under a lot of pressure because there ends up being a lot of experts around the ground, so I always say the 14 players we have there are the lads who have put a proper shift in. They’ve given up work, they’ve put in everything and more importantly they’ve put themselves out there to be criticised. It’s easy to not play or do it and sit back and say things, but these boys push themselves out there and for me everyone who stepped over that line has been awesome. Every team in this competition is ranked higher than us. Last year the goal was to win to get up into this [tournament] because we were desperate to get the competition here because we wanted to show people what Guernsey is like for cricket, we wanted to get all the kids in my youth system down watching and inspire them to play for Guernsey, which it’s definitely done. We said from the start, if we won two games then that’s our World Cup, which we’ve done so I’m chuffed.’