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CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FROM CRICKET ESPANA

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 Dear Cricket Espana Members, 

On behalf of everyone here at Cricket Espana, I would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.

2008 has been a very successful year for cricket inSpain, and 2009 looks set to be even bigger and better. We will see regional league cricket played across several regions ofSpain, culminating in a finals weekend at La Manga. There will also be a twenty/20 cup competition available to all teams to enter. Again, this will be played in regional groups, with the winners of each group progressing to the finals. 

 In the past week we received the news from ICC Europe thatSpainwill be hosting the 2009 Division 3 Senior Tournament. Winning this tournament is a high priority for us, and with the High Performance Program that has been developed (by our new Senior Head Coach Bobby Denning from Lancashire CCC, and our Director of Cricket, George Wambeek), we feel confident that we can deliver the result we are after. The signs for this are very promising, the most recent of these being the 2-0 defeat ofGibraltar(a division 2 team) in July of this year. We hope that our Senior Squad players continue to get the support from their clubs, who will continue, as we are, to be very proud of them. 

Our Director of Youth and Women’s Cricket, Neil Brook, is putting together our biggest ever Youth Program to date, which will focus on all age groups from six years old, up to under 19 level. This will include our Schools Cricket Program where we will be delivering introductory coaching courses to physical education teachers already teaching sport in schools, and an equipment package that contains all they need to get started.

We will also see the introduction of theCricketEspanaYouthAcademy, which in conjunction with Derbyshire CCC, will deliver a High Performance Training Program for the most promising youth cricketers from all age groups acrossSpain. The future of Spanish Cricket will inevitably depend on the strength of our youth set up. Therefore, we hope you will fully support our drive to expand youth cricket here in Spain. 

During the first few months of 2009 Cricket Espana will be delivering ICC coaching and Umpires courses. Dates for these should be finalised by the end of January. All Cricket Espana members can apply to take part in these courses, and we will be contacting all clubs in due course to confirm places. 

We would also like to thank all clubs that completed the questionnaire that we sent out in September. This gave us a good insight into how Cricket Espana can help your club develop. We will have our budget approval from ICC Europe on January 6th, and shortly after this we will be in contact with you to discuss how we can assist you with your plans for 2009. 

2009 is the 100th Anniversary of the ICC, and to celebrate this, there will be several events happening aroundSpain. Details of these will be released in the New Year. Any club that wishes to get involved should contact the Cricket Espana Secretary John Howden. 

Finally, we would just like to thank all of you that volunteer your time to get cricket played here inSpain. Without your help, the success and growth that Spanish Cricket is experiencing now, would not be the same. Therefore we are very much looking forward to continue working together, with the aim to give the opportunity to play cricket, to everyone inSpain, who wishes to take part in this great game.  

Phil Beal

Chairman Cricket Espana

ECC Board Affiliate Representative

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