Debut for A Team tournament


The first-ever ICC European 'A' team tournament takes place in The Netherlands this week, with Ireland, Scotland and Denmark joining the host in a three-day round-robin competition.

Ireland has chosen an experienced squad, with three players – seamers Thinus Fourie and James Hall and wicketkeeper Fintan McAllister – who took part in the Friends Provident Trophy campaign this summer, and four members of the side which played in the ICC Under-19 World Cup earlier in the year.

The side will be led by Ryan Haire, who hit a century when Ireland A took on MCC recently, and a strong batting line-up also features David Kennedy, Kenny Carroll, Andrew Balbirnie, Regan West and Chris Dougherty.

Allen Coulter, who also impressed during the MCC match, will probably share the new ball with Fourie.

Scotland, too, has plenty of experience in its squad, with several players who have appeared for the full side in the course of the season.

They include allrounder Richie Berrington, batsman Gregor Maiden, and off-spinner Majid Haq.

Other members of the side who have had the benefit of playing for the Scottish Lions in the ECB Second XI competition are batsmen Simon Smith, Steven Knox, Ryan Flannigan, Qasim Sheikh and Omer Hussain, and seamers Sean Weeraratna and Matthew Parker.

Host The Netherlands will be led by national team vice-captain Peter Borren, and will include five other players who were in the sides which recently took on Kenya: batsmen Lesley Stokkers and Rifaiz Bakas, seamer Somesh Kohli, allrounder Geert Maarten Mol, and off-spinner Muhammad Kashif.

The seam attack will also feature Mark Jonkman, whose twin Maurits has been forced to withdraw through injury, Ruud Nijman, and the promising left-armer Graeme Davey.

Denmark, too, includes several players with recent experience in the full national side, not least skipper David Borchersen and the veteran Mickey Lund. Max Overgaard and Rizwan Tariq Mahmood were, like Borchersen, in the Danish side which played in last month’s European championships.

But the squad also contains several promising teenagers, including Lars Fleming Boldt, Melad Navabi and Martin Pedersen, all of whom were in last year’s Danish under-19 squad.

The tournament, which is intended to give greater international exposure to players who may be in the reckoning for next year’s ICC World Cup qualifier, will be played at VRA’s ground in Amstelveen and the VOC complex in Rotterdam.