Jersey teams face European contests

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The Jersey Cricket Board received confirmation this week that the ECC have accepted the applications to compete in the European 2nd Division Championships in Glasgow and the European U17 2nd Division Championships in Israel.

Jersey Cricket Board Cricket development officer Chris Minty commented: ‘We are delighted to have been accepted into the two tournaments we applied for.

It will give all of our cricketers something to focus on and work towards.’ Jersey senior cricketers will be among eight teams competing in Glasgow from 3 to 9 August.

The other sides are France, Germany, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Greece, Israel and Norway.

Divisions one through to five are all part of the qualifying process for the newly-constituted ICC World Cricket League.

It will allow nations to play against similarly ranked teams regardless of their geographical locations and also offers a qualifying pathway to the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup.

The U17 tournament runs from 18 to 24 August and features seven teams, with Jersey joining Belgium, France, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Israel and Italy.

It will be the first international cricket event hosted by the Israel Cricket Association (ICA).

The matches will be staged at two venues, the Olympic Athletics Stadium in Tel Aviv and also in Ashdod, 40 km south of the capital city.

Stanley Perlman, Chairman of the ICA, said he was ecstatic and thrilled at the award of the event and promised to make it a great tournament for everyone involved.

‘When we started our youth programme officially in September 2000 we set certain goals and one of our distant aims was to host cricket tournaments,’ he said.

‘Hosting the ECC U17 tournament is a fulfilment of that aim.

This is just great and I am proud for everyone.

‘This is not only going to be a sports spectacle but we also intend to show all participants what a great country Israel is from a cultural, historical and religious point of view.’ Mr Perlman also sought to reassure those who may have concerns over security.

‘I can understand that concern,’ he said.

‘All I can do is to reiterate that all the grounds are under severe security provision.

‘There has been a change around in the perception of what is going on and there is optimism in the air.

‘One of our next aims is to set up a cricket scheme with Palestinian children and we will definitely achieve it within the next three years.

‘Already we have some amazing stories with the youngsters we have worked with and our motto is “”Hit poverty for 6″”,’ he added.

ICC Regional Development Manager for Europe Richard Holdsworth said: ‘This is hugely positive for cricket in Europe and in Israel in particular.

‘Cricket there has a huge emphasis on youth, they have fantastic programmes in schools and clubs and use cricket as a force for good to keep children off the streets.

‘The exposure the game will get through this tournament can only help development there even more.’ Israel, an Associate member of the ICC since 1974, has 18 domestic clubs in three divisions with 270 seniors and 270 juniors playing the game plus a further 1000 youngsters involved in development programmes.

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