New format for European Under 17 Championship

Sat, Aug 4, 2007 6:31 PM

For the first time the ECC Under 17 Championship matches will be played over two days as opposed to the one day format which has been the norm since the tournament’s inception in 1999.

Richard Holdsworth, ICC Regional Development Manager – Europe, explained the thinking behind the change, saying "After last year’s inaugural Under19 2-day format event, ICC Europe management and the ECC Cricket Committee decided that the format should be trialled at the Under17 age level, which is an age where huge learning opportunities take place. The format worked extremely well at Under19 where bowlers and captains had to learn about how to bowl sides out and think more tactically about the game rather than just stem the flow of runs which they are used to in the 50 over format. A bowler taking 9 wickets in a match bowling 34 overs of spin does not happen in one day cricket, nor does a number 7 batsman scoring 140, a number 9 scoring 50 or bowlers bowling to 4 slips and two gullies - these sorts of performances from last year create huge new skills and learning experiences and the thoughts of the Cricket Committee was that this should happen even earlier than Under 19.

"Under19's play predominantly 50 over cricket as well and in alternate years play a World Cup Qualifying Series in this format, so perhaps Under17 is the way to go. With the top three European Associates playing four-day Intercontinental Cup cricket, this would mean the only format longer than 50 overs in any of their cricket."

Ireland, winners for the past two years, will be looking to make it a hat-trick but Scotland on home soil, and as three times winners, will be going all out to thwart them.

The Irish on paper look to have the strongest squad with five of last years team still eligible and six of their squad having played for the victorious Under 19’s this year in Belfast. Paul Stirling also featured in the only match which took place in the under 23 Championship when he hit 110 in 119 deliveries including 4 sixes one of which smashed through a pavilion window!

They also have Shane Getkake who this week won the man of the match award at the under 15 championship in Deventer.

Hosts Scotland have four players from last year.s squad including Matthew Parker and Marc Petrie from Arbroath who will be looking to get the Scots off to a good start when they play Denmark on their home ground. They have also a number of players who have featured in the National League this year including William Rowan of Prestwick who will be making his Scotland debut. He has taken 25 wickets at an average of 18.56 for his club.

The Netherlands, who were the inaugural winners in 1999 but have never since finished higher than third, have three players who featured last year in Stijn Allema, Lucas Brouver and Ferdi Vink..

Four of their squad have already had European Experience this year, whilst all there players apart from Jude Mudannayake have previously represented their country.

The Danes have already finished last at this season’s Under 19 and 15 tournaments and will be looking to avoid a hat trick of wooden spoons. They have six players who have played in Europe this year and will be looking to build on their experiences as they look to the future.

They also have twelve of their squad with previous European experience with only Haris Anwar yet to appear for the national side.

It will be interesting to see how the players adapt to the new format and whether Ireland can be defeated for the first time this year.

Hopefully summer will finally arrive in Scotland and allow all the players to showcase their talents.

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