European Women's Championship promises top-level action
The fifth ICC European Women's Championship gets under way this week in Ireland with three countries - Scotland, the Netherlands and hosts Ireland - participating in what promises to be an exciting four days of top level action.
In an innovative move, the competition will be played with a mixture of both 20 and 50-over games, a format which proved to be a great hit with both players and spectators alike in the Under-17 tournament last week in the Netherlands.
Ireland will start as favourites, and its squad looks pretty formidable at this level, with a good blend of youth and experience. Players to watch out for include skipper Heather Whelan, her sister Jill and left arm pacer Isobel Joyce, forming a strong bowling attack, while Cecelia and Isobel Joyce are expected to star with the bat.
The Netherlands also has vastly experienced players in its ranks, complimented by a sprinkling of talented youngsters. Heliem Rambaldo skippers the side, and she is a fine middle order player.
Wicket-keeper Violet Wattenberg, Cheraldine Oudolf and Annemarie Tanke provide a strong batting line-up. The side also boasts of a varied and talented bowling contingent, and the skipper will have a pool of talent from which to draw.
Scotland will be skippered by the prolific talent of Kari Anderson, who has been her country's leading player over the past decade. Indeed she is the only player of the current squad to have scored a century at the international level.
The team will also rely much on the services of Kathryn White ? who has recorded three half centuries in her last six games ? and bowlers Fiona Urquart and Abbi Aitken, who took a hat-trick for Scotland last season.
It should be a quite competitive tournament, with not much between three highly talented squads. Ireland will be the slightest of favourites, but will need to be at its best to see off the determined challenge of both Scotland and the Netherlands.
For complete information about the tournament, please click here