Edwards and Connor celebrate the spirit of the women’s game across Europe
Thu, Apr 30, 2009 11:17 AM
The ICC Women's World Cup-winning captain, Charlotte Edwards, and member of the ICC Cricket Committee Clare Connor have welcomed the growth of the women's game across Europe ahead of the Europa Cup, which will celebrate 100 years of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
The Europa Cup has been organised by the Deutscher Cricket Bund (DCB) to celebrate the ICC's centenary with under-17 girls teams from Austria (Austria CC Wien), Czech Republic (Prague), France (Dijon), Germany (Bristol Phoenix CC, Munich Youth Cricket, Oldenburg CC, Passau, Schwerin CC, Tegernsee CC), Hungary (Comenius CC, Székesfehérvár) and Slovakia (Bratislava) all competing in Munich this weekend.
The tournament is one of the ICC's Catch the Spirit celebrations aimed at promoting the ICC's centenary, the great spirit of cricket and the wide appeal and diversity of the game. Each of the ICC's 104 Members is holding an event which captures the collective commitment and values which are central to the sport and the spotlight now falls on Germany to showcase the spirit of the game across the world.
The Catch the Spirit flag, the symbol of the ICC's centenary year, will also be present at the tournament, collecting signatures from the icons of the game.
ICC Women's World Cup-winning captain Charlotte Edwards said: "I'm so pleased to see girls capturing the spirit of cricket across Europe. The game is really developing globally and I hope that seeing women's cricket on the world stage at the forthcoming ICC World Twenty20 will encourage more girls to take up the sport. Cricket has so much to offer girls of all ages and I'm delighted to act as a role model encouraging more youngsters to take part in this fantastic sport."
Newly appointed member of the ICC Cricket Committee Clare Connor added: "The Associate and Affiliate Members of the ICC have a big role to play. I'm delighted that this tournament will host female cricketers from a range of countries and showcase the spirit of the game right across Europe.
"There are so many opportunities for girls and women to get involved in the sport. Women's cricket is played in more than 78 of our Members. Ireland, the Netherlands and Scotland will all be playing in the LV Women's County Championship in England this year. This summer will also see the ICC European women's under-17 tournament in the Netherlands (27-30 July 2009) and the ICC European senior women's tournament in Dublin (3-6 August 2009). I'm sure these opportunities will continue to grow in the years to come."
President of the DCB Dr Brian Fell said: "I'm really pleased that DCB is playing its part in the ICC's centenary year and celebrating the spirit of cricket. It's fabulous that we have so many girls team from across Europe coming to Munich. I'm grateful to Charlotte Edwards and Clare Connor for their support for the tournament. With the continued investment by the ICC and role models such as Charlotte, I'm sure we will continue to inspire youngsters to take up the sport."
Richard Holdsworth, ICC Europe Regional Development Manager, said: "The staging of this tournament shows the significant appeal of the sport in Europe. The ICC has recently begun investing US$300 million into the development of the game around the world, so I've no doubt cricket will thrive across Europe in the years to come."
The Catch the Spirit celebrations will continue across ICC's Europe region during the summer. The events due to take place shortly include the inaugural under-13 national training camp in Finland from 10-14 July, the Limerick World Cup in Ireland from 12-24 July and the Maccabiah Games in Israel from 12-24 July.
Cricket fans can keep up with all of the Catch the Spirit news at www.catchthespirit.com.
About the ICC centenary year
ICC President David Morgan and Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat officially launched the ICC centenary year in Sydney, Australia on 2 January by announcing the formation of the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, in association with the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations.
The ICC's centenary year of 2009 will be a global celebration with events taking place around the world to reflect all that is great about the game.
On the field, these events include the ICC Women's World Cup (won by England in Sydney in March), the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier (won by Ireland in April) the ICC World Twenty20 event for men and women (taking place in June) and the ICC Champions Trophy (taking place in September/October).
And off the field there will be the opening of the ICC Global Cricket Academy and the inauguration of the ICC's new headquarters, both of which are in Dubai, and an ICC cricket history conference in July at St Antony's College, Oxford in England.
The ICC will also be celebrating the contribution of volunteers across the world through the award of 1,000 centenary medals and will announce new developments to its social responsibility partnership on HIV/AIDS.
During the course of 2009, each of the ICC's 104 Members will be hosting activities inspired by the special spirit of cricket as part of the global Catch the Spirit centenary celebration.
To promote this theme and the launch of the ICC's centenary year website, www.catchthespirit.com, stars of the international game have named their "Catch the Spirit" moments which best encapsulate the spirit of cricket.
Among those stars that can be seen on the website, Yuvraj Singh of India speaks of his experiences in Pakistan – India matches and South Africa's Jacques Kallis reflects on his side's famous chase of 438 to beat Australia in an ODI in Johannesburg. Meanwhile, Charlotte Edwards talks about her spirit of cricket moment during her work with Chance to Shine