DUBLIN – The European Cricket League (ECL) and Cricket Ireland are proud to announce they have agreed a partnership that will see the winners of the Sunday Independent All-Ireland T20 Cup receive entry into the ECL – the Champions League of European cricket.
“Irish cricket is steeped in tradition, history and love for the game. Becoming a Test-playing nation in recent years is a credit to their cricketing culture and administration,” said Daniel Weston, Founder of the European Cricket League.
“While myself and the Cricket Ireland team, in particular Elaine Nolan, worked together on the partnership, it was very evident that everyone at Cricket Ireland is driven and working especially hard to grow the game at all levels and in all formats.”
Elaine Nolan, Participation Director at Cricket Ireland, said:
“The new partnership will be a boost for Irish grassroots cricket, will help raise the profile of our club game and provide a unique opportunity for some of Ireland’s best club cricketers to experience international competition. The ECL has an ambitious plan and has delivered a quality product in Year One, and we look forward to seeing an Irish club side competing for higher honours and showcasing their talent more widely.”
“In consultation with the Board of Cricket Ireland and the Provincial Unions, we have finalised the qualification pathway for Irish participation in the ECL – given the ECL is a T10 tournament, it was considered most appropriate that the annual winners of the Sunday Independent All-Ireland T20 Cup will become the club to represent Ireland at the following year’s ECL.”
As a result of their victory in the All-Ireland T20 Cup last season, the Belfast-based CIYMS Cricket Club will become the first Irish entrant in the ECL.
“2019 was the most successful season in the history of CIYMS CC and all of our guys are really looking forward to this exciting new challenge,” said CIYMS Chairman, Richard Heasley.
“Over the last decade we have collected a number of league and cup trophies within the Northern Cricket Union and last season at national level. We are thrilled to be invited to take our chance on the international stage and meet the best in Europe at ECL20.”
CIYMS boasts a number of former and current Irish internationals in their ranks, including captain Nigel Jones, Jacob Mulder, James Cameron-Dow, Mark Adair, Chris Dougherty and Jason van der Merwe.
CIYMS have also engaged Migael Pretorius as their overseas professional for next year. The 24-year-old South African has recent winning T10 experience from the Abu Dhabi League as a key member of the successful Arabians side.
Over the last decade, further international stars have worn the CIYMS colours with pride, including Kiwi Craig McMillan, new South African test batsman Rassie van Der Dussen and countryman Justin Kemp.
The addition of Cricket Ireland to the burgeoning ECL family follows closely on the back of rivals England and Celtic neighbours Scotland, while Sweden, Norway, Belgium and Finland have also joined in recent weeks, following the founding eight federations namely: The Netherlands, France, Germany, Russia, Romania, Denmark, Italy and Spain.
V.O.C. Rotterdam were crowned Kings of European cricket when they won the first edition of the European Cricket League (ECL19) in magnificent fashion at La Manga Club in Spain this summer. Naturally, the “Kings of Europe”, V.O.C. Rotterdam will automatically return to defend their majestic trophy between May 31 and June 7, 2020.
The second-staging of the tournament – ECL20 – promises to be even bigger and better. Due to huge interest and demand for the competition, ECL20 will double its number of champion teams to 16 – spread over eight days of exciting fast-paced T10 action.
The second-staging – ECL20 – will be played from May 31- June 7, 2020 at La Manga Club in Spain.