ICC Europe T20 Division 1 Jersey 2015


Sat 9th May Denmark Grainville
Sat 9th May Norway Grainville
Mon 11th May France FB Fields
Mon 11th May Italy Farmers
Wed 13th May Jersey Farmers

‘Guernsey to face Denmark in opener’

GUERNSEY have the carrot of playing alongside current World Cup nations Ireland, Scotland and Afghanistan if they win the ICC European Division One T20 Championship in Jersey in May. The winners of the six-team tournament will go forward to a three-week Global qualifier to be hosted by Ireland and Scotland in June and July. While that may pose its own set of problems for Guernsey’s top cricketers, it is a headache GCB chief executive Mark Latter would happily suffer if they were to come through the Jersey event where the Greens have been dealt a tough start and an ‘inter-insular’ finish.

‘Once you see the schedule you then know the tournament is really close and the stand-out game for us will be Jersey on 13 May, the last day,’ said Latter. The tournament schedule comprises three match-days, two of them double-headers. In case of rain, there are two spare days. Guernsey start off with matches against Denmark and Norway on Liberation Day, 9 May. They then play France and Italy 48 hours later before finishing with Jersey on the Wednesday. ‘It’s a tough start against Denmark who have been our nemesis. We have yet to beat them,’ said the GCB chief executive. ‘But the carrot is to win five matches and go forward to play the likes of Ireland, Scotland Afghanistan who have been playing so well against the major nations in the current World Cup. ‘It promises to be an exciting week and one in which we can undoubtedly do well.’

QTV will be filming the tournament and will be available on ICC Europe TV One match on the final day will be streamed live. Guernsey will announce their squad on 10 April and they will travel to the Netherlands the following weekend for a series of friendlies.

JERSEY will face reigning champions Italy at Farmer’s Field on the opening day of ICC European Division 1 in May. ICC Europe announced the official fixtures for the Twenty20 tournament this morning, which also revealed hosts Jersey will finish the campaign with a clash against Channel Islands rivals Guernsey. The Island side will play two matches on Liberation Day – the first day of the competition – both at Farmer’s Field. Preceding their game with Italy, Jersey will meet Division II winners Norway on Liberation Day morning. On Monday 11 May, the Reds will face back-to-back fixtures versus Denmark and France at Grainville, before they finish the tournament two days later against the Sarnians at Farmers. Following a change in tournament structure since the last running in 2013, there will be no semi-finals or final, with only the team that tops the group securing a place at the 2015 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in Ireland and Scotland in July. The Islanders’ greatest challenges will undoubtedly come from Denmark and Italy, the latter who eliminated Jersey at the semi-final stage in Sussex in 2013. Those two sides have finished as winners and runners-up at the last two Division 1 tournaments but, on their day, Neil MacRae’s men could get the better of either, as they proved in Singapore last June by beating Italy by three wickets (albeit in a 50-over match). Farmer’s Field has been a prosperous stomping ground for the Island side in recent years – it was the scene for their triumph over Vanuatu which confirmed them as ICC World Cricket League Division 6 champions in July 2013, and the setting for their comprehensive inter-insular defeat of Guernsey last September – and head coach MacRae says he’s pleased his team will begin at a venue where they feel ‘extremely comfortable’. ‘We’re pleased we’ve got back-to-back games on the first day at Farmer’s Field, both at the same pitch,’ he said. ‘It was always going to be a big day no matter who we were up against. Anyone can be dangerous on their day so we weren’t fussed who we had first up. ‘The main thing is that we’re at Farmer’s. We had a really good day up there for the inter-insular, there’s a great vibe around the ground and we want to keep that going … it’s a great place for us to start the tournament and obviously the Italy game will be key on that day.’ He added: ‘The big game on the Monday is against Denmark and then we finish with Guernsey. We know that no matter what the circumstances, that match will be a big game as there’s always that added spice between Jersey and Guernsey.’ Commenting on the new format to Division 1, MacRae continued, ‘It’s exciting because we play everyone once, there’s no final, and so the team that plays the best over the course of the tournament will win it. ‘The games will come about very quickly so we need to be prepared from the off … that’s why we’ve got Kent County over the weekend before, to get the players in the right mindset. ‘We have to be on it from the first game and we have to aim to win every match.’

ICC European Division I will run from 9-13 May.