The ICC European U19 Division 2 Championship to be held in Antwerp and Brussels, Belgium promises to be a hard-fought affair, with seven teams vying with each other to take the title.
This will be the third time that a Division 2 tournament has been staged at this age group and will see the U19 national squads from Belgium, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Israel, Italy and Isle of Man contest the Championship title over a series of 50-over and Twenty20 matches.
Officiating at the tournament will be a ten-strong team of umpires from eight European countries - one of the largest and most diverse teams to officiate at an ICC European Championship.
Commenting on the tournament, ICC Europe Regional Development Manager Richard Holdsworth said, "The U19 competition is of particular importance to national development programmes and player pathways as it gives young cricketers a taste of international cricket before they play for their country's senior side.
"With seven teams participating, this event is one of the larger tournaments in Europe this summer. There is nothing greater than representing your country in any sport and to be able to do so prior to senior level will hopefully inspire continued growth and development of cricketers in our junior age groups."
Following the healthy level of media and online interest shown during last week's U19 Division 1 Cricket World Cup Qualifiers in Jersey, Richard Holdsworth is confident that the upcoming Division 2 tournament will help to raise the profile of the sport in some of its lesser known Associate and Affiliate members, including host Belgium.
Belgium has been an Associate Member of the ICC since 2005 and has previously hosted a number of ICC European tournaments. Today, 17 clubs and two schools programmes belong to the Belgian Cricket Federation. In addition, there are a number of teams representing businesses and other organisations playing in a mid-week Twenty20 competition and other non-League events across eight cricket grounds in Belgium.
The seven-day ICC European U19 Division 2 tournament starts on August 3rd 2009 and will see 21 matches (fourteen 50-over and seven Twenty20 fixtures) played at Royal Brussels, Mechelen, and Antwerp Indians grounds.
For complete information about the tournament, please click here