Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 6 Tournament Preview
Sun, Jul 21, 2013 9:23 AM
The Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 6 gets underway tomorrow (Sunday 21st July), with hosts Jersey, Argentina, Bahrain, Kuwait, Nigeria and Vanuatu fighting for the top two spots and promotion to ICC WCL Division 5.
The hosts, who finished 4th in WCL Division 6 in Malaysia in 2011 and who bring a youthful side to this tournament, kick off their campaign against Kuwait at Grainville.
Skipper Peter Gough said that he was excited about the tournament and pleased with his team’s preparations. ‘We played in the ICC European Division 1 Championship in Sussex last week and we’ve had a programme of 17 games throughout the year,’ he said.
‘We’ve played MCC, Middlesex, Club Cricket Conference in the UK and a T20 tournament in Holland. Our cricket has mainly been T20 in the last month so we’ll be looking forward to going back to 50 overs. I think it suits our side better, particularly some of our batters.’
Kuwait's captain, off-spinning all-rounder Hisham Mirza, said that his side had also enjoyed a good warm-up tour in the UK and they expected a high standard of cricket in the week ahead. ‘We aren’t targeting any specific opposition,’ he said. ‘We’re just going to take it match-by-match. This is Division 6 so there are lots of strong teams here.’
Vanuatu, who last played in Jersey in 2008 in WCL Division 5, will face Nigeria at Les Quennevais in their first game, in what is a replay of the WCL Division 7 final played in Botswana earlier this year.
Vanuatu's captain, Andrew Mansale, said that his side was looking forward to the challenge of playing on turf wickets. ‘We’ve had three warm-up games, two against Bahrain and one against a Sussex academy side. We don’t usually play on grass wickets back home so this will be a good experience for our side.’
Nigeria’s manager, Olisa Egwuatu, said that fast bowler Akolade Saheed and batsman Oladotun Olatunji would be key players and that his team had three objectives for the tournament. ‘First, we want to stay in Division 6. This is the minimum we want to achieve,’ he said. ‘Second, we want to qualify for WCL Division 5. And third, we want to win the trophy.’
Argentina meet Bahrain at FB Fields in their first fixture, with Argentinian manager Martin Sacchetti confident in the young blood brought into the team. ‘We have two young players to watch out for,’ he said. ‘Lautaro Musiani, a leg-break bowler and number 3 batsman, and Hernan Fennell, a medium pacer, who are both coming through nicely and playing well.’
Bahrain come into the tournament looking to bounce back from relegation from WCL Division 5 in 2012. Adil Hanif, their vice-captain, said they had a well-balanced side that was ready to compete. ‘We have a good mix of seamers and spinners and we hope to adapt to the conditions quickly.’