Europe - 2009 Review

Mon, Dec 28, 2009 6:54 PM

Europe - 2009 Review
Regional Development Manager for the Europe region, Richard Holdsworth, looks back on the year 2009 and counts the Netherlands'victory over England in the opening match of the ICC World Twenty20 2009 at Lord's as his most special moment of the year.

What have been the main achievements of the Associate and Affiliate Members in your region in the past year?

I would count the Netherlands defeating Full Member England in the ICC World Twenty20 opener as a major achievement. Also, I would rate Ireland's qualification to the ICC WT20 2009 Super Eight stage as a big moment. Other important achievements for our region include appointment of a new CEO for the Netherlands, several European members becoming recognized by their National Olympic Committees and a highly-improved standard at our lower levels of European Divisions.

Do you think that cricket in your region is in a stronger position than it was 12 months ago?

Most definitely. Our participation continues to grow significantly and the results of our High Performance countries have been encouraging. Performances of our European Division 3, 4 and 5 countries has improved significantly while there has been considerable progress in women's and girls'cricket. 48 coach and umpire education courses have also been delivered successfully during the year.

What do you think are the challenges that face the growth of game in your region?

Facilities. More players, both senior and junior, need pitches to play and practice on and it is the most difficult part of our development programme.

What are your plans for junior and women's cricket for next year?

We will be holding a European U19 Cricket World Cup Qualifier (CWCQ) and Women's Regional CWCQ tournament, as well as two events at the U17 and one at the U15 level. There are many activities, leagues and cups at both the youth and women's level. We shall also hold an academy, centre of excellence and emerging players programme for boys as well as a women's academy.

What are you most excited about in cricket in your region in 2010?

I am most excited about our three High Performance Programme countries having a chance to qualify for the ICC World T20 2010 in West Indies. Also, we will be optimistic about Ireland's performance in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand next month.

Do you expect more Members to attain the success displayed by Ireland and recently the Netherlands?

I think Scotland has a great ability to turn around its results and succeed in 2010. The team has good players, a good support team of coaches and excellent award-winning development programmes, as well as an efficient and effective off-field team of administrators, which are the right ingredients to succeed.

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