The 2010 ICC European WCL Division 2 championship begins today on the island of Guernsey. The competing nations in Division 2 are France, Germany, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Israel and Norway, the fifteen matches will be played at three venues in Guernsey.
Jersey the holders of the tournament were promoted to Europe Division 1, so this year it’s up for grabs to impress and take charge of the tournament. Not only is the trophy up for grabs, but also a chance of a place at in Division 8 of the Global World Cricket League. France, Germany and Israel are battling 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 debut at the 1986 ICC Trophy and have played for Gibraltar a combined 134 matches. Completing the experience, Gibraltar also has the youngest player in the tournament Julian Freyone at 16 years old is looking to make a big impact on a European stage.
Norway will be hoping for a repeat performance of 2006 when they 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. In their squad they have Jonathon Houghton, William deep Singh who performed expertly in the final of the championship. They will be captained by Arunkamar Ayyavooraju and Shabir Hussain once again is named; the most experienced player in the France squad.
Germany who are eager to gain that World Cricket League place are also bringing in five debutants to the tournament and 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 be 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 www.icc-europe.org/EURODIV2/index.shtml