JERSEY’S young squad for the European Cricket Championships have been challenged to make their mark and stake their claim for a regular place in the team by head coach Neil MacRae.
The T10 tournament, being held in Spain, sees 30 European nations compete in six pools of five with the aim of reaching the Championship Week in October.
Jersey have been drawn in Group B alongside Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia and Guernsey.
And, despite selecting a relatively inexperienced squad, MacRae is targeting progression to the grand finals, while giving a number of the Island’s U19 squad the chance to impress.
He said: ‘It is the first time we have played T10 and the first time we have had a tournament on AstroTurf so that is a new challenge.
‘Farmers have been at the European Cricket League a couple of times so we do have a few that have played T10.
‘It is a good opportunity for players to learn in a new format which is very fast-paced. There are similarities between T20 and T10 in terms of powerplay and death bowling and attacking batting. There is a chance for anyone playing in this T10 to enhance their Jersey credentials but also to learn and improve.’
A handful of familiar faces who took part in this year’s T20 and ODI World Cup qualifying campaigns are making the trip – including captain Chuggy Perchard.
But mainstays of the side such as Nick Greenwood, Harrison Carlyon, Elliot Miles and Ben Ward have made way for the competition in favour of some of MacRae’s young guns.
Louis Kelly, Jack Kemp, Theo Pullman, Toby Britton, Will Perchard and Charlie Brennan were all part of the squad for the U19 European World Cup qualifier in Netherlands last month and are looking to establish themselves in the full men’s side.
MacRae added: ‘We are taking a young side with some players who have done really well in the U19s and a few who have broken through and established themselves recently.
‘We have three days of cricket and we know there will be some dangerous teams in our group and a format like this can be quite unpredictable. Every game against Guernsey is a big one so that is definitely one we’ll be targeting.
‘We go into every tournament trying to win and this is an exciting opportunity to learn and develop.’
Jersey play Belgium and Bulgaria tomorrow, before the clashes with Guernsey and Croatia on Friday. The play-off and final are due to take place on Saturday.
Jersey squad: Chuggy Perchard (c), Charlie Brennan, Toby Britton, Patrick Gouge, Louis Kelly, Jack Kemp, Josh Lawrenson, Theo Pullman, Will Perchard, James Smith, Julius Sumerauer, Asa Tribe, Zak Tribe