Denmark, Jersey and Norway battling it out for victory
Pepsi ICC Europe Division 1 will see six Associate teams locking horns in Jersey and Denmark's Michael Pedersen, Jersey's Peter Gough and Norway's Ali Sufyan Saleem say their teams are prepared for a tough battle.
During the five-day tournament that commences on 9 May, Denmark, France, Guernsey, Italy, Jersey and Norway will compete for the opportunity to progress to ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier which will be hosted in Ireland and Scotland in July 2015.
The Danish captain Michael Pedersen is looking forward to the test against other European nations: "These international tournaments are a great opportunity for everyone to test themselves at the highest possible level. We have been fortunate enough to progress from similar tournaments before and want to do so once again. Competing against other European nations is always a great challenge as many rivalries have been formed over the years," says Pedersen.
Denmark has travelled to Ireland to prepare for the tournament playing in four warm up matches against tough competition, with new coach Jeremy Bray now part of the set-up: "We have Jeremy Bray onboard as our coach now, and he keeps challenging us to improve every area of our game, and I am looking forward to seeing the guys putting all the hard work into practice when the tournament starts," said Pedersen.
Jersey as hosts of the tournament are looking forward to bringing cricket to the island, captain Peter Gough explains: "The opportunity to play in front of our home crowd is fantastic, we love playing 20 over cricket and want to enjoy every minute, be positive and represent Jersey with pride. We go in to every tournament wanting and believing we can win every game," said Gough.
The hosts have put in a lot of preparation for this tournament over the past few months: "We have been looking forward to this tournament since playing four T20s against the club cricket conference in September last year. We have worked hard over the winter indoors and had games against Netherlands 'A' team, the Seafarers and Hurricanes in Amsterdam last week, which was fantastic and were hosted brilliantly. This weekend we have played two games against Kent. Playing on a variety of surfaces against high quality opposition has been great preparation for us," said Gough.
Norway has been preparing ahead of the tournament with a few extra days in Jersey and captain Ali Sufyan Saleem feels this could be an advantage in the tournament: "We are looking forward to performing to our potential at Division 1. We are better prepared for this event than ever before, we believe training in Jersey's conditions just before the tournament should be an advantage and feel we are very much capable of beating all other participating teams," said Saleem.
The first matches of the tournament will see Norway take on Jersey at Farmers, Denmark lock horns with Guernsey at Grainville, and Italy face France at FB Fields.
There have been three France squad changes approved by the Event Technical Committee Shahid Malik, Atif Zahir and Arslan Khan are being replaced by Sendhil Tambidoure, Komalan Thavalingam and Zain Zahir.
The tournament schedule is:
9 May AM - Norway v Jersey (Farmers), Denmark v Guernsey (Grainville), Italy v France (FB Fields)
9 May PM - Italy v Jersey (Farmers) Guernsey v Norway (Grainville), France v Denmark (FB Fields)
10 May - Rest/reserve day
11 May AM - Italy v Norway (Farmers), Denmark v Jersey (Grainville), France v Guernsey (FB Fields)
11 May PM - Italy v Guernsey (Farmers), France v Jersey (Grainville), Norway v Denmark (FB Fields)
12 May - Rest/reserve day
13 May AM - Jersey v Guernsey (Farmers), Italy v Denmark (Grainville), Norway v France (FB Fields)
13 May PM - Reserve session
All AM matches are scheduled to start at 1030 local time
All PM matches are scheduled to start at 1530 local time
Denmark- Michael Pedersen (captain), Aftab Ahmed, Saif Ali Ahmad, Mads Henriksen, Yasir Iqbal, Raja Basit Javed, Zahmeer Khan, Frederik Klokker, Amjad Khan, Kamran Tariq Mahmood, Zishan Mazhar Shah, Hamid Shah, Syed Bashir Shah, Anique Uddin
France- Arunkumar Ayyavooraju (captain), Zika Ali, Waseem Bhatti, Chetan Chauhan, Rameez Ehsan, Usman Khan, Thomas Liddiard, , Robin Murphy, Hamza Niaz, Kismatullah Surate, Williamdeep Singh, Sendhil Tambidoure, Komalan Thavalingam, Zain Zahir
Guernsey- James Nussbaumer (captain), Alex Bushell, Joshua Butler, Isaac Damarell, Max Ellis, Benjamin (Lee) Ferbrache, David Hooper, Thomas Kimber, Jordon Martel, Jason Martin, Oliver Newey, Oliver Nightingale, Timothy Ravenscroft, Matthew Stokes
Italy- Damian Crowley (captain), Roshendra Suroshan Abewickrama, Dilan Shameera Fernando Arsakulasuriya, Luis Di Giglio, Muthunama Gonnage Shehan Madup Fernando, Warnakulasuriya Tharindu Nimantha Fernando, Fida Hussain, Dinidu Asanka Marage, Andrew Northcote, Bentota Baduge Joy Lenin Perera, Peter Anthony Petricola, Michael Gino Raso, Carl Stephen Sandri, Rizwan Tanweer
Jersey- Peter Gough (captain), Corey Bisson, Dominic Blampied, Cornelis Bodenstein, Edward John Farley, Anthony Wilfred Hawkins-Kay, Jonty Jenner, Ben Kynman, Thomas Minty, Charles Perchard, Rhys Palmer, Benjamin Rive, Benjamin Stevens, Nathaniel Watkins
Norway- Ali Sufyan Saleem (captain), Shahid Ahmad, Sheheryar Akbar, Muhammad Shahbaz Butt, Damon Crawford, Safir Hayat, Suhail Iftikhar, Ansar Iqbal, Shehraz Khalid, Mofassar Saeed, Ali Tafseer, Pratheesh Kumar Thangavadivel, Ehtsham Ul-Haq, Shahzad Umran