Cricket Espana have been invited and gladly accepted the opportunity to play in the inaugural ECI T10 series in Malta next month. Spain will play six matches in the trilateral series with the hosts and Austria at the end of the ECS Series on February the 18th and 19th.
The ECI events are the latest offering from the European Cricket Network, and its founder Daniel Weston explained the thought process behind the new addition to cricket in Europe.
“The European Cricket Internationals platform is a new concept for the European Cricket Network this year. It helps promote more T10 cricket through the season in the lead up to the European Cricket Championship by providing more opportunities to play on TV in the T10 format and gives more chances to teams to experiment, identify and unearth talent. The more cricket the better and we appreciate Malta, Spain and Austria and their willingness to make history by playing in the first Mens’s European Cricket International Series.”
Coach Corey Rutgers is equally delighted to have the chance to take his squad to Malta, and he will take a mixture of experience and youth to the Mediterranean island, with at least four players in line to make their debuts. Corey gave his thoughts on the confirmation of Spain’s participation.
“I can not wait to kickstart the year with a new concept via the ECI series. We are very fortunate to help launch this event in conjunction with the ECN network. 2022 was an amazing time for our T10 side, coming third at the ECC and upsetting some major cricketing nations in the process.
It also gives us a great opportunity to test our playing depth and reward some domestic performances. Babar Khan and Mati-Ur-Rehman of Badalona Shaheen get their debut national call up along with Amir Hamzah and Syed Ali Shafaat. Along side with some of our more familiar names and powerful players this should be a fantastic way to get some match practice before our T20 International series the following week and to launch our 2023 season”
One of the debutants Syed Shafaat Ali remarked “As a cricketer there is nothing more precious than wearing the colours of your country. Being selected in the National squad is like a lifetime achievement and I am very grateful to play for my country”
Syed Ali Shafaat Mati – Ur – Rehman
The side will be captained by Christian Munoz-Mills and boasts numerous national team regulars. Daniel Doyle, who will play his cricket in Holland with Hermes CC this season will be pivotal for the Spanish batting and he will be ably supported by the likes of Hamza Dar and Prince Dhirman. There is a recall for Awais Ahmed ensuring that the wicket keeping position will be highly contested with Adam Alger and Muhammad Ihsan also travelling to Malta. Adeel Raja will spearhead the bowling attack and Guarang Mahyavanshi will offer coach Rutgers a viable spin option, along with debutant Amir Hamzah who also recently impressed domestically recently.
Rounding off the travelling squad as team manager will be Imran Malik. Imran was instrumental in the success of Pak-I-Care winning the ECL last year and has dedicated more than 15 years to improving cricket in Spain, and specifically the Cataluyna regiuon. He is well known to the debutants and will help them with the transition from club to international cricket throughout the series.
On learning of the appointment the Pak-I-Care boss stated “This is a great honour for me and I am very happy to accept this role for this tour. I am very happy to have the opportunity to wear the Spanish National team shirt in the capacity of the national team manager. I also look forward to working with Corey and learning from him”
(Imran Malik – Pak-I-Care CC)
The group will fly out from Spain on the Friday and join up with Coach Rutgers on the island, as he will be already out there after providing commentary for the ECS series in Malta. They will return to Spain on the Monday, and then several of the squad will head to La Manga in preparation for the T20I series with the Isle of Man that will start on Friday 24th February.
Squad for the T10 Malta series
Christian Munoz – Mills (Captain)
Daniel Doyle – Calle
Ali Syed Shafaat (debut)
Amir Hamzah (debut)
Babar Khan (debut)
Mati – Ur – Rehman (debut)
Amir Hamzah Babar Khan