Cricket España has reaffirmed its full support for the European Cricket League (ECL) ahead of its inaugural edition at Spain’s La Manga Club from July 29-31.
As well as playing host to the landmark first ECL tournament, Cricket España will be represented both on and off the pitch with domestic champions Catalunya Cricket Club vying with seven other European league winners to claim the prized debuting ECL trophy.
Teams from Denmark, Russia, Romania, Italy, France, Germany and Netherlands will join Catalunya C.C in La Manga, where Cricket España CEO John Howden and his team have been working closely with their ECL counterparts to put on this historic event.
And Howden is adamant that the ECL, heralded as “the UEFA Champions League of cricket” and played in a T10 format, can make a lasting impact on cricket across the continent.
“This tournament can have a huge impact on cricket across Europe,” said Howden. “The template is based on the Champions League Football format every country will want to have the club champions of Europe.
“We are already beginning to get positive feedback as a result of Catalunya Cricket Club’s involvement in the tournament. Catalunya TV will be broadcasting the event and the exposure this event will create throughout Spain for cricket will be revolutionary.
“Facing the top teams in Europe can only improve the quality of our cricket. Networking with different nations, finding out their successes and challenges will also help teams better understand how to move forward in a progressive way.”
Catalunya C.C are grouped with St. Petersburg Lions (Russia), JCC Brescia (Italy) and SG Findorff (Germany), with the top-two teams advancing to the semi-finals (July31) and fight for a place in the final, played on the same day.
For Cricket España followers, there are many reasons to keep an eye on the country’s representative, with Catalunya C.C featuring Spanish internationals past and present, as well as, hopefully, the future.
Howden has also made it clear that strong performances in the ECL will be noted by Cricket España selectors and that places in the national side are up for grabs.
“Captain Armghan Khan and Nisar Ahmed are veterans of several ICC campaigns for Cricket España and Nisar´s son, Hamza, was one of two of the Catalunya side that played for the Spanish Under 19´s in the ICC tournament in Essex last year, while Nadeem Hussain has impressed our scouts” explained Howden.
“Arguably, Catalunya´s top player is current Spain international Yasir Ali, who has played in the Topklasse of the Dutch League with Dosti.
“Star performances on this stage will catch the eye of selectors who will be following the event with interest, and could well lead to a call up for the National squad in the future.”
Every ECL match will be streamed live at https://www.ecl.cricket/stream, while all Catalunya C.C’s matches will be broadcast on TV3 in Catalunya.
Catalunya C.C’s fixtures in full: July 29 (13:00 GMT+2) vs. St. Petersburg Lions, July 29 (17:00 GMT+2) vs. JCC Brescia, July 30 (19:00 GMT+2) vs. SG Findorff