Under 23 B gets under way in Guernsey
Mon, Aug 13, 2007 6:09 PM
The Under 23 B tournament, which is taking place in Guernsey this week, is the first in this age group. The six teams taking part, France, Germany, Gibralter, Italy, neighbours Jersey and the hosts will be out to impress and gain selection to the full team.
For Guernsey, it is the first time they have hosted an ICC event since becoming affiliate members in 2005.
Jersey, who defeated Guernsey in the Under 19 B tournament last month, will be favourites for the tournament with Ed Farley, who scored a century in the final, likely to be one of the key players.
Among the other players who are making the step up this week are Richard Blackburn, Mark Chipperfield, Sam de La Haye and the Under 19 captain captain Tom Wherry.
Guernsey, hoping to make home advantage count, have two talented 15 year olds in their squad and are captained by Jamie Nassbaumer, who is a hard-hitting middle order batsman and bowled brisk medium pace.
Germany are making their second visit to Guernsey and includes players from five of Germanyâ€™s six cricket regions. They have three pairs of brothers in the the squad, Vaseekaran and Thivakaran Aaritharan, Aqil and Tanzeel Tariq and Nousherwan and Shahid Nadeem. Ten of the squad have also represented Germany at Under 19 level.
The Germans' opponents in their opening match on Monday are Gibraltar, captained by all-rounder Karen Aswani. They include three members of the squad that finished fourth in Jersey, the Under 19s captain Kabir Mirpuri, Vivek Sadhwani and wicket-keeper Kieron Ferrary.
The other game on the first day is between France and Italy. The French team is captained by top order batsman Arun Ayyavooraju, one of four members of the Evry club, while Italy are led by Kelum Perera.
Tournament director Richard Holdworth said the tournament is an important step up for players who had experience at Under 19 level and who were not ready to go straight into the senior team.
"It is a A-team scenario for the participating countries and it also gives them the chance to play on grass pitches," said Holdsworth.
In all, three venues will be used over the four days with the grounds at the Elixabeth College Playing Field and King George V ground (KGV) complemented by the Port Soif venue, the latest of the grass pitches, laid just three years ago, which will host the big inter-island battle between Jersey and Gibraltar on Wednesday.
The six teams are divided into two groups with Germany, Gibraltar and Jersey in Group A and France, Italy and Guernsey in Group B. The top two in each group will play the final at KGV on Thursday, with the play-off games for the other places at the other two venues.