ICC European Division 1 Championship squads announced

Sat, Jul 16, 2011 10:26 PM

After 51 matches involving 15 teams, the European leg of qualification for the ICC World Twenty20 2012 Qualifier in the UAE reaches its pinnacle in the Channel Islands.

The two teams set to join 8 qualifiers from the other four ICC regions as well as the six ODI status teams as they look for a place in the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

All but two of these teams will be looking for a first ever place in a global qualifier tournament. Denmark has appeared in seven ICC Trophies, whilst Italy made an appearance in the 1997 tournament, and those two teams will be amongst the favourites to progress to another global qualifier come the end of the ICC European Division One Championship.

Co-hosts Jersey are the defending champions at Division One having won the tournament at home in 2010. That was a 50 over tournament though, and anything can happen in the Twenty20 format, so they face a fight to hold on to that title. Seven members of that winning team return for this tournament, and they come into the event having finished as runners-up to the Netherlands A in the Continental Twenty20, ahead of Belgium and France, also taking part in this tournament.

Their fellow hosts, and oldest rivals, Guernsey won the 50 over ICC European Division 2 last year, and has nine of that winning squad returning for this tournament, including player of the tournament Jeremy Frith. The player to watch though could well be Tim Ravenscroft. The youngster is on the books at Hampshire and made his first-team debut this year against Leeds/Bradford MCCU. In the Second XI Twenty20 tournament in May, he smashed an unbeaten 103 from just 53 balls against Surrey. Guernsey will no doubt be hoping he can repeat that feat in this event.

Denmark will be hoping to bounce back from a disappointing Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 3 tournament in Hong Kong that saw them relegated. Italy also played in that tournament; finishing fourth, and it is these two teams, along with the hosts that, on paper at least, are most likely to be contesting the semi-finals.

The other eight teams in the tournament shouldn't be discounted though. Norway will be hoping to regain the form that saw them win Division Two back in 2006, and they have made wholesale changes to their squad, with only four returning from last year's Division Two tournament in Guernsey. Gibraltar is another team going through a period of change with the retirement of the long serving Christian Rocca and Richard Buzaglo.

Promoted sides Belgium and Austria can't be discounted, and Belgium come into the tournament on the back of a win over France at the Continental Twenty20. Due to the previous scarcity of Twenty20 matches at this level, they have more experience at the format than many of the competing teams, which is likely to give them somewhat of an advantage.

Israel beat two teams at Division Two last year, and they will hope to go one better in 2011 and push for a semi-final spot. With spin being an important part of Twenty20, the talented young leg-spinner Josh Evans could be a key player, whilst Eshkol Solomon will hope to repeat the form that saw him score the highest individual Israeli score against Gibraltar last year.

Germany, runners-up at Division Two in 2010, have retained seven of the squad that finished third at World Cricket League Division 7 in Botswana earlier this year, and are probably the best bet to break up the likely semi-finalists.

Finally, Croatia are something of an unknown quantity, having only played one international since the 2008 Division Two tournament in Guernsey, whilst France will, like Germany, be hoping to break into the semi-finals, and come into the tournament as the sixth highest ranked side.

The twelve teams in the tournament are divided into two groups of six, with one group being played in Jersey and the other in Guernsey. Once the first round is complete, the whole tournament decamps to Jersey, where semi-finals, play-offs and finals will be played to determine the places from one to twelve.

The two finalists will qualify for the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier. The six associate/affiliate ODI status teams, Afghanistan, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, Netherlands and Scotland automatically qualified for the tournament, whilst Papua New Guinea recently became the sole East Asia Pacific representative. The two African qualifiers will be confirmed shortly before this tournament begins, the two Americas qualifiers will be determined during this tournament, whilst the three Asian qualifiers will come from the ACC Twenty20 Cup in Nepal later this year.

The squads for the ICC European Division 2 Championship is as follows:

Austria; Amar Naeem (Captain); Munir Ahmed; Amandeep Amandeep; Imran Asif; Erwin Grasinger; Lakmal Kasthuriarachchige; Satish Kaul; Benjamin Loader; Tiran Indika Perera; Syed Qamar Abbas Rizvi; Nitin Sharma; Andrew Simpson-Parker; Nandeep Soggi; Satyam Subhash

Belgium; Andre Wagener (Captain); Shaheryar Butt; Jamie Farmiloe; Amir Iqbal; Javed Iqbal; Faisal Khaliq; Shaival Mehta; Shahid Muhammad; Sheraz Sheikh Muhammad; Simon Newport; Ali Raza; Abdul Rehman; Nirvam Shah; Waqas Shafiq

Croatia; John Vujnovich (Captain); Jasen Butkovic; Nikola Davidovic; Anthony Govorko; Jeffrey Grzinic; Michael Grzinic; Pero Kastelan; David Lambasa; Paul Musin; Christopher Pivac; Vivek Sharma; Craig Sinovich; Paul Vujnovich; Craig Wear

Denmark; Michael Pedersen (Captain); Aftab Ahmed; Shehzad Ahmed; Sair Ahmad Nissar Anjum; Bobby Chawla; Kasper Rubin Hansen; Raja Basit Javed; Frederik Klokker; Jacob Larsen; Rizwan Tariq Mahmood; Kamran Tariq Mahmood; Martin Pedersen, Hamid Shah; Syed Bashir Shah;

France; Waseem Bhatti (Captain); Zika Ali; Shahid Arfan; Arunkamar Ayyavooraju; Rameez Ehsan; Usman Khan; Thomas Liddiard; Avishka Liyanaarachchi; Robin Murphy; Adnan Musharif; Hugo Pinsent; Abdul Rehman Qureshi; Williamdeep Singh; Ramesh Sithambaranathan

Germany; Asif Khan (Captain); Ayoma Abeywickrama; Imran Chaudhry; Benjamin Das; Milan Fernando; Shakeel Hassan; Kashif Haider; Rana Javed Iqbal; Mian Ehsan Latif; Kashif Mahmood; Dilshan Rajudeen; Fazal Rathore; Mudassar Razzaq; Syed Shah

Gibraltar; Iain Latin (Captain); Charles Avellano; Mark Bacarese; Aaron Baglietto; David Coram; Charles Cruz; Ian Farrell; Kieron Ferrary; Ross Harkins;Matthew Hunter; Jack Lutman; Andrew Reyes; Karl Sene; Kayron Stagno

Guernsey; Stuart Le Prevost (Captain); Stuart Bisson; Timothy Duke; Jeremy Frith; David Hooper; Thomas Kimber; Ross Kneller; Adam Martel; Kristoffer Moherndl; James Nussbaumer; Timothy Ravenscroft; Gary Rich; Lee Savident; GH Smit

Israel; Herschel Gutman (Captain); Shailesh Bangeral; Nir Dokarker; Josh Evans; Danny Hotz; Daniel Hyman; Eitamar Kahamker; David Massil; Yefeth Nagavkar; Yaniv Razpurker; Eshkol Solomon; Eliezer Samson; Raymond Talkar; Shifron Waskar

Italy; Alessandro Bonora (Captain); Din Alaud; Dilan Shameera Fernando Arsakulasuriya; Damian Graham Crowley; Gayashan Ranga De Silva Munasinghe; Luis Di Giglio; Chamara Kalum Siriwardane Hettimula Appuhamilage; Damian Claude Kithsiri Muthunamagonnage Fernando; Andrew Northcote; Hayden Peter Patrizi Dell'agnello; Peter Anthony Petricola; Michael Gino Raso; Stanly Hemantha Jayasena Samaraweera Kankanamage; Sivakumar Sivalingaperumal

Jersey; Peter Gough (Captain); Tony Carlyon; Paul Connolly; Samuel James De La Haye; Ryan Driver; Edward John Farley; Anthony Wilfred Hawkins-Kay; Christopher Jones; Dean Morrison; Alexander Noel; Charles Perchard; Benjamin Silva; Ben Stevens; Bradley Vautier

Norway: Muhammed Zeeshan Ali (Captain); Waheed Aamir; Zaheer Ashiq; Syed Waqas Ahme; Muhammad Shahbaz Butt; Mahammed Waseem Gill; Safir Hayat; Iftikhar Hussain; Adeel Ibrar; Faisal Qureshi; Moosa Rashid; Mofassar Saeed; Ali Saleem; Babar Shazad

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