Pepsi ICC Europe Division 1 begins in Jersey on Saturday
The six captains participating in Pepsi ICC Europe Division 1 spoke about their sides’ chances in the tournament on Friday, with the competition getting underway in Jersey on Saturday.
The tournament sees Denmark, France, Guernsey, Italy, Jersey and Norway lock horns in the five-day, round robin tournament, which provides the opportunity for the top team to qualify to the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier taking place in Ireland and Scotland in July 2015.
The opening day of the tournament will see six matches played, in the morning matches, hosts Jersey will take on Norway at Farmers, Denmark square off against Guernsey at Grainville and Italy will face France at FB Fields.
Previewing his side’s first match against Denmark at Grainville, Guernsey captain James Nussbaumer said: “Denmark will be a tough challenge as always. We have had some really good games against them over the past few years in both T20 and 50 over formats. I think we have competed with them in most of those games, and will look to upset the apple cart this time around.
“With the likes of Amjad Khan and Freddie Klokker in their ranks, they have two out and out match winners, but whilst we might not have the same big names, we believe we also have some guys capable of winning matches on our day. I’m confident that if we play like we are capable of doing so as a team from 1 to 11, then we can once again be competitive,” said Nussbaumer.
Looking ahead to his side’s match against Guernsey, Denmark captain Michael Pedersen said: “We have fond memories playing against Guernsey; we have had some very good games coming out on top, so we obviously want to build on that. We have had really good preparation with the boys playing well domestically and the way our top order is firing at the moment I am looking forward to seeing how we perform as a team,” said Pedersen.
Jersey captain Peter Gough has pinpointed preparation as great importance ahead of its first match against Norway at Farmers. “The Norway game has been a big focus for us and we can't wait to get out on the field. We have worked hard over the winter preparing for this, we go in to every tournament wanting and believing we can win every game and this will start tomorrow against Norway,” said Gough.
Ali Sufyan Saleem, Norway’s new skipper is looking forward to the challenge that Jersey pose in its first match of the tournament, after Norway were promoted to Pepsi ICC Europe Division 1 after winning Division 2 in 2014, this will be a new test for the Norwegians. “Our team is a strong unit with a great desire to start the tournament with a win against Jersey,” said Saleem.
Looking ahead to the first-day clash against France, Italy captain Damian Crowley is hoping to draw from experience to get off to a good start in the tournament. “Since we have competed in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers before, we understand what it takes to succeed and so we are able to prepare our game plans around this understanding. Following our successful Pepsi ICC Europe Division 1 tournament in Sussex in 2013 we hope to continue on our winning ways. However, we need to remain focused and approach each game with the same level of intensity and that’s what we will be doing against France tomorrow,”
France captain Arun Ayyavooraju said he hopes the French side can surprise a few people over the tournament. “We have a good team; if we can adapt to the conditions tomorrow against Italy and play our best cricket, I am sure we will surprise few teams in this tournament. It is an important event for us and we want to start well,” said Ayyavooraju.
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