Village people go international
Flintshire side Carmel & District CC toured Eastern Europe in the summer of 2007 when they faced the national teams of Estonia, Russia and Latvia.
Players were touched by the warmth, hospitality and passion for cricket in these countries and the club decided that they would like to give something back to European cricket.
The North Wales club obtained permission from the International Cricket Council and have begun preparations to hold an invitational twenty20 tournament at their Pen-y-Gelli ground.
The tournament will feature the national teams of Russia, Croatia, Estonia, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland and will take place from July 13-20.
Carmel chairman Charlie Bass revealed that the club are keen to attract a major sponsor for the tournament. "Cricket doesn't just end at the Test-playing nations and the enthusiasm and ability of those taking part is right up there with anything in Wales.
"We're aiming to raise funds to provide accommodation for the teams taking part in the tournament so we are seeking a major sponsor for the event. It will be a great honour for the area so we're hoping that the North Wales people will come out and support what should be a great event - oh, and pray that the weather holds as well."
ICC Europe Development Manager Richard Holdsworth said he was delighted to endorse the tournament which will help the game progress across the continent.
"Anything which helps develop any of Europe's ICC member and prospective member countries is always of interest to us and we are fully behind the twenty20 tournament which Carmel are staging,"Holdsworth commented.
"As a leading global sport, cricket can captivate and inspire people of every age, gender, background and ability while building bridges between continents, countries and communities. I am confident the tournament will be fantastic event for the people of North Wales, and the surrounding area, and it will allow people to come and watch what will be a great celebration of European culture as well as cricket."
Carmel first-team skipper Dan Oliver is looking forward to pitting his wits against the captains of some of Europe's national sides.
He added: "I can't wait for the tournament to begin. There are some players who have been at the club since the 1960s and I bet they thought their chance of playing international cricket had gone! It will be a tremendous honour to captain Carmel in the tournament. I'm looking forward to trying to out-think some national team captains as well as my first runs and wickets in international cricket."