Photo Credit: Cricket Ireland
Belfast-based club CIYMS are heading to Malaga in Spain this week to take part in the 2023 European Cricket League (ECL). After being formed in 2019, the competition is now in its third year, following a two-year break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
From the Northern Cricket Union, CIYMS qualified for this years’ tournament after their success in the All-Ireland T20 Cup final, when they defeated Cork Harlequins by six wickets in the Mardyke.
They are the second Irish side to enter the competition – Brigade qualified for Championship Week 2022, but fell at the Eliminator stage, losing to Italian side Brescia by six wickets.
CIYMS will be without brothers Mark and Ross Adair – currently away on International duty with Ireland, 2022 All-Ireland winning captain Nigel Jones – who moved to Lisburn in the off-season; while Keith Dudgeon has also left the club.
They do have some experience of T10 cricket at the Cartama Oval, with both Carson McCullough and John Matchett having represented an Ireland Academy side in the European Cricket Championships (ECC) in September 2022.
The ECL Competition
The ECL is a T10 competition played at the Cartama Oval in Malaga, featuring 30 teams from across Europe in six groups of five teams.
CIYMS have been drawn in Group F, alongside Ariana (Sweden), Oerias (Portugal), Istanbul KSK (Turkey), and Punjab Lions Nicosia (Cyprus).
All teams will play four games in the group stages. Four teams qualify to the next stage, with the fourth-placed side playing the third-placed team in Eliminator One. The winner moves on to Qualifier Two. In Qualifier One, first and second in the group face off against each other, with the winner moving into the final, while the loser faces the winner of Eliminator One for the chance to meet the winner of Qualifier One in the final.
The winner then moves on to Championship Week, which takes place from Monday 20 March to Thursday 24 March. All qualified teams will play six matches, two games a day for three days, and then the final stages similar to Stage One, with an Eliminator, two qualifiers and a final.
Adam Heasley, Adam Kennedy, Allen Coulter, Angus Farrell, Carson McCullough, Chris Robinson, Christopher Dougherty, Jack Beattie, Jacob Mulder, Jason van der Merwe, John Matchett (capt), Mark Best, Oliver Topping.
Team Manager: Richard Heasley
• 16 March: CIYMS v Ariana KIF (10.30am Ireland time)
• 16 March: CIYMS v Oeiras (2.30pm Ireland time)
• 17 March: CIYMS v Istanbul KSK (12.30pm Ireland time)
• 17 March: CIYMS v Punjab Lions Nicosia (6.30pm Ireland time)
• 18 March: Eliminator 1, Qualifiers 1 & 2 plus Final.
CHAMPIONSHIP WEEK (should CIYMS qualify)
• 20 March: 2 games
• 21 March: 2 games
• 22 March: 2 games
• 23 March: 2 games
• 24 March: Eliminator 1, Qualifiers 1 & 2 plus Final.
WHERE TO FOLLOW
You can find all the details on the ECL, including fixtures and live scores on their website here.
All games in the ECL will be livestreamed on the European Cricket Facebook page here.