The ICC European WCL Division 2 Championship 2010 begins on Tuesday in the island of Guernsey. The competing nations - France, Germany, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Israel and Norway - will play fifteen matches at three venues in Guernsey.
Jersey, the holders of the tournament were promoted to Europe Division 1, so this year, the trophy is up for grabs and also a chance to qualify for a spot in the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 8. France, Germany and Israel will battle it out to get to Kuwait later this year.
Christian Rocca and Richard Buzaglo lead the Gibraltar line with a depth of experience behind them, both made their debuts at the 1986 ICC Trophy and have played for Gibraltar in a combined 134 matches. Completing the experience, Gibraltar also has the youngest player in the tournament, Julian Freyone, who at 16-years-old is looking to make a big impact on the European stage.
Norway will be hoping for a repeat performance of 2006 when it won Division 2, in recent years, they have been on a relegation slide and are hoping to put a stop to this pattern. They have five debutants in their team and are looking for a change in results.
France is riding high on the glory of winning the Continental Twenty20 Championship in the Netherlands last month. The squad has Jonathon Houghton and William Deep Singh who performed expertly in the final of the championship. The team will be captained by Arunkamar Ayyavooraju and Shabir Hussain, the most experienced player in the France squad, is also named.
Germany, eager to gain a spot in WCL Division 8, is also bringing in five debutants to the tournament, with Khalid Butt also returning to the team for the first time since 2002.
Hosts Guernsey, look to go one better than their runners-up spot in 2008, after being pipped to the post by rivals Jersey. Jeremy Frith is once again their key player, ex-Hampshire player Lee Savident has also been named, as well as youngster Tim Ravenscroft who has just signed a development contract with Sussex, as Guernsey aim to make their home advantage count.
Israel is back in Division 2, the first time since 2006 and is fighting for the Division 8 place alongside France and Germany.
There will be full coverage of the tournament, including regular score updates from all the matches, on the ICC Europe web site at http://www.icc-europe.org/EURODIV2/index.shtml